Friday, April 27, 2018

PierPass Pricing Progress

By Karen Robes Meeks

PierPass’ OffPeak program for easing traffic congestion at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach is expected to roll out a new pricing model in August. The new appointment-based system will charge one flat fee on day and night container moves, the organization announced earlier this month.

The 12 marine terminal operators that make up the West Coast MTO Agreement approved the new model—which is still subject to regulatory approval—after 18 months of study and consultation.

"The industry has been demanding 'PierPass 2.0,' and we are responding," said PierPass President John Cushing. "The original OffPeak program was an innovative and highly effective solution to the challenges we faced in 2005. But it was fairly inflexible, whereas an appointment-based model is scalable and can evolve to meet changing industry needs, technology and practices."

OffPeak currently charges a fee on weekday daytime cargo moves to encourage cargo owners to shift OffPeak hours to nights and Saturdays.

The latest version replaces this two-tier fee structure with a single flat fee for shifts and use appointments to spread traffic across the two shifts.

Applying the fee to both day and night cargo will lower the fee by more than 55 percent and still have enough money to run the extended gate hours.

Instead of the current fee of $72.09 per TEU, users will pay a fee of $31.52 per TEU; the rate for all other container sizes will be a flat fee of $63.04, according to PierPass.

Port leaders applauded the change.

“I'm pleased and encouraged that PierPass members are taking a significant step forward to improve efficiencies at the San Pedro Bay port complex,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka.

“The Port of Long Beach is pleased with the progress PierPass has made in working with industry stakeholders to improve night gate operations in our terminals,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. "As ships are getting bigger and volumes increase, efficient gate management is critical to our ability to move cargo in a reliable, predictable and expedient manner," he added.

For more information, visit

Bellingham Waterfront Makeover

By Karen Robes Meeks

To improve the layout of parks and roads within the downtown waterfront, the Port of Bellingham is seeking to update the 2013 Waterfront District Sub-Area Plan and has submitted a proposal to the city to that affect.

The 2013 plan provides the blueprint for what will be developed in the area. It calls for at least “33 acres of new upland parks and trails and 6 acres of restored beaches to be built in the Waterfront District,” while the location of the parks and roads could change during the course of developing the site. The 2018 proposed plan update addresses alterations to the original layout.

The city review process will include additional public comments and commission hearings. It is expected to be complete by May 2019.

Visit for more details about the latest version of the draft plan and for the changes and timeline.

Stakeholder Engagement Executive

By Karen Robes Meeks

David Libatique is the Port of Los Angeles’ new Deputy Executive Director of Stakeholder Engagement, tasked with managing the port’s government affairs, trade development, community relations, media relations, and the labor relations and workforce development divisions.

“We’re very excited to elevate David to this new role,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “Since joining the Port in 2011, he has been a valuable member of our team and a tremendous asset in helping advance the goals and vision of the department, something that will be even further amplified in his position as head of stakeholder engagement.”

Before his promotion, Libatique was the port’s Senior Director of Government Affairs. Prior to joining the port, he worked on energy policy at the City of Los Angeles and help develop the mayor’s environmental policies at the Department of Water and Power. He was also the mayor’s liaison with the port, pushing efforts to green port operations.

Matson Contributes

By Karen Robes Meeks

Last year, more than 800 charity groups and endeavors received over $3.7 million in funds and in-kind support from Honolulu-based Matson Inc., including $1.765 million to 435 groups in Hawaii, $1.06 million to 68 groups in Alaska, $575,000 to 247 mainland United States organizations and more than $310,000 to 109 organizations in Guam, Micronesia and South Pacific islands.

Notable donations included $160,000 to United Way chapters in Hawaii, $100,000 to the Bishop Museum's programs and collections; $40,000 to the American Red Cross – Hawaii Chapter for its Centennial; and $23,000 to the Hawaii State Department of Education for its Beginning Teacher Summer Academies.

Matson also donated $46,000 to the Navy League of the United States; $37,000 to the American Heart Association, and $26,000 to the Coast Guard Foundation.

"One of our core values at Matson is contributing positively to the communities in which we work and live. It's not a slogan; we try to live our values and last year, I'm proud to say on behalf of all Matson employees, we contributed more than ever," said Matson chairman and CEO Matt Cox.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

LA, LB Funding Emissions Projects

By Karen Robes Meeks

The nation’s two busiest seaports are committed to financially support projects that help improve air quality in port operations.

The Port of Long Beach and Port of Los Angeles are offering matching funds through their Technology Advancement Program (TAP). Established by the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan, TAP was recently updated to include more aggressive efforts to battle port-related pollution over the next two decades.

Since 2007, the ports have provided more than $21 million toward the advancement of pollution-cleaning port technology.

This year, they are looking for projects “that have the potential to reduce emissions, including diesel particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides and greenhouse gases,” according to the release.

The deadline to submit concept papers is May 22. Projects that warrant further consideration will be asked to submit a full proposal at a later date.

For more information, visit

Operator Chosen for San Diego Retail Park

By Karen Robes Meeks

Protea Property Management, Inc. has been selected by the Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners to run Seaport Village after the current lease expires on September 30, keeping the 14-acre destination with 70 specialty retailers and eateries open until the Central Embarcadero is redeveloped.

Founded about 20 years ago, the San Diego-based property management firm Protea owns and manages Flower Hill Promenade and Pangaea Outpost in San Diego, California.

Port officials in 2016 selected 1HWY1 team and its “Seaport San Diego” concept to revitalize Central Embarcadero, which encompasses Seaport Village. The new Central Embarcadero will feature 30 acres of parks, open spaces, plazas, piers and walkways; a 480-foot tall observation tower; facilities for commercial fishing, recreational boat and mega-yacht services; retail and office space.

Vancouver USA Cleanup Continues

By Karen Robes Meeks

Pollution cleanup continues at property acquired by Port of Vancouver USA, an effort closely watched by a port contractor and the Washington State Department of Ecology.

According to the port, test results from the cleanup have been so positive that crews were able to remove 35 observation wells used for groundwater monitoring in Fruit Valley last February.

Since 2009, when the port put in a pump and treatment system to deal with contaminated groundwater in the Fruit Valley area, more than 10 billion gallons of groundwater have been treated.

The port also reported that shallow groundwater contamination is down by 96 percent and is now limited to a small part of port-owned property.

Oakland Volumes Drop

By Karen Robes Meeks

Import volumes at the Port of Oakland were down about 1.9 percent in March, while exports dipped slightly by 0.5 percent when compared to the same period a year ago, according to the port.

The lower numbers were expected as much of Asia slowed down their activities for about two weeks to celebrate the Lunar New Year. In February, import volumes were up 14.9 percent, an indication that customers rushed to ship goods before factories closed for the holiday.

“Oakland exports remained virtually unchanged after three consecutive months of growth,” the port reported, adding that “China’s restrictions on recyclable commodities such as waste paper contributed to the export growth pause.”