Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Seattle Breaks Ground on Terminal 5

By Karen Robes Meeks

Seattle and Tacoma port officials recently joined ILWU Local 19 president and the head of local terminal operator SSA Terminals in breaking ground on Terminal 5, a modernization project that will allow the facility to handle larger cargo ships carrying up to 18,000 TEUs.

Ships carrying 14,000 TEUs already visit the North and South harbors regularly.

Activity at Terminal 5 means an estimated 6,600 new direct jobs and over $2 billion in business activity. Port officials approved $340 million in construction funds, while SSA Terminals invested up to $160 million toward the project.

“Four years ago this August, our two ports announced the joining of our operations in order to better compete on a global scale,” said Clare Petrich, Port of Tacoma commission president and co-chair of The Northwest Seaport Alliance. “Today is proof that we made the right decision as our efforts here at Terminal 5 provide us new opportunities for cooperation and the creation of family-wage jobs.”

Set to open in two phases, the 185-acre terminal is expected to receive international container cargo at one berth in the spring of 2021 while the other will open in 2023.

Busiest June for Port of LA

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles saw its busiest June in history when it handled 764,777 TEUs last month. Imports were up 3.5 percent to 396,307 TEUs, while exports were down 5.6 percent to 139,318 TEUs, compared to the same period last year. Meanwhile, empty containers, which are sent overseas to be refilled with goods, jumped 19 percent to 229,153 units.

June caps off the port’s 2018-2019 fiscal year, which saw the port move nearly 9.7 TEUs, a 5.7 percent increase from the previous year.

“Completing the busiest 12-month period in the port’s history makes me proud of our extraordinary capabilities and grateful to all our stakeholders,” said port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “With container exchange per vessel at record levels, we will continue to enhance and optimize our port complex in the coming months. Creating a universal truck reservation system, moving chassis off terminals and further refining the Port Optimizer are top priorities.”

Long Beach Cargo Volumes Down

By Karen Robes Meeks

Tariffs continue to dampen cargo movement at the Port of Long Beach, which moved 677,167 TEUs last month, 10 percent fewer containers than it did in 2018, according to the newest port statistics.

Imports in June fell 13.7 percent to 331,617 TEUs, while exports dipped 1 percent to 133,833 TEUs. Empty containers were also down 9.1 percent to 211,718 TEUs.

Escalating tariffs brought on by the trade dispute between the US and China prompted retailers to quickly ship goods in 2018 before tariffs took effect, according to Port Executive Director Mario Cordero.

“For 2019, it seems that the cargo is all here and warehouses are filled,” he said. “That’s disrupting container movement and the growth we would normally see this time of year.”

Redwood City Breaks Records

By Karen Robes Meeks

For the second straight year, the Port of Redwood City broke cargo records.

The port handled 2.65M metric tons of cargo, an increase of 14.7 percent when compared to fiscal year 2017-18.

“The port’s growth in cargo and revenue for the fiscal year is a result of our tenants, strategic partners, and the port team in driving our phenomenal success,” said Port Executive Director Kristine A. Zortman. “The port is a proud community entrepreneurial enterprise and we look forward to continuing to strengthen collaborations with our local, regional and federal partners.”

The port also saw a 20 percent jump in cargo vessel calls year over year, a performance that resulted in $9.3 million in revenue, almost $700,000 more than last year.

“Following a record-breaking fiscal year 2017-18, these results reinforce the port’s significance supporting economic growth in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area,” said Lorianna Kastrop, port Commission chair. “Strong maritime trade and cargo supports the activation of recreational waterfront uses, helps maintain city services, and increases emergency response resilience.”

Friday, July 12, 2019

Oakland Exec Retires

By Karen Robes Meeks

After 53 years in trade and transportation, Port of Oakland Executive Director Chris Lytle, 73, will retire on July 19, the port announced Wednesday.

Lytle, who will stay on as a port consultant until the end of the year, has led the port of Oakland since July 2013. Before that, he ran the Port of Long Beach. In the private sector, Lytle has been an executive with P&O Ports, APM Terminals, Sea-Land Service and CMA CGM.

“Chris Lytle is one of the best-known and most respected executives in the industry and it has been our good fortune to have him as our leader,” said Board of Port Commissioners President Ces Butner. “Our priority now is finding an able successor.” Butner said Lytle would help in the search for his replacement and facilitate meetings with customers and Port Attorney Danny Wan, who will serve as the acting interim executive director. Lytle will also be asked to meet overseas with key clients as part of the leadership transition.

During his six years with Oakland, Lytle has been credited for leading the port through a time of tremendous growth, which has included record cargo volumes, turning the former Oakland Army Base land into the Seaport Logistics Complex and developing Cool Port Oakland, the new refrigerated cargo facility.

San Diego Partners with ecoSPEARS

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of San Diego is partnering with startup cleantech solutions firm ecoSPEARS Inc., on a two-year pilot project to test its remediation technology as part of its Blue Economy Incubator program.

The company, which is exclusive licensee of the NASA-patented SPEARS technology, is developing “a cost-effective and eco-friendly cleanup solution to extract and destroy toxic contaminants from sediment, soil and groundwater,” according to the port.

The spiky-shaped SPEARS (Sorbent Polymer Extraction and Remediation System) get filled with a special eco-friendly cleaning solution before they are dropped into contaminated areas and soak up the pollution like sponges.

“ecoSPEARS is a great fit for our Blue Economy Incubator and aligns well with the port’s vision to support commerce, community and the environment,” said Chairman of the Board of Port Commissioners Garry Bonelli. “We look forward to seeing what SPEARS can do and how this technology can make a difference in San Diego Bay.”

As part of the program, SPEARS will be deployed at three locations in San Diego Bay to see how much PCB mass can be collected over a specific time period. The company will also demonstrate its Additive Desorption System for sampled dredged dewatered sediments collected during the pilot project in San Diego Bay.

The ecoSPEARS pilot is the seventh project approved under the port’s Blue Economy Incubator.

Bellingham Thoroughfare Reopens

By Karen Robes Meeks

For the first time in more than a century, the public can drive through Bellingham's downtown waterfront, the Port of Bellingham announced Tuesday.

Newly open Laurel Street connects to Cornwall Avenue, while Granary Avenue links to Roeder Avenue just south of the Granary Building and connects residents to Waypoint Park, a new public park along the Whatcom Waterway.

The access has been created, thanks to a port project that includes new public and franchise utilities, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, parking, landscaping and street lighting. The work also paves the way for a mixed-use development along the waterfront. The port expects to start construction of new mountain bike trails through the downtown waterfront featuring a singletrack sidewalk and a pump track.

New USCG D13 Command

By Karen Robes Meeks

Rear Adm. Anthony J. Vogt is the new Commander of the Coast Guard 13th District, taking over for Rear Adm. David G. Throop in a change-of-command ceremony last Tuesday at Coast Guard Base Seattle.

Throop will go on to serve as Deputy Commander Pacific Area in Alameda, Calif.

Vogt comes into the role after serving as Coast Guard Assistant Commandant for Response Policy at Coast Guard Headquarters. In that capacity, he was responsible for developing the strategic response doctrine and policy guidance for all Coast Guard forces.

“These policies encompassed seven of the eleven operational maritime missions in the areas of law enforcement, search and rescue, maritime security, counterterrorism and defense operations, oil spill response, incident management, and contingency exercise programs,” according to the Coast Guard.

Vogt will oversee operations in the Pacific Northwest encompassing over 4,400 miles of coastline, 600 miles of inland waterways and a 125 nautical mile international border with Canada.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Largest Wind Shipment for Vancouver USA

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Vancouver USA recently handled its biggest single shipment of wind turbine blades, beating a prior record of 156 blades.

Thanks to a partnership between blade manufacturer Vestas and project owner PacifiCorp, the port received 198 special repowering blades, which were unloaded, moved to the laydown space at Terminal 5 and eventually trucked to their destination in Dayton, Wash.

The blades will enable a 35 percent increase in production at PacifiCorp’s Marengo Wind Project.

“We’re excited to bring this upgrade to the Marengo Wind Project near Dayton, a town that’s helping to grow clean, renewable energy right here in our region,” said Tim Hemstreet, managing director for Renewable Energy at PacifiCorp. “By using the latest technology to repower these existing wind turbines, we’re able to deliver to our customers a boost of clean, wind energy while keeping energy costs low.”

Larger Ships and Volumes at Oakland

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Oakland is handling bigger vessels with never-seen-before container volumes, a result stemming from shipping lines merging more cargo on larger ships, according to the port.

The port is seeing volumes up by 5.5 percent compared to last year. It is handling an average load of 1,767 TEUs per vessel, the highest container move count in its history, which is 9 percent more than last year and 50 percent greater than 10 years ago.

Some vessels are moving as many as 2,500 containers when they are in Oakland, challenging terminals to operate at a highly productive rate.

“Ships still depart within 24 hours of arrival and harbor truckers are usually getting in and out with their container loads in less than 80 minutes,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “It’s a tribute to the marine terminal operators who’ve stepped up to meet our cargo demand.”

New Charleston, Oregon Harbormaster

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay announced that Brandon Collura is the new harbormaster overseeing the Charleston Marina Complex.

Collura was director of a marina in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for the last seven years. In his new role, he will be managing a staff of 18 in the security and maintenance departments at the marina and overseeing operations and projects at the marina, RV park, shipyard and ice plant in addition to handling commercial lease agreements.

The Charleston Marina Complex is the third largest fishing hub in Oregon with more than 400 moorage slips for recreational and commercial vessels, a six-lane launch ramp, various restaurants and businesses, over 100 full-service RV camping sites, and a robust shipyard.

“I’m looking forward to my new role at the Port of Coos Bay, and excited for the opportunity to make a positive impact in the Charleston community,” said Collura.

The port will host a meet and greet from 11 a.m. to noon on July 17 at the Charleston RV park meeting room.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Oakland Sees Hybrid Crane Gains

By Karen Robes Meeks

SSA’s Oakland International Container Terminal anticipates a 96 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emission from its $6 million conversion to hybrid yard cranes, the Port of Oakland said Tuesday.

