Friday, August 17, 2018

Coos Bay Rail Bridge Still Down

By Karen Robes Meeks

Efforts by the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay to repair the Coos Bay Swing Span bridge back to rail service continue in earnest.

After choosing a construction firm and steel parts fabricator to finish the needed repairs to the structure and seeing that preliminary construction plans are done, the port is working with contracted engineering consultants on design plans for “a temporary shoring and jacking system…to preserve the surrounding components of the bridge during repairs,” according to the port.

The bridge, a vital link that connects Oregon products to the National Railway Network and the port, has been closed to rail traffic since April following a structural failure. It is expected to reopen this fall.

Port of Grays Harbor Acquires Graving Dock

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Grays Harbor will soon own a 55-acre property in Aberdeen–the former site of the 520 Floating Bridge Construction project – that will prove advantageous to its operations.

The port won the property – which has sat idle since the 2015 completion of the project – after submitting a $4.52 million bid at a recent auction on the former Pontoon Casting Basin at the Washington State Department of Transportation’s surplus property.

The port commission has given Executive Director Gary Nelson the authority to move forward on the contract, which requires a 15 percent down payment and spans 20 years at 8 percent.

“We are excited to add this strategic piece of property to the Port’s portfolio,” shared Commission President Jack Thompson. “There is no other piece of property on the Harbor with rail access and industrial waterfront adjacent to the port’s existing marine terminal operations. The pontoon site has long been considered by the port as a strategic piece of property to increase the community’s international trade position. By applying the port’s business model of working with private investors to develop sites we are confident the property will be back to generating economic activity for the community soon.”

Long Beach Volumes Down

By Karen Robes Meeks

Cargo volumes at the Port of Long Beach dropped 4.4 percent last month from the same period last year, according to the latest released numbers.

The port handled 688,457 TEUs last month, a decline port officials claim is caused by shifts in vessel service and the escalation of tariffs that threaten to slow trade activity.

Imports also fell 8.2 percent to 347,736 TEUs and exports were down five percent to 119,747 TEUs.

Even with the latest drop, the port is on track to record its busiest year in history, with cargo movement up 11.3 percent so far–nearly 500,000 TEUs more than the January to July 2017 numbers – for a total of 4.6 million TEUs.

New Emergency Plan for the Port of Los Angeles

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles has a new Waterside Emergency Access Plan that will allow for faster water access in case of an emergency at the port.

Oftentimes, first responders face traffic delays around the port when they must reach an emergency at the port by land.

The plan designates 11 emergency locations in the harbor for emergency boats access, including 10 locations at container and bulk terminals, and one at the World Cruise Center. The locations will have bold signage, painted bulk rails and pavement and new waterside ladders, according to the port.

The plan was established with the help of the Los Angeles Fire Department, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), Los Angeles Port Police and port terminal operators.

“Development of this plan shows what can happen when entities work collaboratively and bring their collective knowledge to the table to improve safety at the Port,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “We commend the ILWU and Los Angeles Fire Department representatives for bringing this solution to us.”

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

APMT Adds Sustainable Tractors at Los Angeles

By Karen Robes Meeks

APM Terminals Pier 400 at the Port of Los Angeles has upgraded its operations to include 16 sustainable yards tractors, thanks in part to a federal grant.

Procured by the port, the EPA’s $500,000 Diesel Emissions Reduction Act grant augments APMT’s more than $1.5 million investment in the project.

“This project is a model of sustainability,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “We applaud APMT for its foresight, creativity and willingness to invest in green growth and education.”

Also, APM Terminals gave 12 older yard tractors to three auto mechanic training programs in the Los Angeles Unified School District. “This is a great outcome on all fronts,” said Steven Trombley, managing director, APM Terminals, Los Angeles. “We’re running a cleaner terminal and doing our part to improve the air for those who live and work in the harbor area. At the same time, we’re supporting workforce training by providing students the equipment they need to prepare for high-skilled, good-paying jobs in the goods movement industry right here in Southern California.”

Long Beach to Streamline Operations with GE Software

By Karen Robes Meeks

GE Transportation and the Port of Long Beach will embark on a pilot program that will digitally streamline supply chain planning with the help of GE’s Port Optimizer™ software.

“We’re excited about the potential of this technology,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Lou Anne Bynum. “Moving goods more efficiently through this important gateway is the key to accommodating future cargo growth. The data collected during this pilot at some of our busiest terminals could help to accomplish this, and we look forward to seeing the results.”

Long Beach Container Terminal, Total Terminals International and International Transportation Service are expected to take part in the pilot program, which was initialized last year at the Port of Los Angeles.

“We welcome the opportunity to have this exciting technology demonstrated here in our port,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “We are always searching for new means toward improving operational efficiencies in the supply chain as it moves through this port complex. We look forward to observing Port Optimizer in action.”

Modern Car Carrier Calls at Vancouver USA

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Vancouver USA recently welcomed a “Next-Generation Car Carrier” cargo ship for autos and roll on/roll off cargoes to its harbor.

Representatives from Ports America, Norton Lilly International, Subaru of America, Auto Warehouse Corporation and the port were on hand to greet the M/V Orca Ace led by Capt. Yury Golovatyuk of Russia.

Constructed in Japan, the 656-foot-long Orca Ace is owned by Lunar River Line S.A. of Panama and operated by MOL Ace. According to the port, her specially designed hull shape and improved two-stroke engine will help reduce carbon emissions as she transits the globe.

The Orca Ace departed from Hitachinaka, Japan, on her maiden voyage last month and stopped at the Port of Vancouver USA to unload 2,300 Subaru vehicles before stopping at other ports and concluding her first crossing in San Diego, California.

Matson Wins Logistics Award

By Karen Robes Meeks

Voted the No. 1 Ocean Carrier in three of the last five years, Matson Navigation Co. recently won a Quest for Quality gold award given by Logistics Management magazine and Peerless Research Group.

The award is based on an annual survey on excellence in performance and customer satisfaction. In the Intermodal Marketing category, Matson scored the highest in each of the five rating criteria which include: on-time performance, value, information technology, customer service, and equipment and operations.

"The domestic transportation industry has been on a roller coaster this year, especially with dynamic volumes and difficult capacity conditions," said Rusty Rolfe, Matson Logistics president. "We are humbled to be named the top rail intermodal provider and recognized for meeting these industry challenges head-on while delivering on our customer commitments."

The awards will be presented on October 2 during the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals Annual Conference in Nashville, Tennessee.