Friday, July 20, 2018

CARB Sets Sights on Hydrogen Power

By Karen Robes Meeks

A $5.3 million grant from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) will be used to bring online hydrogen- and electric-powered cargo-handling equipment to two shipping terminals at the Port of Long Beach.

SSA Marine’s Pacific Container Terminal at Pier J will demonstrate two battery-electric cargo-moving vehicles known as “top handlers” while Long Beach Container Terminal at Pier E will test out one hydrogen fuel-cell yard tractor, one battery-electric top handler and one battery-electric yard tractor. The project will provide an opportunity for a head-to-head comparison between the hydrogen fuel cell and battery-electric systems.

“Our partnerships with the California Air Resources Board and other agencies provide crucial funding for these vital demonstration projects as we work to create a zero-emissions seaport,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director, Mario Cordero.

“The progress we’ve made in reducing pollution is a model for seaports everywhere, with diesel emissions alone down almost 90 percent since we adopted the Clean Air Action Plan in 2005,” said Harbor Commission President Lou Anne Bynum. “Still, we are not satisfied. This equipment will further contribute to a cleaner environment for our neighboring communities.”

Equipment testing is expected to begin next year.

New Oakland Commission President

By Karen Robes Meeks

Cestra ‘Ces’ Butner will be the new president of the Port of Oakland’s seven-member Board of Port Commissioners, succeeding Joan Story who will remain as commissioner.

This is Butner’s second term as president, as he previously served from July 2013 to July 2014.

“I appreciate the support of my colleagues on the Board and I’m eager to continue serving the Port,” said Butner, who first joined the board in 2012. “We’ll work with the staff to grow the Port’s business for the benefit of our community.”

Butner founded Oakland-based Horizon Beverage and has served on the boards of the East Bay YMCA and the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. He will assume his new role on July 26.

Los Angeles Volumes Down

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles handled 723,141 TEUs last month, a 1.1 percent dip compared to June 2017. Meanwhile, imports rose 2.9 percent to 382,964 TEUs and exports were up 1.4 percent to 147,563 TEUs, according to the latest numbers released Tuesday.

The port has surpassed the 9.1 million TEUs for the second consecutive fiscal year.

“We closed our fiscal year on June 30 with 9,169,779 million TEUs,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “The consistently high container throughput over the past 24 months speaks to our unmatched capabilities, and we are grateful to our terminals, labor force and supply chain partners for their efforts that made this milestone possible.

“Looking forward, a continued shuffling of alliance services in the San Pedro Bay, coupled with potential impacts from recently imposed tariffs, provide a level of uncertainty and potentially softened trade flows through our port during the second half of 2018,” Seroka noted.

Coast Guard Rescues Plane Crash Survivors

By Karen Robes Meeks

Eleven people have been rescued after surviving a floatplane crash on Mount Jumbo, on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska.

The crew of a US Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter was able to safely hoist all 11 from the side of a mountain and carry them to a staging area. Temsco Helicopters transported them to Ketchikan.

“I am proud of everyone involved in this rescue and that we were able to get all 11 people to safety in a timely manner,” said Cmdr. Michael Kahle, Coast Guard Sector Juneau search and rescue mission coordinator. “Cases like these exemplify the versatility of our aircrews and how capable they are to expertly perform rescues from the ocean or even mountainsides.”

Everyone on board the floatplane sustained minor injuries, but were in good condition, according to the Coast Guard.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Best Month Ever for Long Beach

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach posted its best month in history last June, according to numbers released Friday.

The nation’s second busiest seaport handled 752,188 TEUs, which is 14.2 percent more than June 2017 and 4.4 percent above July 2017, the port’s record-setting month. Long Beach also moved 384,095 TEUs in imports, a 14.5 percent jump from the same period last year, and 135,168 TEUs in exports, a 14.3 percent increase. Empty containers also rose 13.6 percent to 232,926 TEUs.

“We’re pleased to see cargo moving efficiently, even as record volumes continue,” said Harbor Commission President Lou Anne Bynum. “With the Port getting ready to enter the peak season and retailers replenishing their stocks for the holidays, it’s great to see these volumes and the smooth flow of goods.” So far this year, the Long Beach port has processed close to four million TEUs, which is close to 14.5 percent higher than the 2017’s pace.

The port also handled nearly 2.1 million TEUs in the second quarter, making it its busiest second quarter since 2006.

“We are on track to beat our historic pace from 2017,” said port Executive Director Mario Cordero. “The domestic and global economies are good, which is why we’re seeing all of this activity. Certainly, the escalating trade tensions have everyone in the industry concerned, but we’re going to continue to provide excellent customer service and fulfill our mission of facilitating commerce.”

Alaska Coast Guard Rescues 13-Year-Old

By Karen Robes Meeks

A 13-year-old girl was rescued last Tuesday on Kruzof Island in Alaska’s Shelikof Bay by the US Coast Guard Air Station Sitka Jayhawk helicopter crew.

The girl’s aunt and uncle notified authorities after they did not see her kayaking in Shelikof Bay. Coast Guard Sector Juneau watchstanders diverted the helicopter crew to help in the search.

The kayak was spotted on the shore and the crew found the girl on some rocks before hoisting and returning her to her family at North Beach on Kruzof Island, according to the Coast Guard.

"Even on a beautiful day the water temperature can be life threatening,” said Lt. Mick Klakring, one of the Jayhawk pilots on the case. “Thankfully this young lady was wearing a life jacket, which may have made the difference in the outcome. We are very happy we could find her and relocate her with family staying at Shelikof Bay to enjoy the Fourth of July."

According to the Coast Guard, those using paddle crafts should wear a life jacket, dress for the water temperature, take a personal locator beacon, a satellite or cell phone and file a float plan with friends and family in case of emergency.

Hueneme Earns Eighth Award

By Karen Robes Meeks

For the eighth straight year, the Port of Hueneme has earned a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting.

The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada awards its certificate to agencies whose Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) is considered outstanding.

“We are honored to accept this Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the eighth consecutive year,” said Mary Anne Rooney, Oxnard Harbor District President. “This award affirms our administration’s commitment to the highest standards of accurate and transparent reporting and continues to build community trust in the port.”

Port Deputy Executive Director and CFO Andrew Palomares credited the district staff’s hard work of readying the report for earning the recognition.

“It takes a team effort from all departments to put forth a comprehensive and complete CAFR,” he said. “This type of organization-wide effort is indicative of just how seriously the district takes the fiscal responsibility we have to the cities and communities within our boundaries. I am especially proud of the District’s Accounting Department who work all year long maintaining top-notch record keeping for the District.”

Oakland Celebrates Relationship with Japan

By Karen Robes Meeks

To acknowledge the Port of Oakland’s 30th anniversary of being a sister port with Port of Hakata, Executive Director Chris Lytle recently spoke of the importance of bolstering its business relationship with Japan and opportunities to nurture it.

“It’s extremely critical for us to have good, strong free trade partners such as Japan,” Lytle said to visitors from the Port of Hakata. “Japan is a very large and very important part of our business.”

After China, Japan is Oakland’s next biggest trade partner with roughly $2.6 billion in containerized cargo moving between the two ports in 2017 alone.

“Everything from machinery to lithium batteries for electric cars is imported to Oakland from Japan,” Lytle said. “This is very high-value cargo and we would like to see it grow.”

Opportunities to strengthen that business bond could come as quickly as next month when Cool Port Oakland, the $90 million refrigerated storage and distribution facility comes online.