Friday, September 20, 2019

Bonneville Lock Closed

By Karen Robes Meeks

Bonneville Lock remains closed to all river traffic and Bradford and Robins Islands are closed to public access while the US Army Corps of Engineers makes repairs to the navigation lock.

The Corps announced the temporary closure on Friday, September 8, after finding a mechanical issue. The lock had been drained and inspected, and repairs to the damaged concrete are underway.

More than a dozen commercial vessels are expected to be affected by the lock closure, including seven from Tidewater Barge Lines; four from Shaver Transportation; and three from American Cruise Line, according to the Coast Guard.

"We appreciate the close coordination with Portland Army Corps of Engineers staff as we work together to ensure the safe re-opening of the lock and waterway, given the area's importance to transportation and commerce," said Capt. Alan Moore, the commanding officer at Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Portland.

Located 40 miles east of Portland, the Bonneville Dam is the first of eight dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers, a major waterway for goods flowing to and from the region.

For the latest on the lock closure, go to the USACE Portland District Lock Status Webpage with Facebook/Twitter links at: https://www.nwp.usace.army.mil/Locations/Columbia-River/BonnevilleLockStatus/

Chris Lytle Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

By Karen Robes Meeks

This week, the Containerization and Intermodal Institute bestowed upon Port of Oakland retired Executive Director Chris Lytle its Lifetime Achievement Award.

The honor, which was presented at the Institute’s annual Connie Awards banquet, caps off a 53-year maritime career that includes various roles in the private and public sector.

He was executive director of the Port of Long Beach before arriving at the Port of Oakland, where he led the Northern California seaport for the last six years before retiring in July.

“I’ve had a long and satisfying career and this recognition makes it easier to step away,” said Lytle, 73, who is serving as a consultant for the Port of Oakland until the end of the year. “I’m leaving the industry with great memories and pride in what I’ve accomplished alongside hundreds of wonderful colleagues.”

Community Outreach at Redwood City

By Karen Robes Meeks

Redmond City, the port of Redwood City and the Water Emergency Transportation Authority will be hosting a series of community outreach and ridership forecast activities at upcoming fall events.

The three agencies are looking into the feasibility of constructing a ferry terminal and running a new ferry service to and from Redwood City.

The study will explore ridership potential, number-crunch operation costs and estimate economic and social benefits. It will also consider potential routes and landing sites for ferries, including San Francisco and Oakland.

Community outreach opportunities include the Salsa Festival on Sept. 21, PortFest on Oct. 5, Farmers Market on Saturdays and the San Carlos Art & Wine Fair, October 12-13.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Long Beach Containers Down Over Year

By Karen Robes Meeks

Last month, the Port of Long Beach moved 663,992 TEUs, 2.3 percent less than it did in August 2018, according to recent numbers released by the port.

Imports in August fell 5.9 percent to 322,780 TEUs, while exports jumped 4.5 percent to 124,975 TEUs from the same period a year ago. Empty containers dipped 0.3 percent to 216,238 TEUs.

Long Beach has handled more than 4.9 million TEUs so far this year, 6.6 percent less than during the same eight-month span in 2018, a record year for the port. It was, nevertheless, the fifth busiest August in the port’s history.

“These results are strong for any North American seaport, but lag behind our record high numbers last year, when retailers shipped goods to beat expected tariffs,” said Port Executive Director Mario Cordero. “We are still on track for one of our busiest years ever and our focus remains on delivering efficiency and reliability as we await the swift resolution of the US-China trade dispute,” he added.

International trade has continued and will continue to evolve, said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Bonnie Lowenthal.

“Our focus as policy makers for the Port must be long-term, and our future as the primary gateway for trans-Pacific commerce remains very positive,” she said. “We are investing billions in efficient and sustainable cargo movement to serve the needs of the supply chain today and decades from now.”

Road Closure to Affect Port of Everett Access

By Karen Robes Meeks

For 10 days starting Sept. 17, West Marine View Drive will be closed to make way for the city of Everett’s Grand Avenue Park Bridge project. Interwest Construction Inc. will shut down all five lanes of West Marine View Drive between 13th and 18th streets to vehicular traffic between Sept. 17 through Sept. 26.

The closure will allow Interwest to conduct its final alignment of the bridge.

Drivers wanting to access the South Marina, Port Gardner Landing, Marina Village and all businesses and facilities in these areas must approach from the south.

Those planning to head to the Central Marina, North Marina, Boat Launch and all businesses and facilities in these areas must approach from the north.

Pedestrian access will also be affected around the construction area.

For more details, visit everettwa.gov/gapb or contact the city directly at 425-257-7206 or hgriffin@everettwa.gov.