“This is way better than we thought it would be,” said Ken Larson, crane manager for Seattle-based SSA Terminals. “So far, this is a very successful project.”

The marine terminal, which moves 61 percent of cargo coming through Oakland, is converting 13 rubber-tired gantry cranes from diesel to battery-powered hybrid engines. Since March, three of the 90-foot-tall cranes have been upgraded and are now back in service, resulting in a big drop in the use of fuel. The others will be retrofitted by next June.

“The old engines burned 10 to 12 gallons of diesel an hour; the new ones… about a half-gallon per hour,” explained Larson. “That’s the nuts and bolts of air emission savings right there and we’re astonished by the results.”

Vancouver USA Produces 10th Sustainability Report

By Karen Robes Meeks

For 10 straight years, the Port of Vancouver USA touted its commitment to sustainability with a 2018 Sustainability Report.

The report reviews the port’s We Can! Sustainability Task Force, which sets objectives that align with the port’s Strategic Plan. Goals include nurturing positive, productive partnerships with stakeholders and raising awareness about preventing pollution.

“We’re proud to see this program continue to grow over the last 10 years,” said Environmental Program Manager Mary Mattix. “The program gives employees the opportunity to think critically and creatively about sustainability and how the port can continue to be a leader in environmental stewardship, social equity and economic viability.”

Long Beach Acclaim

By Karen Robes Meeks

Shipping trade publication Asia Cargo News recently announced that the Port of Long Beach had been named the “Best West Coast Seaport” in North America at the 33rd annual Asian Freight, Logistics and Supply Chain Awards in Hong Kong.

The port has garnered “Best Green Seaport” last year from Asia Cargo News, which annually celebrates industry leaders for “service quality, innovation, customer-relationship management and reliability.” Supply chain professionals and others judge the nominees.

“We’ve invested $4 billion in modernization projects over the last 10 years, in a program designed to provide our supply chain partners with the services and facilities they need to move their goods rapidly and efficiently,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Tracy Egoscue. “It’s great to see customers satisfied, and we would like to thank Asia Cargo News for the award.”

LA Trade Development Manager Lauded

By Karen Robes Meeks

The International Visitors Council of Los Angeles recently named Port of Los Angeles Trade Development Manager Norman Arikawa the 2019 Outstanding Citizen Diplomat, an honor that reflects his more than 40 years of work at the port building trade relations.

“Norman exemplifies outstanding citizen diplomacy through the meetings he has arranged over the years between IVCLA’s international influencers and his colleagues at the Port, sharing information and ideas on issues such as trade policy, security, safety and environmental issues," said Janet Elliott, President of IVCLA. “He has consistently shared his expertise by volunteering with many community organizations and committees such as the World Trade Week Committee and Sister Cities of Los Angeles, particularly the LA/Nagoya Sister Cities Affiliation.”

Arikawa co-chaired the LA Area Chamber of Commerce Global Initiatives Committee and serves as a Chamber’s World Trade committee member and a board member of the Los Angeles Regional Export Council. He was also advisor to the Brazil California Chamber of Commerce and is an Advisory Board member of the US-Africa Opportunity Network.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Oakland Budget Announced

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Oakland’s governing board recently passed a $513.6 million spending plan for fiscal year 2020.

The budget, which went into effect July 1, projects $398 million in revenue, a 1.2 percent increase from FY 2019, as well as a 10.4 percent increase in operating costs, mostly due to higher personnel, maritime maintenance and dredging and aviation security costs.

The new budget also encompasses $42.3 million in capital spending at the seaport, Oakland International Airport and Jack London Square. Pending approval from the board, the port is anticipated to launch another $81.4 million in capital projects during the year.

Long Beach Celebrates Green Flag Program

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach recently feted over 135 shipping lines for voluntarily taking part in the port’s Green Flag Incentive Program.

The program, which launched in 2005, honored ocean carriers who reduced speeds to lower than 12 knots as they approach within 20 or 40 nautical miles of the port.

The act of slowing down vessels has resulted in the prevention of 45,000 tons of greenhouse gases and 1,000 tons of air pollution in general annually.

“Our shipping line partners play an important role in our efforts to improve air quality at the Port and our surrounding communities,” said Tracy Egoscue, President of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners. “We’ve made dramatic reductions in air pollution emissions thanks to the industry and its enthusiastic cooperation.”

Lunch With Camas-Washougal Chief Executive

By Karen Robes Meeks

Port of Camas-Washougal Chief Executive Officer David Ripp and the port's lead waterfront developer, RKm Development, will be the featured guest speakers at the 9th Annual “Lunch with Dave” event on July 10.

The hour-long lunch will include a Q and A with RKm Development about the Waterfront at Parkers Landing development.

“The port’s mission to bring jobs, infrastructure and recreational opportunities to East Clark County is a commitment I take to heart,” said David Ripp, Chief Executive Officer. “When the community comes together to share ideas and information, it is a win for everyone.”

The event will take place at noon in the Port Meeting Room at 24 South A Street, Washougal, WA 98671.

Space is limited. Please RSVP to Yvette Winden at 360-835-8098 or at yvette@portcw.com

Seattle Port Police Chief to Head State Association

By Karen Robes Meeks

Port of Seattle Police Chief Rod Covey has been elected as the new Chief At-Large of the board of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs.

Founded in 1963, the association has over 900 members, including 39 elected county sheriffs, and 240 police chiefs, the Washington State Patrol, the Washington Department of Corrections and representatives from various federal agencies.

“Chief Covey has been involved with our statewide organization for many years, and his election as a board member reflects his great work and the respect our state’s Sheriffs and Chiefs have for him,” said WASPC executive director Steve Strachan.

Covery said it is an honor to be chosen by his peers to serve in the role.

“After over 40 years in law enforcement, I appreciate the opportunity to give back to the profession that has done so much for me,” he said. “To be able to work alongside these exceptional police leaders is truly a privilege.”

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Grays Harbor Considers Potash Facility

By Karen Robes Meeks

This month, Port of Grays Harbor commissioners authorized port Executive Director Gary Nelson to ink an Options to Lease for BHP’s proposed potash export facility at Terminal 3 in Hoquiam, Washington, a move that could bring potash business to the seaport.

Grays Harbor is one of the sites BHP is considering for a potash export facility and the Options to Lease includes certain conditions such as the completion of a State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) review and the City of Hoquiam vacating parts of Paulson Road and Airport Way.

The company still has to secure necessary permits and approvals before building and operations.

“This project is important for Hoquiam, important for the port and important for our community so we are pleased to see this essential step in the process,” Port of Grays Harbor Commission President Stan Pinnick said. “While BHP choosing Grays Harbor is not a done deal, this is an important milestone in the process and we look forward to providing support and assistance throughout the Option period to help make this project a reality. BHP’s proposed project is consistent with our vision for utilizing our deep-water shipping infrastructure and upland property to create jobs for our community.”

New AAPA President Named

By Karen Robes Meeks

Former Global CEO of Wallenius Wilhemsen Logistics Christopher J. Connor has been tapped as the new president and CEO of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), it was announced this month.

Connor will transition into the position on Sept. 23, taking over for longtime leader Kurt Nagle.

The AAPA represents 130 seaport authorities in the U.S., Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as over 200 sustaining and associate members and stakeholders.

Nagle, who has served in the role since 1995, will step down on Oct. 16.

“It’s an honor to have been selected as the next CEO of the AAPA,” said Connor. “I’ve spent over 35 years working in the ocean shipping industry and through that lens I’ve developed a deep appreciation and respect for the vitally integral role that ports play in global commerce.”

Connor arrived at WWL in 1994, taking on several commercial and operational roles leading the company as CEO in 2013. He previously worked for Crowley Maritime Corporation for seven years, and United States Lines for six years

San Diego Earns Green Certificate

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of San Diego has earned an environmental certification from Green Marine, a voluntary environmental certification program for the maritime sector.

The port, which enacted its Green Port Program in 2008, was evaluated and ranked at the top on several areas, including efforts to lower greenhouse gas and air emissions, spill prevention, leadership on environmental issues, waste management and underwater noise.

“The Port of San Diego is a champion for the environmental health of San Diego Bay and its tidelands,” said Garry Bonelli, Chairman of the Board of Port Commissioners. “To have our initiatives evaluated and verified with such outstanding results demonstrates that our environmental efforts are working. We will continue the Port’s diligence to protect the bay so that it can be enjoyed by our residents and visitors for generations to come.”

New CO for USCG Indo-Pacific Command Hawaii

By Karen Robes Meeks

Capt. Jason Lehto is the new commanding officer of the US Coast Guard Reserve Unit Indo-Pacific Command in Hawaii.

Lehto, who served as the reserve chief of staff for the Fourteenth Coast Guard District, takes over for Capt. Andrew Grenier, who will retire after nearly 30 years of military service.

Lehto’s experience includes senior reserve officer of Sector New Orleans, executive officer at Coast Guard Reserve Unit PACOM at Camp Smith, Hawaii, and senior reserve officer for Group/Air Station Port Angeles, Washington.

Before joining the Reserve force, he served as marine environmental protection branch chief at Marine Safety Office Puget Sound.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Oakland Expresses Tariff Concerns

By Karen Robes Meeks

In a letter to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Port of Oakland Executive Director Chris Lytle voiced concern over the ongoing trade war with China and that tariffs posed by both countries will harm the US economy and his customers’ access to a major export market.

“We remain concerned about the impact that tariffs will have on the health of our economy,” Lytle said. “To the extent that other countries are stepping in to provide goods that are exported by US businesses to China, the long-term potential for domestic companies to access one of the world’s largest consumer markets will be severely hindered.”

Lytle joined 600 other US business leaders is signing a second letter to President Trump, whose Administration is looking to add more tariffs against China.

Over a third of Oakland’s total trade volume comes from China, and a large number of US farm exports are especially vulnerable to Chinese tariffs.

