Friday, June 22, 2018

New USCG Pac Area Commander

By Karen Robes Meeks

Vice Adm. Linda L. Fagan recently assumed command of Coast Guard Pacific Area, taking over for Vice Adm. Fred M. Midgette, who served as commander since August 2016.

The command change was made official at a ceremony at Coast Guard Base Alameda, California.

Before taking command, Fagan was deputy commandant for Operations, Policy and Capabilities and is the Coast Guard’s first Gold Ancient Trident for having the longest service record in the marine safety field.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in marine science from the US Coast Guard Academy, a master’s degree in marine affairs from the University of Washington and a master’s degree in national resource strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

Port of Long Beach Budget Moves Forward

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners recently endorsed a $982 million spending plan for fiscal year 2018-2019 for the Port of Long Beach.

About $695 million – 70 percent of the budget – will fund modernization and other construction projects, including $333 million on the Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project and the Middle Harbor Terminal Redevelopment Project. Almost $215 million will be spent on the port’s new headquarters, which is expected to be completed in mid-2019.

“The budget reflects the port’s trademark careful planning and fiscal responsibility as we engage in the most active capital improvement program of any US seaport,” said Lou Anne Bynum, president of the Long Beach Harbor Commission. “The port will remain a vital economic engine for both the regional and national economies as we continue to strengthen the port’s competitiveness.”

“This budget gives Long Beach the means to continue building a port that delivers the best customer service in the business,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “To our customers, that means delivering their cargo fast, efficiently, and at a cost that makes sense for them. “We look forward to a prosperous future together with our many partners.”

The budget will come before the Long Beach City Council for final approval.

Housing Coming to Port of Everett

By Karen Robes Meeks

A plan to create new waterfront homes within the Port of Everett’s Waterfront Place Central mixed-use development was cemented this week when the port and SeaLevel Properties closed a deal for a 5.44-acre site.

“This is a historic transaction for the Port of Everett,” Port of Everett Acting CEO Lisa Lefeber said. “This property sale allows housing on the waterfront for the first time in Everett’s history and creates the population necessary to support a vibrant Waterfront Place project. I want to thank Sealevel for believing in the vision of Fisherman’s Harbor and the Port of Everett staff for pulling this complicated transaction together.”

Construction is set to start later this year at 1300 W. Marine View Drive, where 266 units ranging from studios to three-bedroom homes will be built. Anticipated completion is 2020.

“We’re thrilled to acquire this prime development site within Everett’s Waterfront Place redevelopment,” said SeaLevel Properties Director John Shaw. “We anticipate strong demand for these homes and look forward to setting a high bar for residential design in Fisherman’s Harbor and Waterfront Place.”

San Pedro Bay CAAP Update Meeting

By Karen Robes Meeks

The public can get the latest details on how the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) 2017 Update is progressing at a stakeholder advisory meeting on June 26.

The meeting will run from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Los Angeles Harbor Hotel, located at 601 S. Palos Verdes St. in San Pedro, California.

Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach staff members are expected to talk about what parts of the plan will be executed first, the Clean Truck Program, the latest on technology demonstrations and when feasibility assessments will occur.

The public is encouraged to weigh in on any issues in implementing the plan.

Approved in 2006, CAAP is the ports’ blueprint for reaching zero emissions in port operations. There have been dramatic drops in emissions in the San Pedro Bay since the plan’s inception, including an 87 percent decrease in diesel particulate matter, 56 percent drop in nitrogen oxides, and 97 percent decrease in sulfur oxides.

According to the ports, the 2017 Update intends to tackle greenhouse gases (GHGs), with a goal to drop GHGs 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Grays Harbor to Receive Army Corps
of Engineers Attention

By Karen Robes Meeks

As part of its 2018 Work Plan, the US Army Corps of Engineers intends to budget an additional $4.255 million toward operations and maintenance work in Grays Harbor County. Funding will be used for maintenance dredging of Grays Harbor and repairs to the Point Chehalis revetment in Westport.

This brings the total funding for operations and maintenance of Grays Harbor to $15.965 million in fiscal year 2018, according to the port.

“This additional federal funding directly supports Grays Harbor’s nationally significant marine commerce activity including the shipment of cargo at our marine terminals and commercial seafood landings at the Westport Marina that combined create thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions in local economic activity,” said Executive Director Gary Nelson. “We want to recognize and thank our federal delegation, Senator Patty Murray, Senator Maria Cantwell and Congressman Derek Kilmer, for their hard work in ensuring the funding for construction, operations and maintenance of our nation’s waterways remains a priority.”

Big May for Long Beach

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach recently posted its busiest May to date, moving 687,427 TEUs. That’s six percent more compared to 2017, according to the port’s latest tally.

Meanwhile, the port moved 361,056 TEUs of imported goods, up 7.3 percent from a year ago, and 142,412 TEUs of exports, a 19.9 percent jump from May 2017.

“E-commerce has transformed the supply chain to deliver goods rapidly and then replenish them based on consumer demand,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “Since the US economy is strong, that’s part of our record May result, which also ranks as one of our best months ever.”

So far this year, the port has handled 3.2 million TEUs, 14.6 percent more than the first five months of 2017.

“International trade continues to be a thriving part of the economy, and cargo continues to flow across our docks as we focus on delivering goods quickly, efficiently and at a good cost,” said Harbor Commission President Lou Anne Bynum. “We look forward to a robust peak season this summer and fall.” West Coast seaports are typically busier in the summer months as retailers stock up for the holidays.”

Los Angeles Capital Improvements Budgeted

By Karen Robes Meeks

Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners passed a $1.3 billion fiscal year 2018–2019 budget for the Port of Los Angeles. The budget aims to fund programs that support economic growth and security, strengthen relationships with its stakeholders and make supply chain operations more efficient and sustainable.

The budget forecasts operating revenues of $509.5 million, up 7.2 percent over last fiscal year due in large part to anticipated growth in cargo volumes and shipping services revenues, as well as higher returns on land rentals, according to the port.

About $91 million has been budgeted for capital improvement projects. This amount accounts for $31.6 million for terminal improvements, $13.6 million for public access and environmental projects, $10 million for rail and roadway improvements and $4.7 million for security projects.

“Our strategic priorities continue to guide all that we do at the Port, including the budgeting process,” said Marla Bleavins, port deputy executive director and chief financial officer. “This budget lays the foundation for investing in and maintaining our critical role in the nation’s transportation network and economy, as well as serving as a catalyst for job growth in the region.”

Oakland Executive Promotes Globalization

By Karen Robes Meeks

Earlier this month, Port of Oakland Executive Director Chris Lytle returned to his alma mater, Central Washington University, to speak to an audience of about 5,000 graduates about embracing globalization and rejecting “extreme protectionism.”

“Don’t disengage from the world – don’t be part of the illogical rush to draw the drapes and turn out the lights,” said Lytle, a 1979 graduate. “We see too much of it today in Britain, Italy, France… and right here in the US.”

He spoke of a potential trade war between the US and China with the introduction of tariffs that could undermine free trade, “the backbone of worldwide economic growth.”

Washington state and California would be affected by a trade war since both benefit from exporting farm products such as fruits and nuts to China.

“What’s going to happen to those commodities with higher tariffs?” Lytle said. “Prices will go up. Demand will go down. And China’s booming market for American exports will wither.”

It could also mean lost opportunities for graduates, he added.

“Free trade and the world economy are what you grew up with,” Lytle said. “They’re what you know, and they’re what’s right for a world struggling to come together… not pull apart.”