Friday, September 7, 2018

Northwest Seaport Alliance Wins Logistics Management Award

By Karen Robes Meeks

Logistics Management’s 2018 Quest for Quality Awards recently ranked the Northwest Seaport Alliance second overall in the US West Coast category.

Winners were chosen by the magazine’s readers – logistics and transportation services industry specialists – who cast roughly 4,500 ballots each rating ports based on ease of doing business, value, ocean carrier network, intermodal network, and equipment and operations.

“Since the formation of The Northwest Seaport Alliance in 2015, we’re incredibly honored to be recognized each year,” said Tong Zhu, NWSA’s chief commercial officer and chief strategy officer. “As we’re committed to delivering next-level service and providing customers with solutions to the changing demands of the international supply chain, we’ll continue to explore innovative partnership opportunities to support our customers and stakeholders.”

Long Beach Port Not Yet Meeting Clean Air Goals

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach’s latest emissions inventory showed that the seaport continues to exceed its 2023 clean air goals to lower diesel particles and sulfur oxides.

The 2023 goals seek a 77 percent reduction in diesel particulates, 93 percent drop in sulfur oxides and 59 percent cut back in nitrogen oxides.

Over the last 13 years, the port has launched a series of environmental initiatives, including the Clean Trucks Program, shore power for container vessels and the Green Flag Vessel Speed Reduction Program to help reach those objectives. Current inventory shows that the port has decreased diesel particulates by 88 percent, sulfur oxides by 97 percent and nitrogen oxides by 56 percent since 2005.

The results come at the heels of significantly high cargo movement; in 2017, containers volumes were up 11 percent over the previous year.

“The Port has already made dramatic reductions in emissions, but we will not be finished or satisfied until we achieve our community health, air quality, and long-term greenhouse gas reduction goals,” said Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners President Tracy Egoscue. “We know we’ve picked the so-called low-hanging fruit. That’s why the ambitious Clean Air Action Plan update passed last year leverages new technologies and fosters the development of new equipment to reach a zero-emissions goal in the terminals by 2030 and on the roads by 2035.”

Port Executive Director Mario Cordero said the port’s efficiency in moving containers measured by tons of emissions per TEU has improved by 23 percent since 2005.

“We are moving more cargo and creating more jobs with lessened environmental impacts,” he said.

New Response Boats for Alaska Coast Guard

By Karen Robes Meeks

Five new response boats have been delivered to US Coast Guard boat stations in Alaska this summer.

The boats replacing the older models are 29-foot Response Boat-Smalls, or Response Boat-Small IIs, which are outfitted with “high-speed, easily deployable platforms needed to execute a full range of Coast Guard missions close to shore,” and able to handle a variety of missions, according to the Coast Guard.

"We are very excited about acquiring these new boats, and the improved capabilities they offer," said Chief Warrant Officer Seth Carter, Station and Small Boat Manager for the 17th District in Juneau, Alaska. "Our crews will use these new boats to provide enhanced support to the Alaskan communities they serve."

Port of Oakland Wins FEMA Grant

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Oakland has been awarded a $1.35 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Port Security Grant Program, the port said Wednesday.

The funding, which was announced last week by FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security, will go toward round-the-clock staffing of the Security Operations Center and further strengthen a security surveillance system.

This is the latest federal grant for the Port of Oakland. In the last two years, the port has received $3.17 million toward maritime security, including funding to upgrade its port truck management system to keep an even closer eye at trucks entering and departing marine terminals.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Hawaii Ports Open for Business

By Karen Robes Meeks

With Tropical Storm Lane now downgraded, Hawaii’s commercial ports have reopened, most with limited impacts, according to the US Coast Guard.

“Restoring this vital commerce has been a top priority," said Capt. Michael Long, Coast Guard Captain of the Port. “Cargo vessels and barges offshore can bring in their cargo, cargo already at the port can be processed and distributed to Hawaii. We are continuing damage assessments.”

Teams from the Department of Land and Natural Resources, the Coast Guard and maritime industry were the first to be able to assess the ports and determined that they were safe to transit.

“Opening the ports on Hawaii Island was a positive first step,” Long said. “We’re pleased we were able to speed our other assessments along and appreciate the strong relationship with our partners to restore commerce.”

Navigation Improvements Studied at Tacoma

By Karen Robes Meeks

A feasibility study focused on improving navigation to the Blair and Sitcum waterways at the Port of Tacoma will soon be launched, thanks to a cost-sharing agreement recently inked between the Northwest Seaport Alliance and the US Army Corps of Engineers.

The study will explore alternatives to better navigation, such as deepening federal channels that serve the port.

“With the signing of these documents today, we begin this project to deepen the South Harbor as part of our effort to develop what will be one of the deepest gateways in the nation,” said NWSA CEO John Wolfe. “We truly value our partnership with the Army Corps. It is vital for building a stronger trade gateway and keeping ship calls and the jobs they support in the Pacific Northwest and in the US.”

“The Port of Tacoma is a rapidly expanding major port,” USACE Seattle District Commander Col. Mark Geraldi said in a statement.

“Deepening the Blair and Sitcum waterways may result in cost and time savings, potentially lowering project operations and maintenance costs, as well as potentially allowing for the removal of draft restrictions for certain vessels,” he added. “This general investigation feasibility study will determine whether there is a federal interest in participating in modifying the existing waterways.”

Long Beach Nonprofit Grants Available

By Karen Robes Meeks

Local nonprofit organizations can now apply for Port of Long Beach’s Community Sponsorship Program grants that could help fund their activities.

According to the port, funding, which is expected to be handed out mid-November, will be awarded based on how the activities “can help the port inform the community of its critical role as an economic engine and jobs creator.”

Last spring, the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners authorized $353,850 in the form of 124 sponsorships to community groups for activities ranging from the arts and environment to historic preservation and social justice.

The port is accepting applications until 5 p.m. on September 30. Visit to apply.

New Oakland Project Engineer

By Karen Robes Meeks

Thanh Vuong is the Port of Oakland’s new principal engineer in the Maritime Project Design and Delivery Department. The department handles more than$50 million worth of seaport capital projects annually and in excess of $1 billion worth of infrastructure upkeep.

In his new role, Vuong will oversee the port’s maritime capital improvement and maintenance programs, dredging and crane-related work as well as construction, maintenance and compliance activities.

“Thanh Vuong brings strong technical skills and successful project management experience to this position,” said Port of Oakland Director of Engineering Chris Chan. “His experience working with our maritime stakeholders will be critical as we continue to develop and enhance our seaport area in the years ahead.”

Vuong arrived at the port of Oakland eight years ago and was supervising engineer. He previously worked for Caltrans and the City of Fairfield. He has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at UC Davis.