“The Port of Oakland continues to hear from our partners in the supply chain about specific impacts to their unique sectors,” Lytle said. “It’s clear that the overall negative long-term potential impacts of these tariffs on the international movement of agricultural products, manufactured goods, household items and retail products is real.”

Lytle also asked the Trump Administration not to impose tariffs on cargo-handling equipment produced in China. Next year, Shanghai-based ZPMC is expected to deliver three new ship-to-shore cranes to the port’s largest marine terminal.

“There is not a comparable domestic producer of ship-to-shore cranes,” Mr. Lytle explained. “Tariffs could severely impede and/or prevent our marine terminal partners from making the critical infrastructure investments needed to adapt to the changing international trade landscape.”

San Diego Hotel Moves Forward

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Chula Vista Bayfront resort hotel and convention center project in the Port of San Diego moved forward last week when port commissioners agreed to issue a Coastal Development Permit and granted project approval to RIDA Chula Vista, LLC.

When completed, Gaylord Hotels will operate the Chula Vista Bayfront resort hotel and convention center. It will include up to 1,600 hotel rooms, about 400,000 square feet of convention and meeting space (including pre-function space) and retail and resort amenities including a spa, a pool with a lazy river and bike and boat rentals.

The project will also include “a public esplanade and a plaza and activity village with pedestrian promenades and bike paths, dining and snack stands, game activities, public art, and a pool with public access.”

“These are significant milestones,” said Chairman Garry Bonelli, Board of Port Commissioners. “Residents from around the region as well as visitors and conventioneers can experience our revitalized bayfront. Thousands of folks will be employed at the Chula Vista Bayfront.”

If the next steps - which include securing financing, getting building and grading permits and closing escrow - are accomplished, site preparation and public infrastructure could take place in mid-2020.

“We established many goals in the very beginning and we’re delivering,” said Port of San Diego Commissioner Ann Moore, the Board’s Chula Vista Representative. “This project will bring a world-class hotel and convention center to the Chula Vista Bayfront while also providing a vehicle to build future public parks, restore sensitive habitat, and construct public infrastructure.”

Honolulu Removes Derelicts

By Karen Robes Meeks

Three derelict vessels that may have posed a risk of sinking during a severe storm have been removed from Honolulu Harbor, according to the Hawaii Department of Transportation Harbors Division.

Earlier this month, the Kulamanu was towed from Pier 7 and to Kalaeloa Harbor, where it is being prepared for sea disposal, while fishing vessels Manaloa and Pacifica were moved from Pier 12 to a contractor.

“We have initiated steps to remove risks that could hamper the recovery of the Harbors during the hurricane season,” said Deputy Director Derek Chow, Hawaii Department of Transportation Harbors Division. “Mariners need to know the HDOT will also pursue owners to the full extent of the law to recover the expenses incurred by the State.”

Removing the three vessels cost HDOT $748,350.

New Healy Officer

By Karen Robes Meeks

Capt. Mary Ellen J. Durley is now the commanding officer of the US Coast Guard Cutter Healy, a medium icebreaker and the high-latitude research vessel that is deployed to the Arctic.

In a ceremony at Coast Guard Base Seattle, Durley takes over for Capt. Greg B. Tlapa, who will be chief of response to the Coast Guard’s 9th District in Cleveland.

Durley was previously with the Office of Navigation Systems at Coast Guard Headquarters, where she worked as a program manager responsible for aiding in navigation, vessel traffic services, navigation standards and marine planning within the US maritime transportation system, according to the Coast Guard.

As the largest ship in the US Coast Guard, Healy is 420-feet long vessel with a displacement of more than 16,000 tons and a crew of 87.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Oakland Commission Passes Emissions Plan

By Karen Robes Meeks

Improving air quality continues to be a priority for the Port of Oakland, whose commissioners earlier this week passed a plan aimed at dramatically reducing diesel and greenhouse gas emissions stemming from maritime operations at the port.

The Seaport Air Quality 2020 and Beyond Plan is a 259-page blueprint that “calls for changes in equipment, operations, fuels and infrastructure at the seaport,” including making port fleet vehicles and equipment to zero-emission, putting in electric infrastructure at terminals; and looking at cleaner fuels and other renewable sources of power, according to the port.

“The Port’s Seaport Air Quality 2020 and Beyond Plan sends a powerful message that the port will lead the way towards a post-carbon future,” said Port Executive Director Chris Lytle. “We’re always looking at pollution reduction measures that reflect new technologies, financial resources and stakeholder input.”

Visit https://www.portofoakland.com/files/PDF/Volume%20I.pdf for more.

Matson Christens Newest Ship

By Karen Robes Meeks

On Saturday, Honolulu-based Matson, Inc. and General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard celebrated the christening of Lurline, the largest combination container/roll-on, roll-off ship ever built in the US.

At 870 feet long, 114 feet wide (beam), with a deep draft of 38 feet and more than 50,000 metric tons, Lurline is the first of two new ships being constructed by NASSCO for about $500 million total and the third of four new ships to come online 2018-2020, according to Matson.

And with a top speed of 23 knots, it will also be among the company’s fastest, “ensuring on-time deliveries in Hawaii from Matson's three West Coast terminals in Seattle, Oakland and Long Beach,” according to the company.

"The great speed, capacity and environmental improvements of this new ship position us well to serve the needs of our communities in Hawaii for many years to come," said Matt Cox, Matson's chairman and chief executive officer, after the shipyard ceremony.

Cranes Arrive at Everett

By Karen Robes Meeks

A special delivery has finally arrived earlier this month at the Port of Everett.

Two container cranes made their way on a barge towed over 11 days by Foss Maritime from the Port of Los Angeles to Everett, where it was tied up at Pier 3 before being moved to South Terminal for transfer.

Last week, the cranes were rolled from barge to wharf and stored for maintenance and upgrades, according to the port.

When the $57 million South Terminal Modernization project is finished, the cranes will be placed in operation there as the key equipment for handling the next version of over-dimensional cargo, including aerospace parts for the new 777X.

Peruvian Tall Ship

By Karen Robes Meeks

From now until June 22, visitors can check out the Peruvian Tall Ship B.A.P. Unión at the Los Angeles World Cruise Terminal.

No appointment is necessary to view the 378-foot, four-mast sailing school Peruvian Navy ship, which has about 250 Peruvian Navy officers and trainees on board.

Commissioned in 2016, B.A.P. Unión is the second biggest training tall ship in the world.

This is the first time it has visited the Port of Los Angeles, a visit made possible thanks to a partnership with the Peruvian Consulate.

The Unión will be open to the public from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. June 20-22.

Visit https://www.lawaterfront.org/events for more information.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Oakland Volumes Rise

By Karen Robes Meeks

Despite trade uncertainties, cargo volumes were up 9 percent at the Port of Oakland last month, according to the port’s latest numbers.

The port handled about 85,964 imported TEUs in May, a 4.2 percent increase from the same time last year, and 78,070 exported TEUs, an 8.4 percent jump from May 2018 numbers.

Last month marked the third consecutive month of improving import and export cargo volumes for Oakland, which at the moment appears to be bucking expectations of lowered numbers as a trade war between the U.S. and China is ongoing.

“Logic tells us that at some point, tariffs should drive down cargo volumes because they’re making international trade more expensive,” explained Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “But our customers have so far defied conventional wisdom by finding new markets for their products.”

Aiding the port’s numbers are exporters looking to China’s neighbors - Vietnam, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan, while importers are seeking markets to buy goods previously sourced in China, according to the port.

Matson Dividends Up

By Karen Robes Meeks

Honolulu-based Matson Inc.’s board of directors recently announced a third quarter dividend of $0.22 per common share, a 4.8 percent increase from the previous quarter's dividend.

Shareholders on record as of Aug. 1 are expected to be paid on Sept. 5.

"We are pleased to announce the seventh consecutive annual increase to Matson's quarterly dividend, underscoring our Board's confidence in our long-term free cash flow growth as well as our commitment to rewarding shareholders through dividends," said Matson's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Matt Cox.

"Over the course of the Hawaii fleet renewal program we have prudently managed our debt leverage and maintained strong operating and cash flow results,” he continued. “As we near the end of the renewal program, our focus remains squarely on preserving our low-cost balance sheet by de-levering, allocating capital judiciously to organic growth projects and strategic acquisitions that meet our returns objectives, as well as returning capital to shareholders."

AAPA Workforce Development

By Karen Robes Meeks

The American Association of Port Authorities will co-host its first Workforce Development Summit on June 25-27 in Long Beach.

The association will partner with the Port of Long Beach, Long Beach City College and TransPORTS, the US Department of Labor-endorsed industry intermediary aimed at growing registered apprenticeship in ports and the multi-modal transportation, distribution logistics industry across the US.

“Our industry faces increasing challenges in filling port-related jobs that require highly skilled or specialized technical training,” said Mary Beth Long, AAPA’s vice president of external affairs. “The pool of viable candidates to fill these jobs is diminishing as other industry sectors, such as technology and manufacturing, are competing for applicants from the same job pool.”

LA/LB to Offer Clean Air Update

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will update the public on the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan 2017 Update’s progress on June 25 in Wilmington.

It is the second of four meetings to discuss the CAAP 2017 Update, the latest version of the twin ports’ original 2006 blueprint for addressing the environmental impact of maritime business operations.

The update calls for a number of ambitious emissions-curbing measures, including a goal to lower greenhouse gases “40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.”

The meeting is set from 10 a.m. to noon on June 25 at Banning’s Landing Community Center, 100 E. Water St., Wilmington, CA 90744.

Visit cleanairactionplan.org for more.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Coos Bay Rail Bridge Repairs Complete

By Karen Robes Meeks

Repair and rehabilitation work on 37 timber bridge structures along the Coos Bay Rail Line has been completed by Scott Partney Construction, it was announced Tuesday by the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay, which owns and operates the rail line.

