Friday, November 30, 2018

Everett Passes 2019 Budget

By Karen Robes Meeks

Earlier this month, the Port of Everett Commission passed its $102 million budget for 2019, which includes nearly $59 million in new capital projects.

The adopted spending plan, which covers close to 100 employees, includes $25.1 million in operating/non-operating expenses, $2.1 million toward cleaning up legacy pollution on port land and $6.3 million toward long-term debt.

The budget reflects the port’s commitment to enact its strategy to modernize its seaport and develop a new community with the Waterfront Place Central Development.

In 2019, the port will fund 53 capital projects including the South Terminal Wharf and Electrical Upgrade construction, the Fisherman’s Harbor construction and the Central Marina Improvements.

The work is part of the port’s long-term Strategic Initiatives, which cover more than 145 capital projects totaling $392 million, $282 million of which are considered opportunity.

Port Police Radio Boost for Catalina

By Karen Robes Meeks

A new radio transmitter has been installed at the top of a communication tower on Catalina Island by the Los Angeles Port Police to bolster communications among first responders in the event of an emergency and during routine patrols and missions.

“Port Police officers are frequently first on the scene during emergencies, such as distressed boaters or serious falls from unstable cliffs,” said Port Police Captain Daniel Cobos, whose team oversaw the research and installation of the new transmission equipment. “This improved radio transmission and interoperability among Port officers and fellow first responders is another way we are working to protect and keep the port and our community safe.”

The new equipment helps close the gap on transmission “dead zones,” according to the port. Now the signal frequency reaches as far as Sunset Beach and Redondo Beach.

Big Car Ship Calls at West Coast

By Karen Robes Meeks

Earlier this month, the Port of Vancouver USA welcomed the arrival of the Monoceros Leader, a high-capacity pure car carrier built in Japan that can carry large quantity of vehicles from source to market, according to the port. The vessel maiden voyage began in October.

Owned by Nancy Ship Holding S.A. and operated by NYK Shipmanagement Pte. Ltd., the 656-foot-long Monoceros Leader has a deadweight capacity of 19,159 metric tons and can carry up to 7,100 units. The vessel stopped at the Port of Vancouver USA to unload 2,270 Subarus to be processed before traveling to other West Coast ports and ending its journey at the Port of Hueneme.

Oakland Weighs Truck Plan

By Karen Robes Meeks

Oakland port and city officials are asking residents to consider a proposed plan to lessen the effects of trucks on local streets.

The 38-page draft West Oakland Truck Management Plan, which would be enacted quickly after adoption, seeks to lower truck traffic and parking disruptions in West Oakland – the neighborhood nearest the port. It would also make designated truck routes safer and provide truckers with preferred routes and parking restriction awareness. The complete rollout is expected to take five years.

“When the plan is implemented, the community should experience fewer trucks driving or parking in residential areas,” said City of Oakland Planner Patricia McGowan.

The plan includes new signage, pedestrian safety zones, new parking rules and more stringent parking enforcement for trucks.

“We’ve listened intently to community concerns about truck traffic in Oakland,” said Port Environmental Planner Andrea Gardner. “And the community has helped us develop a plan that will make life measurably better for our residential neighbors.”

Comments will be accepted until Jan. 4, 2019.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

FedEx Expanding at Portland

By Karen Robes Meeks

Earlier this month, the Port of Portland Commission voted to authorize the sale of 38 acres at Troutdale Reynolds Industrial Park to anchor tenant FedEx Ground, a move that is expected to create more jobs.

FedEx Ground chose to buy more land east of its 633,000-square-foot automated hub, where it handles about 30,000 packages per hour, according to the port.

“We continue to work with key customers in Troutdale to grow and transform the property into a thriving jobs center,” said Keith Leavitt, the Port of Portland’s chief commercial officer. “FedEx Ground is well positioned to keep building on that momentum.”

FedEx Ground first bought 78 acres at the redeveloped brownfield site a decade ago, then purchased 14.5 more acres in 2016 to meet its expanding business demands.

Long Beach Secures Funding

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach received a major grant that will help fund the $25 million “Pier G and J Double Track Access Project.”

The port was recently awarded $14 million from the Trade Corridor Enhancement Program, which uses Senate Bill 1 and National Highway Freight Plan funds to pay for rail corridor improvements throughout the state. The remaining funds to complete the project will come from the port.

The project seeks to make operations more efficient and less traffic congested by adding a 9,000-foot departure track for trains that cater to four of Long Beach’s terminals.

“Moving goods by rail is four times more efficient than by truck, so this project would enhance our operational excellence and environmental sustainability,” said Port Executive Director Mario Cordero.

The project has the potential to move as many as 157,000 TEUs by on-dock rail annually while curbing as many as 615 truck trips a day, according to the port.

“The Harbor Commission welcomes the grant, which helps to modernize the Port and strengthen its ability to contribute to the regional and state economy,” said Tracy Egoscue, president of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners.

Construction is set to begin in late 2019 and be completed by mid-2021.

Electric Cargo Handling at Oakland

By Karen Robes Meeks

Impact Transportation is the latest business to bring all-electric cargo-handling equipment to the Port of Oakland.

The trucking company has purchased a $275,000 battery-powered twin-axle tractor for its yard operations, the port announced last week. The tractor can operate for 12 hours on an 80-kilowatt-hour battery.

“We’re grateful to Impact Transportation for exploring battery power,” said port Associate Environmental Planner/Scientist Catherine Mukai. “The road to zero-emissions will be a long one and we need leaders to take the first step.”

Impact Transportation was able to buy the new tractor in part with a $175,000 state grant.

“We love it so far,” said Impact Transportation President Ron Cancilla. “Considering the grant and the cost to buy and maintain a diesel truck, this seemed to be a no-brainer.”

New HR Director at Seattle

By Karen Robes Meeks

Katie Gerard is the new senior director of human resources for the Port of Seattle.

Gerard, who comes to the port from Thurston County, Wash., where she was head of human resources, has more than 20 years of experience in human resources, said Port Executive Director Stephen P. Metruck.

“Her extensive background includes implementing innovative change across four different areas within the State of Washington, including State Parks and Recreation, Personnel, Office of Financial Management, and Department of Revenue. She was the Human Resources (HR) Director in two agencies, and Planning and Strategy Section Chief in another, providing further experience that uniquely qualifies her for this role at the port,” he said. Gerard’s hiring takes effect on Nov. 30.