Friday, December 28, 2018

Port of San Diego, Navy Partner on Blue Economy

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of San Diego’s Blue Economy effort has acquired a significant partner in the US Navy.

The port and the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division, Keyport have signed a Partnership Intermediary Agreement to help push the innovation of a Blue Economy, which seeks to balance economic growth and coastal preservation in the San Diego area.

“Our role in the arrangement with the Port of San Diego is to provide expertise, and collaborate, where possible, in developing ocean technologies that may benefit the US Navy,” said NUWC Division, Keyport Deputy Customer Advocate Jay Cavalieri. “This arrangement allows the Port of San Diego to identify possible technologies, and together we will work to develop a plan to test, evaluate and transition those technologies to the Fleet. This PIA is really a starting point for future efforts and I'm excited about the partnership because it allows Keyport to gain a different view into non-traditional companies and ideas. Our Ballast Point Facility is a perfect location to test and evaluate some of those emerging technologies.”

According to Port Chairman Rafael Castellanos, the ports leadership in the Blue Economy is well established with cargo, shipbuilding and fishing industries and now the port is leading the way into the next generation of opportunities on its dynamic waterfront.

“I am pleased that we have achieved one of the goals I set this year of coming to an agreement with the US Navy to further drive innovation in San Diego Bay,” said Castellanos.

Oakland Scrap Paper Shipments Up

By Karen Robes Meeks

Shipments of scrap paper rose three percent in the first 10 months of 2018 at the Port of Oakland, bucking a trend for US exports.

The port, which considers waste paper its biggest export by container volume, moved 110,400 TEUs of it between January and October 2018, close to 18 percent of Oakland’s total export volume. Most of it went to Asia to use for packaging material.

The statistic is impressive, considering the tariff standoff between the US and China and China’s more stringent standards on foreign scrap.

While scrap paper shipments to China, the port’s top trade partner, have been down 37 percent this year, other Asian countries have clamored for more scrap. In 2018 the demand in Taiwan was up 522 percent, while Vietnam rose 344 percent.

“We can’t be certain if this trend will last, but the figures seem to show that there’s no loss of demand globally,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “It appears that shippers are finding new markets for their scrap paper products.”

Meanwhile, scrap metal export is up 10 percent this year because demand in Taiwan, Vietnam and India has allowed Oakland to curb much of the loss experience from China, whose shipments for the product fell 43 percent.

Closures Expected for Long Beach Rail Traffic

By Karen Robes Meeks

Starting March 9, commuters should anticipate an operational closure at 9th Street near Pico Avenue in Long Beach’s west side.

The Port of Long Beach says the closure will allow for longer trains and the movement of cargo using on-dock rail rather than by trucks, a move that will mean less pollution.

The closure will also mean better traffic flow and safety, especially at Pico Avenue, Pier B Street and the on- and off-ramps to and from the 710 Freeway. Oversized trucks will be able to access the crossing with special permits and at appointed times, according to the port.

To bypass 9th Street, the port is suggesting that drivers use the 710 Freeway.

New Port of Seattle General Counsel

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Seattle has tapped Pete Ramels, a Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in the Civil Division of the King County Prosecutor’s Office, to be its General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer.

“I am honored to join the Port of Seattle as General Counsel and look forward to using my years of legal experience in government, real estate and land use to help our region prosper during this time of economic growth and opportunity,” said Ramels.

In his new role, Ramels will advise port leaders on legal matters and oversee the port’s legal team and public records office. As Chief Compliance Officer, he will be tasked with managing the port’s Workplace Responsibility office and compliance with its code of conduct.

“Our General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer is critical to maintaining trust with our community and showing employees, residents, and partners the respect that they deserve,” said Port Commission President Courtney Gregoire. “We appreciate Pete’s expertise on the key legal issues and his commitment to helping a public agency meet the highest ethical standards.”

Ramels, who earned his Juris Doctorate with Honors from the University of Washington School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Washington State University, arrives at a very crucial moment for the port.

“The port just approved a budget blueprint that commits to some of our most significant investments we’ve made in decades, particularly along our working waterfront,” said Port Executive Director Stephen P. Metruck. “Pete’s expertise in real estate, environmental, land use, and regulatory issues will help the port work effectively while being governed by the highest ethical standards.” Ramels is expected to start on Jan. 14.