The Port’s contracted bridge engineering firm, Stantec Inc. will conduct the final inspection of the $2.3 million project, which calls for finding and replacing timber bridge bent caps, installing ballast at timber bridge approaches and surfacing and tamping of track at timber bridges, according to the port. Funding came from an Oregon Lottery-backed bond grant awarded in 2013 to the port.

Keeping the bridge infrastructure along the rail line is vital to the region. Ten shippers use the rail line to move goods on a daily basis.

“This project is important to not only the rail line, but to the economic health of the Southwest Oregon region,” says Project Manager, Rick Adamek. “It takes a team to pull off large rehabilitation projects such as this. We thank Scott Partney Construction and Stantec for helping to ensure the continued success of CBRL.”

LA’s Busiest May

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles reported its busiest May in its port history, handling 828,662 TEUs last month, according to new numbers released Tuesday.

That’s a 7.8 percent increase from May 2018 and beats the prior record set in May 2018, when the nation’s busiest seaport moved 796,217 TEUs.

Los Angeles also handled 427,789 imported TEUs last month, 5.5 percent more than last May, while it moved 167,357 TEUs of exports, a slight dip of 0.8 percent. Meanwhile, empty containers rose 20 percent to 233,515 TEUs last month compared to May 2018.

“I’m extremely pleased with another record month of throughput and grateful to our supply chain stakeholders, terminal operators and unparalleled labor force for their performance,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “As we prepare for our traditional peak shipping season in the months ahead, we’re closely monitoring global trade tensions that have created heightened unpredictability.”

Everett Welcomes Public Input

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Everett is inviting the public to a Strategic Plan Update Open House on June 20 to find out more about its effort to form its vision for the future.

Stakeholders attending the open house can learn more about the port’s key initiatives at booths displaying the port’s past, present and future projects, including projects related to the seaport modernization, the Waterfront Place Central mixed-use development, industrial developments at Riverside Business Park, environmental cleanups and a sneak peek of the new Hotel Indigo expected to open this summer.

Port officials are also seeking feedback on potential economic development opportunities to pursue in the next 100 years. Visit www.portofeverett.com/next100 for more information.

Contact the Port of Everett at 425-259-3164 or by email at publicaffairs@portofeverett.com for more information.

Long Beach Sees Decline

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach saw cargo volumes down 16.6 percent last month to 573,623 TEUs, according to recent statistics.

Long Beach handled 290,568 TEUs in imports, a 19.5 percent drop from May 2018, and moved 120,577 TEUs in exports last month, a 15.3 percent decline. Empty containers also fell 11.7 percent to 162,479 TEUs last month.

The numbers were challenged by May 2018’s historic high and various factors affecting international trade.

“One year into the trade war, escalating tariffs have pushed retailers to order goods early, warehouses are brimming with inventory as a result, and in response, ocean carriers are managing their vessels to deal with reduced demand,” said port Executive Director Mario Cordero. “We are hopeful Washington and Beijing can resolve their differences before we see long-term changes to the supply chain that impact jobs in both nations.”

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Oakland Trucks Turn Faster

By Karen Robes Meeks

The amount of time it takes a truck driver to get in and out of the Port of Oakland is getting faster.

The port said truck turn times at its terminals averaged 62 to 72 minutes, lower than the 92 minutes experienced in January.

“It’s an encouraging sign for all of us,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “It indicates that we’re operating more efficiently for the benefit of the global supply chain.”

The port credits the faster turn times to measures the port enacted over the last three years, which include adding night shifts to relieve daytime traffic, requiring appointments before drivers can pick up boxes and completing the expansion at TraPac, which saw turn times improve by more than 20 percent since January.

Everett Salmon Habitat Restoration

By Karen Robes Meeks

Last week, the Port of Everett and the Port Gardner Bay Trustees have struck a deal that would allow for the investment and restoration of a 338 acre-salmon habitat north of Everett.

Now public for a 30-day review and memorialized under a formal Consent Decree with the US Department of Justice, the agreement achieved by the port and the trustees - which include the Tulalip Tribes, Suquamish Tribe, NOAA, U.S. Fish and Wildlife and the Washington State Department of Ecology - seeks a “comprehensive settlement for natural resources damage liability from the years of historic industry on Everett’s waterfront.”

“The Port, together with our restoration partner Wildlands, pursued an innovative and groundbreaking approach to settling natural resource damages on Port Gardner Bay in a way that provides immediate and significant environmental benefits by ensuring funding for the construction of the Port’s Blue Heron Slough Conservation Bank project,” said Erik Gerking, the port’s director of environmental programs. “The Blue Heron Slough project will benefit various threatened species, including the Chinook salmon, which is the primary food source of the Southern Resident Killer Whale (Orca).”

The settlement is a win-win for the environment and local communities, said Jim Pendowski, Toxics Cleanup Program Manager for the Washington Department of Ecology.

“Restoring and protecting 353 acres of critical tidal habitats will help salmon thrive and help the communities that rely on healthy fisheries,” he said.

Port of LA Passes Spending Plan

By Karen Robes Meeks

Harbor commissions at the Port of Los Angeles recently passed a $1.6 billion spending plan for fiscal year 2019-2020.

The port says that the spending plan aligns with priorities in its 2018-2022 Strategic Plan, with extra emphasis on sound financial management.

“Diligently pursuing the Port’s Strategic Plan objectives while maintaining financially sound management practices is our top priority for this budget,” said Marla Bleavins, deputy executive director and chief financial officer, whose team developed the proposed budget for consideration and approval by the Harbor Commission.

The budget will include $144.4 million for capital improvement projects, nearly 59 percent more than the last fiscal year.

About $64.7 million is set aside for terminal improvements, while $38 million will go to maritime services, $11.7 million to upgrades related to transportation and $8.5 million to projects related to security, according to the port.

About $21.5 million has been budgeted for LA Waterfront projects, with $20.9 million of that funded from the Public Access Investment Plan.

“While the Port of Los Angeles achieved record cargo volumes in 2018, this budget takes a purposeful and measured approach as we move into the next fiscal year,” said Harbor Commission President Jaime Lee.

June 16 Deadline for Olympia Input

By Karen Robes Meeks

June 16 is the last day for the public to take the Port of Olympia’s Vision 2050 Survey.

Results for the survey will help inform port officials of its priorities in the coming years.

Thanks in part to a community-based Task Force, the port has already garnered close to 10,000 comments, allowing the port to develop 10 core goals and 60 possible actions.

The survey’s results help will prioritize those goals and actions and form a final plan for the port commission to consider.

To take the survey, go to www.portolympia2050.org.

Those who participate will be automatically entered into a drawing for a $250 Visa Gift Card.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Everett to Acquire Kimberly-Clark Property

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Everett took a significant step in reclaiming the vacant Kimberly-Clark (K-C) mill site this week when the port commission agreed to use its eminent domain authority to acquire up to 67-acres of this deep-water property.

Commissioners said it is in the public’s best interest to obtain the land to support maritime commerce, economic development, international trade and support to the Department of Defense and other branches of the U.S. government.

“The urban deep-water Port is a key public facility that should be open to all types of commerce. This property is a prime example why the Washington State Legislature created the Port Districts Act in 1911, Port Commissioner Tom Stiger said. “The creation of this act, and the Port a few short years later was a reaction to the private domination of docks and harbors that were critical to the trade-dependent state's economy.”

According to Port Commissioner Bruce Fingarson, the site is critical to the port’s future maritime stability and community’s economic success, adding that the port is committed to working with Kimberly-Clark even through eminent domain proceedings.

The port moved forward with the action despite K-C announcing an agreement with Pacific Stevedoring and Glacier Fish Company to develop a distribution center for fish processing and corporate headquarters. The port says most of the uses are not deep-water dependent and added that it was “skeptical of the private party’s ability to put the site back into productive use in a timely fashion, as evidenced by its lack of job creation with its lease.”

“The Port has been a leader in attracting the seafood industry to Everett and Snohomish County,” Port CEO Les Reardanz said. “We believe there is a win-win in this situation. We look forward to engaging with the private parties to find the best fit for them in our community.”

New Study Shows Port Hueneme Economic Impact

By Karen Robes Meeks

A new study on Ventura County shows the Port of Hueneme as a significant economic contributor to the region.

According to the study, the port generated more jobs last year than it did four years ago, going from 13,633 jobs in 2015 to a record 15,834 jobs in 2018.

Since 2015, the port has seen its economic impact increase from $1.5 billion to $1.7 billion annually. In fiscal year 2018, cargo volumes reached 1.6 million tons, a record high for the port.

“Ventura County has been in a categorical economic slump since the Great Recession, with the county’s major industries showing a lack of job generation,” said Bruce Stenslie, president and CEO of the Economic Development Collaborative. “Offsetting those overall losses, one positive point is export trade, with the port a primary driver of jobs and growth in our local economy.”

For more on the report, visit https://www.portofhueneme.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/ExecutiveSummary_Hueneme-5-28-19.pdf

Scrubbers for Matson

By Karen Robes Meeks

Honolulu-based Matson, Inc. announced Monday that it has started installing new exhaust gas cleaning systems on six vessels deployed in its Hawaii and China-Long Beach Express services.

The installation is part of an effort to curb fleet emissions and be compliant with new International Maritime Organization regulations set to take effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

Half of the vessels will get the new equipment this year, while the other three will receive the new scrubbers in 2020.

To meet the new standards, Matson is addressing the issue in two major ways: replacing older ships with new ones that can run on new low-sulfur fuels or LNG, and using exhaust gas cleaning systems, or "scrubbers," to lower the impact of higher sulfur fuels.

"Because of unpredictability in the way fuel markets may develop over the next few years, Matson's IMO compliance strategy retains the flexibility to implement the most economical solution as conditions evolve," said John Lauer, senior vice president and chief commercial officer.

New Foss CFO

By Karen Robes Meeks

Mike Welch, the former Vice President of Finance at Esterline Technologies, has been tapped to be Foss Maritime Company’s new Chief Financial Officer, it was announced Tuesday.

“I’m really looking forward to having Mike on our team,” said John Parrott, President and CEO of Foss Maritime. “We were impressed with his work at Esterline and are excited to have him on board.”