Oakland Volumes Rise

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Oakland kicked off its peak season with volume growth.

Imports in August rose 3.1 percent to 88,323 TEUs – the port’s busiest August for imports – while exports inched up 1 percent to 75,080 TEUs from the same period a year ago. It represents the sixth consecutive month of export gains. Meanwhile, empty containers fell 14 percent.

Oakland is crediting August’s numbers to strong U.S. consumer demand for the rise in imports and overseas demand for American farm goods for the export increase.

“It’s good to see volume trending in the right direction,” said Port Maritime Director John Driscoll. “Let’s see now if we can keep it going through the fall.”

New Redwood City Port Commission Chair

By Karen Robes Meeks

Commissioner Ralph Garcia will serve as chairman of the board of the Port of Redwood City’s Port Commission. The announcement was made at the Sept. 11 meeting. He will be taking over for outgoing Chair Lorianna Kastrop.

First appointed to the port commission in 2005 and reappointed in 2007 and 2012, Garcia served more than a decade on the Redwood City Planning Commission, including a two-year term as chairman. He has owned Ralph’s Vacuum and Sewing Center in Redwood City for over four decades.

Commissioner Richard Claire will serve as the board’s vice chairman, while Commissioner R. Simms Duncan will fill the Board Secretary position. The board unanimously approved the election of the officers.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Long Beach Seeking Bids for Rail Project

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners agreed earlier this week to seek out construction bids for a planned rail project at the Port of Long Beach.

The Double Track Access from Pier G to J Project is expected to make cargo movement up to 25 percent more efficient by placing more cargo on rail as opposed to trucks.

The $25 million project, expected to be completed in 2021, will add a new 9,000-foot mainline track to help trains serve four terminals in the port’s south basin. The port will invest $11 million into the project, and a grant from the Trade Corridor Enhancement Program will fund the rest.

“The Double Track Access from Pier G to J Project is part of our ongoing efforts to improve the Port so that Long Beach remains globally competitive and environmentally sustainable well into the future,” said Commission President Bonnie Lowenthal.

The commission is expected to award a construction contract by December.

Another Record for LA

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles has established a new single-month cargo record for the fifth month in a row, the port announced Tuesday.

Last month, the port handled 861,081 TEUs, a 4.2 percent jump from August 2018. It is the port’s busiest August in its 112-year history.

Imports rose 4.1 percent when compared to August 2018 reaching 437,613 TEUs. Exports fell 10 percent to 146,284 TEUs, the tenth straight month of decreases. Empties jumped 13.8 percent to 277,183 TEUs.

Eight months into 2019 and Los Angeles’ volumes are up 5.7 percent compared to the record year of 2018.

“Our strong volume growth this year is due in part to our global supply chain relationships, aggressive marketing and improvements in operational efficiencies,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “We continue to build value with the Port Optimizer™, a digitization tool which increases visibility of incoming cargo and improves logistics planning and overall efficiency.”

Seroka added that the final months of 2018 ended with “an extraordinary influx of imports to beat expected tariffs on China-origin goods.”

“We don’t expect to see those kind of volumes in the months ahead,” he said. “We need a negotiated settlement of the U.S.-China trade war to restore global trade stability.”

Vancouver, USA Tours Serve 400

By Karen Robes Meeks

More than 400 people attended the Port of Vancouver USA’s tour season this past summer, which allowed the public to see port facilities up close. This year, there was a waitlist for the tours.

“At almost every tour people are amazed by the magnitude of business taking place at the port,” said Community Relations Manager Julie Rawls, who conducts each tour. “The most frequent comment I get from community members is that they had no idea this kind of activity was taking place right here in their own backyard.”

The tour consists of a presentation about the port and commodities that are imported and exported, followed by a guided bus tour of the port’s marine, rail and industrial operations.

Tours are expected to continue in 2020, with dates to be announced early next year.

Visit www.portvanusa.com/community/know-your-port for more information.

Redwood City Hosts First Responders

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Redwood City – an official FEMA-designated Federal Staging Area (FSA) for the South San Francisco Bay area – recently hosted more than 75 regional first responders for an annual emergency drill. The four-hour exercise – which simulated a post-7.9 magnitude earthquake scenario – tested the response of regional fire departments, Redwood City Police Department and city staff, as well as FEMA Urban Search and Rescue California Task Force 3.

“Emergency drills like this are conducted annually to keep first responders ready and allow them to continuously learn new ways to better collaborate on recovery efforts,” said Ted Born, operational planner for FEMA Region 9 who attended the exercise as an observer.

