Friday, November 9, 2018

Healy Wraps Up Arctic Mission

By Karen Robes Meeks

US Coast Guard Cutter Healy crewmembers recently finished their second mission of its Arctic West Summer 2018 deployment.

About 100 of Healy’s crew and 30 scientists and engineers left Dutch Harbor, Alaska, on Sept. 14 to learn more about stratified ocean dynamics in the Arctic for the Office of Naval Research. Understanding these environmental factors may help better predict ice coverage in the region.

The Healy, a 420-foot icebreaker homebased in Seattle, Washington, was made for these kinds of missions.

“The Healy is the only vessel we operate as a country that can get us this far into the ice,” said Dr. Craig Lee of the Applied Physics Laboratory at the University of Washington, Seattle. “If we wanted to come this far up north, we need to have an icebreaker. For the Arctic, the Healy is the only choice other than chartering a vessel from another country.”

Everett to See Federal Funds

By Karen Robes Meeks

Two major infrastructure projects that are key to the Port of Everett’s Seaport Modernization efforts received a financial boost, thanks to the Port Commission’s $5.949 million approval of the Federal Rail Rehabilitation Improvement Financing Loan with the US Department of Transportation Build America Bureau.

According to the port, the now-completed Terminal Rail Improvements Phase II and the Cargo Transit Shed Relocation Project increase the port’s on-terminal rail footprint from 9,200 lineal feet to 12,500 lineal feet and provides nearly 40,000 square feet of covered warehouse space for rail loading.

“Completing critical infrastructure upgrades like this will better position the Port and its facilities to handle the larger vessels and heavier cargoes and other opportunities on the horizon,” Port Commission President Glen Bachman.

US Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee praised the port’s work in getting the funding.

“I’ve been proud to work with the Port of Everett to secure federal investments to ensure the Port continues to meet the demands of the 21st century economy, and I’m thrilled to see the federal government bring even more resources to the table,” Murray said. “This investment will help complete vital modernization projects and support an important economic hub in Washington state.”

LA Port Police Add Defibrillators

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Los Angeles Port Police has increased its emergency capabilities by adding automated external defibrillators (AED) in all its patrol and specialty vehicles.

The addition of 50 devices augments the several dozen already in strategic locations all over the port, an initiative that started in 2012. Other locations with AEDs include the World Cruise Center Terminal, the LA Harbor Department Administration Building, the Port Pilot Station, the USS IOWA and the Maritime Law Enforcement Training Center.

“When someone has suffered a sudden cardiac arrest or is non-responsive for other reasons, quick access to a defibrillator can mean the difference between life and death,” said Port Police Chief Tom Gazsi. “Our officers now have life-changing equipment right in their vehicles, which provides an added measure of readiness to our Port community, workers and employees, as well as residents and visitors.”

Hueneme Philanthropy

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Hueneme, ILWU Local 46, Chiquita and El Lustrador Foundation are teaming up for the “Fill the Chiquita Container Challenge,” a philanthropic effort that aim to stuff a shipping container with new or gently used clothes, shoes and supplies.

The challenge benefits those helped by the El Lustrador Foundation, a nonprofit established in 2016 by author René Corado that assists the underprivileged in Guatemala. The organization also provides scholarships and education to Guatemalan youths and their families and work with US school districts to provide guidance to Latino youth in the community.

Donations may be dropped off until Dec. 15 on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the Port of Hueneme Admin Building located at 333 Ponoma Street, Port Hueneme.

For more information on the challenge contact 805-488-3677 or Visit for more details about the foundation.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Satsop Manager Honored

By Karen Robes Meeks

Satsop Business Park Manager of Business Development Alissa Shay was named to the South Sound Business Magazine’s 2018 class of 40 Under 40.

“It is an honor to be working to create more job opportunities for people in our region while helping existing port customers be successful in Grays Harbor,” Shay said. “I am proud of the work we do to help make Grays Harbor a prosperous and vibrant community.”

Shay started her career at the port in 2013 following more than five years as a city planner for the city of Hoquiam.

In her current position, Shay has helmed the recruitment of Xpress Natural Gas,’s Customer Care Call Center and Fuller Hill Development Co., who in total employ more than 350 people at the park.

“Alissa is most deserving of this honor and we are proud of all she has accomplished during her tenure,” said Port of Grays Harbor Executive Director Gary Nelson. “I am confident the port and the community will continue to benefit from her leadership and experience as her career continues to flourish.”

Bellingham to See Regular Ship Calls

By Karen Robes Meeks

Bellingham Shipping Terminal will now be welcoming cargo ships on a regular basis, thanks to a new three-year service contract between the port and Ports America.

Ports America, which began talks with the port after many of its shipping customers asked about Bellingham Shipping Terminal, will have under the new contract “exclusive stevedoring rights for certain types of steel as well as inbound international forest products, metal/aluminum ingots, modules, oversized and project cargoes,” according to the port.

“There is a great deal favoring the Bellingham Shipping Terminal,” said Ports America Director of Breakbulk and Project Cargo Bart Goedhard. “In addition to abundant berth space, warehouse and laydown space, the terminal is near major cities, has a dedicated truck corridor to I-5 and has close proximity to rail.”

This is a major turning point for the Bellingham Shipping Terminal, said Port Commission President Ken Bell.

“As the last Pacific Northwest seaport between the United States and Canada, it was only a matter of time before cargo operators recognized the Bellingham Shipping Terminal as a congestion-free alternative to the docks and terminals serving Vancouver and Seattle,” Bell said. “Increased cargo activity at the Bellingham Shipping Terminal will create jobs and stimulate economic activity throughout Whatcom County.”

Container Explosion Investigated

By Karen Robes Meeks

A combustible fuel or other compound may have caused the explosion of a sealed shipping container inside a terminal storage area at the Port of Los Angeles, according to an initial analysis by the Los Angeles Port Police Hazardous Materials Unit, Los Angeles Police Department Bomb Squad and United States Coast Guard.

Authorities continue to investigate the incident in which more than 100 people were evacuated from Evergreen Shipping terminal Tuesday.

No one was reported to be hurt from the explosion, which occurred shortly after 5:58 p.m.

The 40-foot container bound for Taiwan had been delivered earlier that day with 11 others from a recycling facility on Terminal Island.

The port said the container carried “clean scrap iron or heavy melting scrap only” and was not marked to have hazardous materials.

Port police officials plan to review procedures at the recycling facility while the Coast Guard will review its Facility Security Plan.

Coos Bay Rail Line Open for Business

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay’s subsidiary, Coos Bay Rail Line, Inc. kicked off operations this week.

The port-owned rail line launched on Nov. 1. The project came to fruition following a discussion with a third-party operator who told the port in December 2017 that it wanted to divest its relationship with the port.

To make the project a reality, the port bought $4 million worth of locomotives and other materials, as well as hire 15 new staff members to manage daily operations. More than $60 million has been spent on the line’s infrastructure.

The new rail line gives the port better commercial exposure and customer service and allows the port to leverage its resources.

“For over a century, the port has worked to further its mission to promote sustainable economic development for the region and State,” said Port CEO John Burns. “In assuming an operational role, the port is preserving a transportation option that is integral to the economic fabric of the area. We (port) seek to enhance operation of the rail line by offering an increased level of customer service, coordination, and communication for our customers while preserving critical jobs within our community.”