Welch, who began his career in public accounting at a firm in Detroit before relocating to Washington in 2002, oversaw the financial performance of Esterline’s five business units, a team of almost 40 people and about $350 million in sales.

“It is important that we all focus on adding value for our customers. The finance team and myself are committed to supporting our customers, both internal and external, with high quality work and drive for continuous improvement,” Welch said. “I felt strongly that Foss shared these values and would be a great place to work. I’m excited for this opportunity.”

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

USCGC Douglas Munro Alaska Change of Command

By Karen Robes Meeks

Capt. Riley Gatewood relieved Capt. Kevin Riddle as commanding officer of the US Coast Guard Cutter Douglas Munro at a recent change of command ceremony at the Golden Anchor in Kodiak, Alaska.

Rear Adm. Nathan Moore, Pacific Area deputy commander, presided over the May 24 ceremony.

"I am truly blessed to be standing here today as the Douglas Munro's commanding officer," Gatewood said. "The harsh environment in which we sail and the high public trust that was earned by our predecessors require we always be prepared to answer the call in protecting life and property. I will be steadfast in my vigilance to maintain careful balance between mission priority and unit readiness."

Oregon DOT Seeks Bridge Approval

By Karen Robes Meeks

Oregon Department of Transportation is requesting approval of the location and plans for a new bridge to be built across the Umpqua River near Scottsburg, Oregon, from the Commander of the Thirteenth Coast Guard District.

The project calls for building a replacement bridge west of the current one. Once the new construction is erected, the old structure would be removed.

Find out more about the proposed project and submit comments by contacting the District Bridge Manager Thirteenth Coast Guard District Steven Fischer by phone at 206-220-7282, by email at steven.m.fischer3@uscg.mil and by mail at 915 Second Avenue, Suite 3510, Seattle, WA. 98174-1067.

Visit https://www.navcen.uscg.gov/D13BN for more information on the project.

Oakland Freight System Receives Funding

By Karen Robes Meeks

The California Transportation Commission has awarded the Alameda County Transportation Commission $12.45 million to implement the $30.6 million Freight Intelligent Transportation System (FITS) program at the Port of Oakland. The money comes from the California Senate Bill 1 funds.

.According to the port, the program aims to lower congestion, improve traffic flow for port truck drivers, update security systems and establish a common communication platform for first responders. It features 15 freight technology demonstration projects such as WiFi to allow truck drivers to get traffic and terminal gate updates, message signs to warn drivers of traffic delays, and a vehicle queue detection to help determine truck turn times.

“This funding will help improve the Port’s maritime operations,” said Port of Oakland Director of Maritime John Driscoll. “FITS will help reduce truck wait times and provide a safer and more secure maritime area.”

The projects are expected to be completed by late 2021, with 12 months of system testing to follow before going live in late 2022.

Lynden Chairman Receives Award

By Karen Robes Meeks

Lynden Chairman Jim Jansen has been honored by the Alaska Aviation Museum with a Lifetime Achievement Award and inducted into its Hall of Fame, which honors pilots and entrepreneurs who have made an impact on Alaska’s aviation history.

"The Alaska Aviation Museum greatly appreciates the tremendous contributions Jim Jansen has made to Alaska’s aviation, transportation and infrastructure development and welcomes him into the Hall of Fame," said Board Member and Past President Bill Odom.

Jansen, who received his pilot’s license in 1965, has been flying for more than 50 years in several aircraft, including the Stinson 108-3, Cessna 185, Beech Baron, Turbo Commander and King Air in Alaska. The creation of Lynden Air Cargo in 1995 combined his love of aviation with his vision of a multi-mode transportation company in Alaska.

Friday, May 31, 2019

USCGC Hickory Investigation

By Karen Robes Meeks

The commanding officer of Homer, Alaska-based US Coast Guard Cutter Hickory has been temporarily relieved of his command following this month’s release of an investigation into a fatal crane accident in a Coast Guard buoy yard Jan. 31.

According to the agency, the investigation found improper operation of the shoreside crane that caused the death of Chief Warrant Officer Michael Kozloski and “leadership deficiencies aboard the Cutter Hickory, which contributed to inadequate crewmember training and complacency with shoreside operations.” “Command positions overseeing Coast Guard units, such as the Cutter Hickory, are among the most important and challenging assignments in our service,” said Rear Adm. Matthew T. Bell Jr., commander of the 17th Coast Guard District. “Commanding officers are entrusted with tremendous authority and responsibility to ensure operational success, good order and discipline, and crew safety.” The temporary administrative action will be followed with a formal review from Coast Guard Headquarters.

“We are continuing to review the results of the investigation, which identified causative factors that will help us prevent future incidents,” said Vice Adm. Fagan, commander of Coast Guard Pacific Area, who convened the major incident investigation. “The Coast Guard is committed to the professional operation of our units and the safety of our members and the American public."

To view the results of the investigation, visit: https://www.dcms.uscg.mil/Our-Organization/Assistant-Commandant-for-C4IT-CG-6/The-Office-of-Information-Management-CG-61/FOIA-Library/Frequently-Requested-Records/

New Hotel Concept at San Diego

By Karen Robes Meeks

The STAY OPEN hospitality team has been selected by the Port of San Diego to develop and run a new shared, affordable hospitality pod hotel concept.

The proposed hotel would include 220 self-contained pods (33 rooms with eight to 12 pods per room). Each pod would have a single bed, storage locker, power supply, ventilation control, closeable screen for privacy and security, and free Wi-Fi.

The hotel would also include shared bathroom with shower facilities similar to a high-end fitness center, six private Ensuite rooms with private bathrooms and queen and twin beds for couples and families and rooftop space with a restaurant, bar and outdoor seating open to the public.

“STAY OPEN’s innovative ‘shared hospitality’ concept really stood out, as it is geared towards the traveler that is looking to stay in prime locations without breaking the bank or sacrificing the experience,” said Chairman Garry Bonelli, Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners. “The STAY OPEN team has a successful track record of developing and operating high quality, lower-cost overnight accommodations globally. We look forward to having them as a partner.”

Long Beach Awards Scholarships

By Karen Robes Meeks

Seventy-seven area high school and college students received scholarships totaling $100,000 from the Port of Long Beach earlier this month.

They were honored at the Port’s sixth annual “Celebrating Education” event, which took place at the Long Beach Marriott as part of World Trade Month. The event also spotlighted the port’s newest crop of 25 high school summer interns, and the 22 local teachers newly trained in engineering education in the port's externship program.

“The Harbor Commission has a longstanding belief in leveraging the port’s position as the second-busiest container seaport in the United States for positive changes in our industry and our community,” said Tracy Egoscue, president of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners. “The Academy of Global Logistics at Cabrillo High School successfully combines academics and industry-relevant training with the goal of educating our city’s students to become leaders in global trade and goods movement.”

The port also announced that it will raise the scholarship amount to $125,000 next year.

“The Port of Long Beach is committed to investing in tomorrow’s future industry leaders through internships and scholarships that will help support the development of a skilled workforce in international trade and goods movement,” said Mario Cordero, executive director of the Port of Long Beach. “As the industry continues to grow, education outreach and workforce development programs have become a larger priority for the Port of Long Beach and the entire goods movement industry.”

Seasonal USCG Rogue River SAR Opens

By Karen Robes Meeks

On May 25, 2019, the US Coast Guard opened its seasonal search and rescue detachment on the Rogue River in Gold Beach, Oregon, with Coast Guard Station Chetco River providing a 29-foot response boat.

However, Station Chetco River has to delay providing a 47-foot motor lifeboat because of shallower water depth in the Rogue River, which experienced significant shoaling last winter. The channel will need to be dredged before the lifeboat can be used. The US Army Corps of Engineers is expected to dredge it in July.

In the meantime, the Coast Guard Sector North Bend Command Center will regularly inform the boating public in the immediate Rogue River area of any limited Coast Guard response capability.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Coast Guards Cooperate

By Karen Robes Meeks

US and Canadian Coast Guard members teamed up earlier this month to conduct an oil spill response drill in the Strait of Juan de Fuca in British Columbia, Canada and the United States.

The drill was done in partnership with the Washington Department of Ecology and the BC Ministry of Environment. The goal was to “test the activation process for the Canada-United States Joint Marine Pollution Contingency Plan, Pacific Annex, and to test moving response assets and personnel across the US/Canadian border,” according to the US Coast Guard.

“These types of joint exercises are a great way to test our preparedness to respond, build partnerships, test bilateral communications and improve our contingency plans,” said Lt. Cmdr. Patrick Marshall, the Marine Environmental Response Branch Chief for the Coast Guard’s 13th District.

Redwood City Flex Time

By Karen Robes Meeks

Starting June 7, the Port of Redwood City will be closed on alternating Fridays as part of a pilot program to help “ease employee commute time, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and provide one additional hour of business administration to the public Monday through Thursday,” according to the port.

As of May 28, the new administrative office hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Friday, and closed every other Friday. The change is prompted in part by the Bay area’s high cost of housing in which many endure long commutes to get to work or to conduct business at the port.

Meanwhile, port operations and public safety services continue 24 hours a day.

Visit https://www.redwoodcityport.com/alternativeworkschedule for the new schedule.

Harrison to Command USCGC Kimball

By Karen Robes Meeks

Capt. Holly Harrison took command of the US Coast Guard Cutter Kimball earlier this month.

Harrison, who served as executive assistant to the director of the Coast Guard Investigative Service, is taking over from Capt. David Ramassini.

Her Coast Guard career began as a deck watch officer aboard USCGC Storis in Kodiak, Alaska. In the Coast Guard 14th District in Hilo, she was executive officer of USCGC Kiska.

She then headed east to other afloat assignments, including commanding officer of USCGC Aquidneck in North Carolina and later in Bahrain, executive officer of USCGC Legare and USCGC Northland both in Portsmouth, Virginia.

