Friday, June 29, 2018

Electrification Funds for Long Beach

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach recently received $8 million in state funds for a $16.8 million project aimed at creating the infrastructure needed for electric equipment that can handle cargo and to test “the world’s first heavy-duty, off-road, direct current fast-charging system in a seaport environment.”

The California Energy Commission awarded the funds that will go toward the Port Advanced Vehicle Electrification Project, which will allow Total Terminals International at Pier T to move toward zero-emission operations.

Set for completion by March 2022, the project involves building charging outlets for nearly 40 pieces of electrical terminal equipment at TTI, modifying four battery-electric yard tractors so they link to a DC fast-charging system and creating a “port wide Dynamic Energy Forecasting Tool to predict how much energy and supporting infrastructure seaports will need to support zero-emissions terminal equipment,” according to the port. Meanwhile, the demonstration is anticipated to start in early 2021.

“When finished, this project will be a cost-effective, replicable model that the Port of Long Beach and others can use to speed progress to zero emissions,” said Harbor Commission President Lou Anne Bynum. “It’s part of a wide array of approaches we are using to reduce air pollution for our community and deliver on our promise as the Green Port.”

SSA in Oakland Upgrading to Hybrid RTGs

By Karen Robes Meeks

SSA Terminals – the Port of Oakland’s largest marine terminal operator –announced it will spend more than $6 million to modernize 13 diesel-powered rubber tired gantry (RTG) cranes with diesel-electric hybrid engines; a move that could potentially curb more than 45 tons of exhaust emissions a year at the port.

Most of the funding will come from a $5.1 million Community Health Protection Grant Program/Carl Moyer Program grant that was approved earlier this month by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

“We’re delighted that SSA is taking a lead role in curbing emissions,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “And we’re grateful that their initiative has the support of the Air District.”

SSA must finalize a contract with the Air District before starting the work. According to the port, the retrofit project could take up to two years to complete.

Port of Olympia Seeks Public Input

By Karen Robes Meeks

The public is asked to weigh in on what community activities and projects the Port of Olympia should launch in the future. The port is kicking off the Port Olympia Vision 2050 project, which will involve an extensive community outreach at various summer events and frequented locations throughout Thurston County.

Stakeholders may also comment via a brief survey at

The port will use the results of Vision 2050 to pursue projects and initiatives that support the three areas on which the Port Commission is basing future investment and policy-making decisions: generating more economic opportunities, being an environmental steward, and developing and overseeing community assets.

Bellingham Books Still Balance

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Bellingham has received a clean bill of financial health from the Washington State Auditor’s Office for fiscal year budget ending December. 31, 2017. This could mean a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the port. Should the port earn the recognition, it would make it 26 straight years of receiving the certificate.

“A clean audit report is a reflection of the Port of Bellingham’s commitment towards excellence in financial reporting,” said Port Commission President Ken Bell. “The Board of Commissioners holds the stewardship of taxpayer funds in the highest regard and receives quarterly financial updates in open public meetings as part of a transparent and responsible financial management process.”

The 2017 budget showed that the port received $23.7 million in operations revenue and more than $7 million in taxes while it spent $20 million on capital assets.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Port of Los Angeles Awarding Grants for Maritime Education

By Karen Robes Meeks

Local nonprofit organizations will be receiving grants totaling one million dollars from the Port of Los Angeles’ annual Community Investment Sponsorship Program.

“Support from the Port of Los Angeles is often a catalyst to sustain or launch many of these community programs and initiatives,” said port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “We’re proud to help support these outstanding organizations and programs that make a positive impact on our San Pedro and Wilmington communities.”

The International Trade Education Programs (ITEP), which help local high school students prepare for college and career opportunities in trade-related jobs, received one of the grants.

“ITEP is extremely grateful for the port’s partnership and financial support in growing the next generation of maritime leaders,” said ITEP CEO Amy Grat. “We thank the Port of Los Angeles for helping ITEP build the talent pipeline for high-wage, high-growth jobs right here in our harbor community.”

Among those also receiving financial support are the Boys & Girls Club of Los Angeles Harbor for a Port, Ocean and Land Awareness program; SBCC-Thrive LA for a Clean Wilmington project; Port of Los Angeles High School for a maritime career technical education program, and the Avalon Arts and Cultural Center for a Wilmington Art Walk. The complete list of recipients can be found at

SSA Renews Oakland Lease

By Karen Robes Meeks

SSA Terminals and the Port of Oakland have agreed on a new lease that runs through 2027, with options to extend to 2042, the port announced earlier this month.

The deal also includes plans for a 19-acre expansion at SSA’s Oakland International Container Terminal (OICT) and the acquisition of three new ship-to-shore cranes by the terminal operator for cargo handling.

“SSA is an influential player on the waterfront worldwide and a significant presence in Oakland,” said Port Maritime Director John Driscoll. “This lease commitment demonstrates its belief in the port’s long-term prospects.”

SSA – which also runs Oakland’s Matson Terminal – is the largest marine terminal operator in Oakland, handling about 60 percent of the port’s containerized cargo.

“We see steady cargo growth for Oakland into the next decade,” said Ed DeNike, president of SSA Containers. “This new lease helps us plan for the future.”

Nike Executive Appointed to Portland Commission

By Karen Robes Meeks

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has appointed Sean O’Hollaren, vice president of government and public affairs Nike, Inc. to the nine-member Port of Portland Commission. He will take over for Commissioner Jim Carter.

Before working at Nike, O’Hollaren served as senior vice president at Honeywell International and director of Washington Affairs at Union Pacific. His also served at the White House as deputy assistant to the president and as special assistant to the president in the White House Office of Legislative Affairs.

O'Hollaren was also assistant secretary of transportation, overseeing the Office of Governmental Affairs at the US Department of Transportation during the creation of the Transportation Security Administration and its transition to the Department of Homeland Security, according to the port.

"The Port Commission serves a vital role in continuing Oregon's economic growth and building a strong, local workforce," Brown said. "Sean O'Hollaren is a respected leader whose international business experience and new role on the Commission will help ensure Oregon remains a competitive player in the global economy of the future."

Hydroponics Manufacturer Signs Lease at Vancouver USA

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Vancouver USA has inked a five-year lease with Hawthorne Hydroponics LLC for about 5.6 acres of the port’s Centennial Industrial Building and surrounding parking and loading areas located at 3300 Northwest 32nd Avenue, Vancouver, Washington, Hawthorne Hydroponics is a subsidiary of the Hawthorne Co, both of which are subsidiaries of lawn and garden products retailer ScottsMiracle-Gro.

ScottsMiracle-Gro recently acquired Sunlight Supply Inc., the first company to move into the port’s Centennial Industrial Park. Nearby Centennial Industrial Building will allow Hawthorne to merge and make its regional operations more efficient.

“Scotts has spent 150 years helping people express themselves on their piece of earth and we look forward to deepening our relationships here,” said Melanie Vodnick, manager of real estate for ScottsMiracle-Gro.

At least 50 people will be employed at the facility, making plastic containers and air filters for various industries, including indoor and urban gardening, according to the company.