Friday, December 21, 2018

Olympia CEO Finalists

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Olympia Commission is expected to choose an executive director on Dec. 21. The commission will interview the finalists in executive session before announcing its decision in public session later that afternoon.

From a pool of 37 candidates, the port whittled it down to three finalists: Sam Gibboney, who served as the Executive Director of the Port of Port Townsend; Geir-Eilif Kalhagen, who was Director of Northern California and Pacific Northwest for Metro Ports in Long Beach, California; and Dan Stahl, COO of the Port of Longview.

The chosen candidate will replace Ed Galligan, who served 12 years before resigning.

Airport director Rudy Rudolph is serving as port interim executive director while the commission conducts its search for new leadership.

San Pedro Bay Ports Consider Emissions Plans

By Karen Robes Meeks

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are asking the public to weigh in on a draft assessment that looks at the feasibility of clean truck technology – a document that will help the nation’s two busiest seaports reach a key goal within their Clean Air Action Plan.

The new version of the plan, which the ports updated in 2017, calls for zero-emissions trucks by 2035 and zero-emissions cargo-handling equipment by 2030.

According to the port, the draft released Tuesday lays out the current landscape in this market, including available technology and infrastructure, economic factors and commercial readiness.

The public has until Jan. 23 to comment on the draft by emailing To view the assessment document, visit

Meanwhile, the release of a draft terminal equipment assessment is anticipated for early 2019.

San Diego Boat Launch to Reopen

By Karen Robes Meeks

The boat launch at Shelter Island is expected to reopen on Dec. 21, the Port of San Diego announced this week. The boat launch has been closed to the public since construction began to make the facility safer and easier to navigate.

The contractor will remain on site through January 2019 to complete other tasks, including beach grading and site cleanup.

Improvements made include widening the basin area where boats maneuver by 80 percent, adding length to boarding floats and installing a newer launch ramp. The project also included making improvements to the public docks and walkways, nearby parking and bringing restrooms to current ADA-standards. Visit for more information.

Vancouver, USA Approves Hotel Lease

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Vancouver USA Board of Commissioners recently agreed to a new lease with T1 Hotel LLC, allowing for a 160-room AC by Marriott Hotel to be built at Terminal 1.

This replaces the original lease inked in August 2017 between the port and Vancouver, Washington-based owner of T1 Hotel Vesta Hospitality. According to the port, it incorporates subsequent amendments and includes language on green building standards and ground stabilization necessary to construct at the waterfront.”

Work on stabilizing the ground that will support the hotel and future Renaissance Trail connection through Terminal 1 is anticipated to start next year. Meanwhile, the hotel, which will be LEED Gold certified, is expected to be ready in 2021 and is projected to employ more than 80 workers.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Million-TEU Mark for SSA Seattle

By Karen Robes Meeks

Washington State saw its first marine terminal surpass one million TEUs in a year when SSA Marine’s Terminal 18 reached the milestone earlier this month.

“To reach 1 million TEUs at a Puget Sound terminal for the first time is an enormous achievement and a testament to the value of working together under the banner of The Northwest Seaport Alliance,” said Don Meyer, Port of Tacoma commission president and co-chair of the NWSA.

The North Harbor terminal, which is on its way to 1.1 million TEUs by year’s end, credits the success to an agreement with ILWU Local 19 to launch “continuous vessel operations,” allowing breaks to be staggered so more cargo can be handled daily.

This allowed SSA to handle 5,500 containers on and off a single vessel, achieving an average of 30 crane moves hourly, a first for a terminal in the Puget Sound, according to the Northwest Seaport Alliance.

“Surpassing 1 million TEUs is a milestone and a testament to the hardworking people who come here every day and do a wonderful job,” said Eli Bohm, general manager at Terminal 18. “A saying has surfaced in recent months: ‘Teamwork makes the dream work.’ We definitely have an outstanding team that is without a doubt committed to continued success.”

To enhance efficiency, Terminal 18 also boosted its equipment needs by investing in rubber-tired gantry cranes, a move that helped draw two new services and an ocean carrier this year.

“We are proud to announce that Terminal 18 has handled over 1 million TEUs so far this year,” said Courtney Gregoire, Port of Seattle commission president and co-chair of the Northwest Seaport Alliance. “This reflects a strong partnership between The Northwest Seaport Alliance, SSA Marine and Labor that sustains hundreds of good paying jobs in our harbor.”

Bellingham Receives Broadband Grant

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Bellingham recently received a $50,000 grant from the Community Economic Revitalization Board for a Rural Broadband Feasibility Study. The research will identify which areas in the county are underserved by broadband, explore how to bring that infrastructure to those communities and what is needed to enact a broadband system countywide.

“In Whatcom County we have many rural communities who either do not have broadband access or have it but the speed is inadequate,” said Port Director of Economic Development Don Goldberg. Like water, roads, and electricity, broadband is of fundamental importance to social and economic development. Increasing capacity is essential to the economic growth of Whatcom County.

It will enable businesses in our mostly rural county to thrive and compete in an increasingly digital world. However, investment must not only be in infrastructure but in relevant content services, support, and information literacy development to address inequity and deliver broadband inclusion for all,” Goldberg added. “This grant and study are very important first steps among many in providing broadband to our rural communities.”

Local resources matched the grant funding with $30,000.

Long Beach Chairs Mayors’ Task Force

By Karen Robes Meeks

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia is the new chair of the US Conference of Mayors’ Ports and Exports Task Force.

The mayor, who announced his appointment to his constituents earlier this month, said “As Chair I will bring the Port of Long Beach experience and expertise and highlight our Clean Air Action Plan, key infrastructure projects affirming our commitment to operational excellence and other initiatives that make our port one of the best ports in the world.”

“Strengthening trade and commerce at our ports is critical to the success of our national and regional economies throughout the United States,” Garcia noted in his announcement. “The Port of Long Beach is a national leader and I am looking forward to partnering with mayors from across the country on trade and exports to create jobs and economic opportunities.”

Coos Bay Dredging to Begin

By Karen Robes Meeks

Maintenance dredging of the Charleston Marina channel and Inner Basin in the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay is expected to begin this week, according to a port announcement made earlier this month.

Dredging, which was expected to start Dec. 17 and take four to six weeks to complete, will take place mainly during day time hours and during ebb tides.

The maintenance work at the marina, which is home to more than 400 slips, will temporarily limit vessel traffic and accessibility.

For more information on accessing the Charleston Marina during that period, call 541-888-2548, or listen to CB Radio channels 13 or 16 for the latest.