In 2003, aboard Aquidneck, she and her crew supported Operation Iraqi Freedom by conducting “innumerable maritime interdiction, search and rescue, escort and combat-related operations in the Northern Arabian Gulf,” according to US Coast Guard. For her leadership, Harrison became the first female in service history to earn the Bronze Star Medal and the first woman to command a Coast Guard cutter in combat.

In 2010, Harrison was one of 13 White House Fellows chosen by the president; that year, she served as a senior advisor to the Administrator of NASA and acting Deputy Chief of Staff of NASA.

New Long Beach Finance Director

By Karen Robes Meeks

Los Angeles World Airports Deputy Executive Director and Comptroller Wei Chi has returned to the Port of Long Beach, this time as its new director of finance. The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners approved the hiring earlier this month.

Chi has a mix of private and public sector experience. He was a senior executive with BP and ARCO before becoming an assistant chief financial officer for the Long Beach port. He was a member of the executive team that led the San Pedro Bay Ports’ Clean Trucks Program financial goals.

While working for LA World Airports, Chi oversaw the implementation of an ambitious $14 billion overhaul of LAX, including the expansion of the airport’s international terminal, the modernization of three domestic terminals and several airfield improvements.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Alaska Coast Guard Promotes Safe Boating Week

By Karen Robes Meeks

This week, the US Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary throughout Alaska are promoting safe boating practices in recognition of National Safe Boating Week, a pre-Memorial Day campaign to help lower boating deaths and accidents.

"Boating safety is of paramount importance," said Paul Webb, Coast Guard 17th District search and rescue specialist. "With the ever-changing weather in Alaska the only thing that we have control over is how we prepare. Preparing for a worst-case scenario grants you a better chance of survival and allows the Coast Guard valuable time that you may not otherwise have."

Last year, the Coast Guard in Alaska saved 260 lives, helped 897 people and rescued more than $800,000 worth of property, according to the agency.

For more on Vessel Safety Checks visit: http://www.cgaux.org/vsc/ or http://www.safetyseal.net or go to www.uscgboating.org.

Port of Vancouver USA Wins Outreach Award

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Vancouver USA has earned the Washington Public Ports Association’s Community Outreach Award for its annual Lecture Series.

The award, which the port accepted earlier this month in Spokane, Wash., recognizes a port effort or project that engages the residents of the community in a positive way.

“The Lecture Series has been an incredible opportunity to reach out to, and connect with the community in a way we never have before,” said CEO Julianna Marler. “We are grateful to the many organizations and individuals that dedicated their time and expertise to make these lectures happen.”

Since launching in 2017, the series has drawn over 1,000 visitors, and included topics such as “The Mighty Columbia – Our Working River,” “Railroading 101,” and “Great Western Malting – Tradition and Innovation in Malting.”

Everett Closer to Acquiring Mill Site

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Everett moved one step closer to possibly acquiring by condemnation the 67-acre former Kimberly-Clark (K-C) mill site, which sits in the middle of an increasingly busy waterfront.

Earlier this month, port commissioners authorized a public meeting to “consider taking final action of legal proceedings, if necessary,” to obtain the former K-C mill site, which accounted for 700 direct jobs until its 2012 closure.

According to the port, the commission, which first moved to acquire the site in February 2016, has been in talks with K-C for several years as the company worked through several environmental and structural complexities of the site.

The meeting is scheduled to take place at 4 p.m. on June 4, 2019 in the Port Commission room located at 1205 Craftsman Way, Suite 200, Everett, Wash. 98201.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Hawaii Sees Largest Cruise Ship

By Karen Robes Meeks

Earlier this month, Honolulu received its largest ever cruise vessel to call in its harbor.

Royal Caribbean Cruise’s Ovation of the Seas made its first visit May 2, carrying approximately 5,000 passengers, which is “double what Honolulu Harbor typically sees from other cruise vessels visiting Honolulu,” according to the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT), which facilitated ground transportation within harbor property.

The extra-large arrival prompted HDOT to release alerts cautioning the public on traffic delays on Nimitz Highway/Ala Moana Boulevard near Pier 2 during Ovation’s short stay as passengers left and boarded the cruise vessel.

Long Beach Grants Top $400k

By Karen Robes Meeks

Earlier this month, the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners awarded 153 sponsorships totaling $419,060 to promote the arts, environment, social justice and historic preservation.

The funds went to events such as the Century Villages at Cabrillo Community Resources Fair, the Khmer Girls in Action Yellow Lounge Cultural Arts Showcase, the Long Beach Playhouse Radio Hour Fundraiser and the Long Beach Veterans Day Parade.

“With the sponsorship program, the port is honored to be in a position to help local organizations support vibrant programs and beneficial projects throughout our community,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Tracy Egoscue. “The sponsorships are just another way the port sustains our commitment to the city of Long Beach.”

The port has awarded more than $9 million in sponsorships since 2007.

Domestic Maritime Impact Celebrated at Seattle Breakfast

Washington Senator Maria Cantwell joined business and government leaders from around the region on Friday, May 17, at the Seattle Maritime Festival Breakfast, presented by the Seattle Propeller Club in collaboration with the Port of Seattle, to celebrate the importance of the domestic maritime industry, which sustains 22,500 local jobs, and announce a 34 percent growth in domestic maritime jobs created in the State of Washington.

According to the findings of a new report conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on behalf of Transportation Institute (TI), the domestic maritime industry in Washington ranks sixth among all American states for jobs and labor income relating to the Jones Act. The industry employs more than 22,500 individuals, produces $6.12 billion for the local economy, and generates more than $1.5 billion in worker income. The same study shows that the domestic maritime industry employs more than 37,590 individuals, supports $2.5 billion in worker income, and produces nearly $10 billion for the Pacific Northwest regional economy.

At the Seattle Maritime Festival Breakfast, Sen. Cantwell was presented with the “2019 Seattle Propeller Club Public Official of the Year” award in recognition for her long-standing support of the domestic maritime industry, port infrastructure, maritime commerce, and the Jones Act.

The Jones Act is not only a vital anchor for America’s national security strategy but also a pillar of economic strength and job creation for the Pacific Northwest. Specifically, this law states that the transportation of merchandise between US points is reserved for US-built, owned, and documented vessels.

Oakland Imports Up

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Oakland says its import business continues to grow despite tariff increases.

Last month, the port saw its busiest April in history, with imports jumping 7 percent when compared to the same period last year while exports rose 1.7 percent.

Although the numbers are up, there’s still cause for concern since the Trump Administration raised tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports from 10 percent to 25 percent, according to the port, which counts China its biggest trading partner.

“We entered this year with uncertainty over the trade outlook, so we’re gratified by the solid performance of import cargo,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “At the same time, all of us involved in global trade are concerned about what comes next.”

Friday, May 17, 2019

‘New’ Cranes for Everett

By Karen Robes Meeks

This week, Foss Maritime headed to the Port of Los Angeles to pick up two gantry cranes, formerly installed at the Everport Terminal, that will be used at the Port of Everett’s upgraded South Terminal.

The cranes are a key component of the $57 million modernization project, which will allow the port to accommodate the next generation of over-dimensional cargo, including aerospace parts for the new 777X.

“The completion of this upgrade will add another full-service berth at the Port to accommodate project, bulk, breakbulk, high and heavy and containerized cargoes,” said Carl Wollebek, the port’s chief operating officer. “We are excited to be able to add this additional option to our current and future customers.”

The South Terminal dock has been strengthened to support the 2,400 tons of cranes, which are expected to arrive by June 7.

“We are excited to partner with the Port of Everett on this crane transportation project,” said Foss Vice President Paul Gallagher. “Foss Maritime and the Port of Everett have a long history of working together. Marine transportation cargo projects like this allow us to use our specialized equipment and experienced people at our regional offices in Southern California and Puget Sound to safely perform this type of job. We look forward to this and to future projects with the port.”

John Lockwood Wins Maritime
Achievement Award

This morning, May 17, retired US Coast Guard Rear Admiral John Lockwood was awarded the 67th annual Puget Sound Maritime Achievement Award for his exemplary service to the Puget Sound maritime industry.

The award was presented to RADM Lockwood by RADM Steve Metruck, current Executive Director of the Port of Seattle and former Commander of US Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound, at the annual Seattle Maritime Festival Breakfast. RADM Lockwood has worked in the Seattle maritime industry for more than 17 years, following a distinguished career in the United States Coast Guard. Overall, he has more than 50 years of maritime expertise.

Lockwood has provided outstanding leadership for the region’s maritime community through his work at Vigor Shipyards and with countless local maritime organizations. He is known throughout the Puget Sound maritime community for his professionalism, dedication and commitment to the industry and its long-term health.

Lockwood, who was commissioned from Officer Candidate School in Yorktown, Virginia in June 1963, assumed command of the Thirteenth Coast Guard District in June 1993.

His awards include two Legions of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V" and two Meritorious Service Medals. Lockwood retired from the Coast Guard in 1998 and joined the private sector, as senior advisor to Vigor Shipyards, formerly Todd Pacific Shipyards.

He is also the President of Lockwood Associates, Inc., providing consulting services in shipbuilding, ship repair and conversion, government affairs, and homeland security.

Longshore Worker Killed

By Karen Robes Meeks

An International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) worker has died and another was seriously injured Wednesday in an industrial accident at a Port of Los Angeles container terminal.

The incident involving a top loader container handler happened around 7:25 a.m. at Fenix Marine Services at Pier 300, according to the port.

The injured worker was taken to Harbor UCLA Medical Center. The employees’ names have not yet been released.

“My heart goes out to the families of the victims of this tragic accident and to all the brothers and sisters of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “It’s particularly tragic that this accident occurred on the day of the ILWU’s annual ‘First Blood’ event, which honors those who have lost their lives working on the waterfront.”

Los Angeles Port Police, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, and the US Coast Guard are investigating the incident. Meanwhile, the Fenix Marine Services container terminal is currently closed.

"We are deeply saddened to report the death of an ILWU longshoreman, and the serious injury of another, following an incident that occurred at the Fenix Marine Services container terminal,” Fenix Marine Services released in a statement. “The safety and well-being of our employees is always our primary concern and an investigation is underway with local agencies to ensure a cause is identified and to prevent such incidents. Our thoughts and heartfelt condolences go out to their families, loved ones and all of our ILWU colleagues.”

"I am heartbroken to learn that we lost one of our ILWU brothers in an industrial accident at the Port of Los Angeles while another has been seriously injured,” said Los Angeles 15th District City Councilman Joe Buscaino. “Please keep their families in your prayers and respect their privacy at this time. Today is a tragic reminder of the danger that thousands of workers face every day working on our docks. My office will continue to work with the agencies investigating this accident.”

Oakland to Stay in Port Business

By Karen Robes Meeks

Port of Oakland officials assured shipping executives in a letter sent earlier this week that the port remains committed to growing its maritime business.

This comes shortly after the commission agreed to a term sheet that would allow the Oakland Athletics to move forward on plans for a 35,000-seat stadium with nearby housing at the port’s Howard Terminal.

“In partnership with you, we’ve achieved great things at the Port of Oakland,” the port said in a letter signed by President of the Board of Port Commissioners Ces Butner and Port Executive Director Chris Lytle. “The plan now is to build on our momentum.”

The terms call for the baseball team to complete an environmental impact report and secure public agency approvals within four years before board members would consider a proposed stadium.

The letter attempts to ease concerns about how a ballpark might affect maritime business. Butner and Lytle said that the term sheet already include provisions that would:

• Preserve the port’s ability to widen the Inner Harbor Turning Basin for ships on Oakland Estuary;

• Create a buffer zone between residential uses and nearby seaport activities; and

• Require that a comprehensive transportation and circulation plan be submitted to the port.

“We know that our business partners, customers, and tenants have questions about the proposed development project,” Butner and Lytle said in their letter. “We want to assure you that we understand the issues.”

Seattle’s Maritime Economy

By Karen Robes Meeks

Seattle area fishing and recreational boating industries are significant revenue and job generators, according to a new economic report released by the Port of Seattle.

Approximately $671.3 million and 7,000 direct jobs come from commercial fishing facilities on port property, while almost $729 million and more than 3,600 jobs derive from recreational boating related facilities.

“Port of Seattle properties related to fishing and recreational boating continue to thrive and anchor economic prosperity while providing over 10,000 good paying, family wage jobs in this region,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Peter Steinbrueck. “This economic impact report confirms that these industries can continue to deliver for decades to come.”

The port owns and runs three facilities that are the regional fishing industry’s core assets: Fishermen’s Terminal, the Maritime Industrial Center and Terminal 91.

These are key to the North Pacific Fisheries Fleet, which include 226 vessels that harvest pollock, Alaskan king crab, groundfish, salmon, and other high value seafoods.

“Commercial fishing continues to provide economic benefits across our region and Alaska,” said Bob Alverson, executive director of the Fishing Vessel Owners Association. “Port facilities like Fishermen’s Terminal anchor this thriving industry from here to the Bering Sea.”

In 2017, about $455 million – 44 percent of all gross earnings from the North Pacific Fisheries – came from Port of Seattle vessels that fished in Alaska.

Meanwhile, the port has four recreational marinas: Shilshole Marina, Harbor Island Marina, Salmon Bay Marina, and Bell Harbor Marina. The biggest one, Shilshole, can accommodate more than 1,400 vessels.

“Recreational boating is a proven job creator and economic driver for our region,” said Vice President and Director of Government Affairs for the Northwest Marine Trade Association Peter Schrappen. “Providing more than 3,600 jobs in our area, marinas are great for our economy as well as a great place to spend time this summer on the water.”

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Bulk for Oakland?

By Karen Robes Meeks

Could bulk shipping operations return to the Port of Oakland for the first time in two decades?

This week, port commissioners authorized talks to start with Vancouver-based Eagle Rock Aggregates on a potential 15-year lease for one berth on Outer Harbor.

According to the port, the Canadian building materials shipper is looking for a vessel berth and 20 acres of adjacent land at the Port’s Outer Harbor Terminal for sand and gravel transport and distribution to construction sites in the Bay Area.

“This is an opportunity for us to perhaps diversify our business,” said John Driscoll, the port’s Maritime Director. “We’ve built the Port of Oakland to be a global gateway for containerized cargo but a steady, divergent revenue stream could be beneficial.”

Seattle Cruise Development Moves Forward

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Seattle has whittled down the number of firms it could partner with on the development and management of a new cruise facility at the north end of Terminal 46 for the 2022 cruise season. The port recently announced the following teams:

• Cruise Industry Leaders Group, a partnership between Royal Caribbean Cruise Ltd., MSC Cruises S.A., Carnival Corporation and SSA Marine, Inc., a subsidiary of Carrix, Inc.

• Global Ports Holding Plc and Civil & Building North America, Inc.

• Ports America and Jacobs Engineering Group

“We are delighted about the prospect of partnering with each of these highly qualified teams,” said Stephanie Jones Stebbins, managing director of the Port’s Maritime Division and leader of the selection team. “Each group showed exciting and innovative ideas in how we can work together to deliver a new cruise terminal that will provide an incredible experience for passengers while benefiting the surrounding community.”

These teams have been asked to respond to the port’s Request for Proposals to be released in June.

Big Numbers for Redwood City

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Redwood City recently posted record cargo numbers, reaching 2 million metric tons in the third quarter of its current fiscal year and generating $7.1 million in revenue.

It is a 22 percent increase when compared to the same period last year, and nearly $900,000 more than the previous year’s financial performance of $6.2 million.

“Following a record-breaking year in FY 2017-18, these results reinforce the Port’s significance supporting economic growth in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area,” said Lorianna Kastrop, Port Commission chair. “We anticipate strong results to continue through the rest of the fiscal year.”

Vessel calls are also up 29.8 percent from the previous year, moving imports from nations such as Australia, Canada and Mexico, exports to Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia, India and Bangladesh.

The record showing helped the port garner a strong A- bond rating by Standard & Poor’s, which can spark continued reinvestment in the port.

AML VP Takes Board Seat at Highline College

By Karen Robes Meeks

Jake Maenpa, vice president of Alaska Marine Lines, will now serve on the advisory board for the Global Trade and Supply Chain Management Program at the Highline College in Des Moines, Wash. He takes over for Lynden Transport retiree Mike Oliver, who served as a longtime board member.

As one of the six companies donating to support the program, Lynden recently gave $5,000 toward the college's study abroad curriculum, which assists students in following the supply chain on local, national and international levels. Students will study global transportation and trade in China and other locations.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Vancouver USA Secures Funds for Terminal 1

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Vancouver USA has secured $4.7 million in the 2019 state capital budget for the next phase of redevelopment at Terminal 1, the port announced earlier this month.

The money will go toward designing and renovating Vancouver Landing, where the American Empress cruise ship docks are located, and designing and building the East Portal stormwater facility, where all the development’s runoff will be treated.

“We are extremely appreciative of the support and leadership of our legislators,” said port CEO Julianna Marler. “I especially want to recognize Senators Annette Cleveland and David Frockt, and Representative Monica Stonier for their tireless advocacy for Terminal 1 and Southwest Washington.”

“This is a project our community has continually told us they want to see built. This investment by the state of Washington leverages current public and private investments and gets Terminal 1 off to a strong start, so we can build a world-class waterfront that connects our community and brings us all together on the Columbia River.”

Busy April for Los Angeles

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles posted its busiest April in history, moving 736,466 TEUs last month, according to latest numbers released Thursday.

This represents a 4.4 percent increase over April 2018 and 3 percent more than April 2017, which previously held the record with 714,755 TEUs.

This is despite flat imports, which were at 360,745 TEUs, and a 5.6 percent drop in exports to 155,533 TEUs. Empty containers, which are shipped overseas to be replenished with goods, jumped 22.5 percent to 220,189 TEUs.

Compared to 2018, port volumes are up 4.5 percent in the first four months of the year.

“With three-plus years of record throughput, we are focused on partnering with our stakeholders to refine operations for even greater efficiencies,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “Despite heightened uncertainty in global trade, we continue to invest and prepare our infrastructure and services to provide the best value for our customers.”

Long Beach Breaks Cargo Record

By Karen Robes Meeks

A 13-year-old cargo record had been broken last month at the Port of Long Beach. The port handled 628,121 TEUs shattering the 619,512 TEUs April 2016 record. It represents an increase of 1.6 percent compared to April 2018.

Imports were up 1.8 percent to 317,883 TEUs compared to last year, while exports fell 12.7 percent to 123,804 TEUs. Empty containers jumped 13.5 percent to 186,435 TEUs.

Port Executive Director Mario Cordero said the increase in empty containers reflect the lingering effects of imported cargo being rushed in during the fourth quarter of 2018 ahead of potential tariffs.

“Ocean carriers have been busy repositioning containers back to Asia after sending so many to North America late last year,” said Cordero. “With peak season approaching, we’re expecting imports to continue to grow, but it’s clear exports are suffering under the weight of tariffs.”

Matson Reports Strong Earnings

By Karen Robes Meeks

Matson, Inc. this week reported a net income of $12.5 million, or $0.29 per diluted share, and consolidated revenue of $532.4 million in its first quarter.

"We are off to a solid start for the year with Ocean Transportation operating income coming in as expected with a number of positive and negative factors, and Logistics posting stronger-than-expected operating income,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Matt Cox. “Within Ocean Transportation, we saw continued strong demand in our China service and steady performance in SSAT, but we also faced significant weather-related issues that primarily affected our Hawaii service. In our Logistics segment, we performed exceptionally well with positive contributions across all service lines."

“As a result of the first quarter performance, we are raising our outlook for consolidated operating income in 2019,” Cox said. “In Logistics, we expect full year operating income to be moderately higher than the level achieved in 2018. For Ocean Transportation, we are maintaining our prior full year operating income outlook and expect a higher contribution from Alaska, offset by lower contributions from our China service and at SSAT, both of which are coming off exceptionally strong years.”

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Port of Oakland Ballpark

By Karen Robes Meeks

On May 13, the Port of Oakland Commissioners are expected to consider a proposal that would give the Oakland Athletics four years to meet certain criteria necessary for the building of a new ballpark at Howard Terminal.

The terms include completing a report on the potential environmental effects of such a project, securing land use approvals and real estate agreements.

The port stated that “a positive vote on the outlines of further actions does not commit the Port to the project.” Regulatory, land use and environmental impact report must be completed and approved before an agreement can be binding.

The vote does culminate yearlong talks between the port and the baseball team.

New CFO for Portland

By Karen Robes Meeks

Dionne Denson is the Port of Portland’s new Chief Financial Officer, it was announced Thursday.

Denson, who will start on June 10, will oversee the port’s accounting, finance, budget management, audit and risk.

Denson has spent the last eight years at the Georgia Department of Public Health, where she recently served as Deputy Commissioner and Chief Financial Officer managing a $600 million budget.

“We could not be more excited to have someone as impressive as Dionne join our Executive Team,” said Port Executive Director Curtis Robinhold. “Not only will she bring proven financial skills and thoughtful leadership, she has a deep commitment to promoting service and inclusion, which are critical values to us at the port.”

Lynden Businesses Recertified Green Star

By Karen Robes Meeks

Lynden Transport, Alaska West Express, Lynden International and Lynden Air Cargo have been re-certified as Green Star businesses at a recent Alaska Forum on the Environment event in Anchorage, Alaska.

Addressing the Anchorage Rotary last February, Lynden’s Green Initiative Coordinator Anna Deal talked about the Lynden companies’ environmental advancements, including how “Lynden’s common-sense approach to going green is good business and how small changes can add up to big savings for businesses and the environment.”

Established in 1990, Green Star is the only program on Pollution Prevention in Alaska. It seeks to lower or remove the volume or toxicity of materials, pollutants, or wastes at the source so that they never become waste in the first place.

Free Harbor Tours at Los Angeles

By Karen Robes Meeks

To help celebrate World Trade Week, the Port of Los Angeles is hosting its annual free harbor boat tours and STEM Funshop on May 18.

The hour-long narrated boat tours leave every half hour between 10:00 a.m. and 3 p.m. from Banning’s Landing Community Center, located at 100 E. Water St. in Wilmington, Calif., and Los Angeles Maritime Museum, located at 600 Sampson Way (Berth 84), in San Pedro, Calif.

According to the port, the educational event provides a chance to experience STEM-related Port activities demonstrated by Port of Los Angeles engineers, environmental specialists, police officers, and pilots.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Alaska West Express Wins Safe Truck Fleet Award

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Alaska Trucking Association has bestowed Alaska West Express with its 2018 Alaska Safe Truck Fleet of the Year Award, which recognizes carriers who safely operate on the highway and in the workplace.

Alaska West Express, which also garnered the honor in 2013, 2014, and 2016, earned its newest accolade for its safety performance in 2018, including accident frequency rates, compliance, safety and accountability (CSA) scores and OSHA recordable injuries, according to the company.

"This award demonstrates the dedication and hard work of our entire team of transportation professionals," says Alaska West Express President Eric Badger. "Our drivers, maintenance personnel, operators, dispatchers, supervisors, managers and administrators all share in this success. Their efforts to continually identify safety improvements in our extremely challenging conditions is the cornerstone of our program. The safety of our people, the environment and our equipment, is our most important objective each day."

Coos Bay Bridge Reopens

By Karen Robes Meeks

After being closed for a year because of structural failure, the Coos Bay Swing Span Bridge has been reopened by the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay.

In mid-April 2018, two center support columns failed, making the bridge inoperable. Finishing this major repair allows rail to relink from the North Spit to Coos Bay, a vital trade connection for the region.

With assistance from Jordan Cove LNG who provided the transload site (truck to rail), port officials were able to establish a transload facility on the North Spit, giving rail shippers south of the bridge the option to continue to use rail to transport their goods to market, the port reported.

The repairs include replacing the center structural columns and bracing and fixing the electrical mechanical system. The port took over ownership of the Coos Bay Swing Span bridge in 2010.

LA/LB Look at Handling Technology

By Karen Robes Meeks

The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles are seeking public input on a draft assessment of new cargo-handling equipment technology, which will look at the current state of technology, operational characteristics, economic considerations, infrastructure availability and commercial readiness relating to cleaner cargo-handling equipment.

This assessment is part of a larger effort to lower air pollution and meet major zero-emissions goals set by the Clean Air Action Plan.

The plan calls for terminal equipment and trucks to reach zero-emissions status by 2030 and 2035, respectively.

Submit comments by May 31 to caap@cleanairactionplan.org.

North Star Winners Announced

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Northwest Seaport Alliance named its North Star Awards winners at an April 24 breakfast event at the Museum of Flight. Prologis netted the Cargo Anchor Award, which recognizes businesses that increase cargo volume and generate economic activity for the Puget Sound.

The company garnered a nomination for the 1.3-million-square-foot Prologis Park Tacoma project and for the Prologis Georgetown Crossroads, a multi-story in-fill warehouse development.

TOTE Maritime Alaska earned the Environmental Stewardship Award for promoting sustainability and showing its commitment to the environment. The company has plans to move its Orca Class vessels to liquefied natural gas.

“These awards recognize the great work of these businesses and the entire industry to build a strong Puget Sound gateway,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Peter Steinbrueck. “The alliance is proud of our partnerships with industry to create new jobs and promote a competitive, innovative culture.”

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Port of Los Angeles Addresses Cyber Security

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles on Wednesday gathered supply chain stakeholders to discuss ways to address cyber security threats.

“In partnership with our maritime industry stakeholders, we have the opportunity to enhance the ability of the port ecosystem to see cyber threats on the horizon and improve information sharing to help manage respective, and collective, cyber risk,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. I’m proud that the port is taking the lead on the first ever cross-sector Cyber Resilience Center.”

The proposed Center would allow various companies within the port complex to share cyber threat information in an effort to defend against a cyberattack that could cripple the supply chain.

“Ports are a key part of a complex system that must address cyber risks,” said Deputy Executive Director and Chief of Public Safety and Emergency Management Tom Gazsi. “Over the past few years, we have seen how cyber incidents have impacted some ports across the world, threatening the operations of the entire maritime supply chain. That’s why we’re taking a collaborative approach to strengthen our cyber security posture.”

Seattle Adopts Sustainable Work Plan

By Karen Robes Meeks

In a newly adopted work plan for the Energy and Sustainability Committee, the Port of Seattle zeroed in on five areas for improving environmental and community health in Puget Sound and fighting climate change. Port Commissioners Fred Felleman and Ryan Calkins co-chair the committee.

The maritime specific focus mandates include:

1. Developing a Sustainable Project Framework Resolution that would help the commission look at sustainable alternatives when the design and build capital projects are being sought;

2. Creating a Waterfront Clean Energy Strategic Plan;

3. Establishing the Maritime Blue Maritime Inspiration Awards to recognize companies and organizations in Washington; and

4. Incorporating Environmental Stewardship into the New Cruise Terminal.

“This new Committee Charter continues the Commission’s priority goal to be the greenest, most energy efficient Port in North America,” said Felleman. “The Charter remains primarily focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and community impacts by improving the port’s own operational practices and partnering with other agencies, airlines, and maritime industries.”

Oakland to Address Truck Traffic

By Karen Robes Meeks

On Friday, the Port of Oakland moved forward with a five-year plan to address truck traffic when it endorsed the West Oakland Truck Management Plan.

The plan, created jointly by the city of Oakland and the port, is designed to divert big rigs from neighborhoods and limit truck parking close to neighborhoods.

“We listened closely to the West Oakland community to understand their concerns about truck traffic,” said City of Oakland Planner Patricia McGowan. “Then we collaborated with them to shape a plan that addresses those concerns.”

Ten strategies will be implemented over the next five years, including safety upgrades at key West Oakland intersections near the port; updating designated truck routes and signage; and stricter parking enforcement with a potential increase in fines.

“It is the port’s responsibility to be a good neighbor in Oakland,” said Port Environmental Planner Andrea Gardner, who helped develop the proposal. “With this plan, we’re keeping our promise to minimize the impact of containerized cargo transportation in Oakland,” she added.

Camas-Washougal Recognized for Sustainability

By Karen Robes Meeks

Earlier this month, the Port of Camas-Washougal leadership in sustainability was recognized by the Pacific Coast Congress (PCC) of Harbormasters and Port Managers, Inc. at the 45th Annual Spring Conference in Newport, Oregon.

According to the port, the PCC is dedicated to promoting the development and growth of the marina industry and membership through communication, education and professional certification.

"It is an honor and a privilege to be nominated by such an esteemed organization," stated Chief Executive Officer David Ripp. "Our goal is to provide world class scenery, wildlife habitat, and recreational opportunities for generations to come and we could not do that without the knowledgeable and caring service and attention to detail that our Harbormaster Mark Hamrick and Assistant Harbormaster Matt Cox provide."

Friday, April 26, 2019

Lynden Adds Airports

By Karen Robes Meeks

Lynden Air Cargo is widening its Alaskan reach. The company announced plans to expand its scheduled service points to include St. Mary’s and Emmonak, Alaska.

To better serve customers and support local industries in Western Alaska, Lynden will offer year-round scheduled air freight service on Tuesdays and Fridays starting April 30.The service will start and finish in Anchorage, Alaska. Along with fish and general cargo, the company will carry bypass mail to and from both areas in its commercial C-130 aircraft.

“We have traditionally served these areas with charter service to support seasonal fishing operations, but we are now proud to offer regular and reliable airfreight service all year,” says Lynden Air Cargo President Rick Zerkel. “Lynden Air Cargo has been delivering freight in Alaska for many years, and we know the challenges and terrain. We handle oversized loads and small packages alike with our scheduled service and flag stops to points in the Alaskan bush. We can arrange the right flight to get cargo delivered to practically any village or city in the state.”