“Last year’s exercise was influential in initiating development of the Bay Area Port Recovery Plan, post-earthquake,” said Born. “As the only deep-water port in the south Bay Area, (the Port of Redwood City) is a strategic location for the delivery of emergency provisions along the San Andreas Fault and a key part of the Bay Area’s earthquake recovery plans.”

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Vancouver, USA Sponsors Maritime Exhibit

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Vancouver USA is sponsoring the exhibit entitled Currents of Progress: Clark County Rivers, Roads and Ports now open at the Clark County Historical Museum.

The display, which is the result of a yearlong effort will remain open through 2023. It features “interpretive panels, historical objects, and interactive stations” that allow guests to explore and interact “with the history and future of these important facilities and systems in Clark County and Southwest Washington,” the port reported. It looks at the Native American Nations and their relationships with the waterways and the creation of the Vancouver, Camas-Washougal and Ridgefield ports.

“Working with the Clark County Historical Museum staff on this exhibit was a wonderful experience,” said Port of Vancouver Chief External Affairs Officer Ryan Hart.

For more information, visit www.cchmuseum.org.

USCGC Mellon Homecoming

By Karen Robes Meeks

After 80 days patrolling the Pacific Ocean safeguarding against illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing activity, crewmembers of US Coast Guard Cutter Mellon (WHEC 717), which included two Canadian fishery officers, came home to Seattle, Wash., last Sunday. This is the second joint operation in 2019 between the US Coast Guard and Fisheries and Oceans, Canada’s Conservation and Protection program.

A priority for the US and Canada, IUU fishing undercuts the global economy of billions of dollars and undermines legitimate fish harvesters in addition to affecting food security.

During the patrol, officers boarded 45 vessels and found 68 potential violations, including improper gear, fishing for sharks without a license, evidence of illegal shark finning.

“IUU fishing is one of the greatest threats to the ocean’s fish stocks,” said Capt. Jonathan Musman, Mellon’s commanding officer. “It was an honor to be on the front lines of enforcement efforts of the distant waters fishing fleets.”

Container Joint Powers to Meet

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Intermodal Container Transfer Facility Joint Powers Authority governing board will meet on Sept. 11 at 6 p.m. in Long Beach, Calif. The authority was established in 1983 to oversee the creation and operation of the 148-acre facility, which was developed to improve truck and rail cargo flow through the Port of Los Angeles and the Port Long Beach. The facility, about five miles away from the twin ports, is run by Union Pacific.

The meeting will take place at the Bob Foster Civic Chambers, 411 W. Ocean Blvd., near the Port of Long Beach Administration Building. For more information, visit the Joint Powers Authority's website at www.ICTF-JPA.org or call Elena Flores at 562-283-7056.

USCGC Robert Ward Completes Successful Drug Patrol

By Karen Robes Meeks

The first drug patrol of the US Coast Guard Cutter Robert Ward (WPC-1130) in the Eastern Pacific Ocean recently yielded approximately 2,800 pounds of seized cocaine worth an estimated $38.5 million. Another 3,000 pounds recovered by Robert Ward crew members in mid-July was moved to the Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast (WMEC-623) and brought to San Diego as part of a 13-ton bulk offload.

“The Cutter Robert Ward and three other newly-commissioned cutters based in San Pedro are strengthening the Coast Guard’s safety, security and counter-smuggling efforts along our coast and in the shipping zones off Central and South America,” said Rear Adm. Peter W. Gautier, the 11th Coast Guard District commander. “I’m proud of the Ward’s crew and applaud their actions to disrupt the cartels that profit from crime, addiction and ruin American lives.”

Commissioned in March, the Robert Ward is among the four newly commissioned Coast Guard Fast Response Cutters based in San Pedro. They are part of the agency’s efforts to bolster forces in the area and enhance safety, security and emergency response capabilities.

Friday, September 6, 2019

LA Port Police Respond to Dive Boat Fire

By Karen Robes Meeks

Los Angeles Port Police lent their assistance and equipment this week to help in the aftermath of a Labor Day weekend boat fire that left 34 people dead in Santa Barbara County.

The port police’s six-member dive crew and specialized sonar equipment headed to the area Tuesday to help with dive operations. The sonar equipment can search the ocean floor and send video images to the team members. The specialized crew has also been assisting with evidence collection and documenting the debris area.

“Our hearts go out to the victims and the surviving families and friends of this terrible accident,” said Port of Los Angeles Police Chief Tom Gazsi. “It is a privilege to provide allied assistance along with the many public safety agencies who are working hard to locate those lost and support the investigation of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.”

New Bellingham Bike Park

By Karen Robes Meeks

On Sept. 28, the Port of Bellingham will celebrate the grand opening of a new mountain bike park along the downtown waterfront. The event will take place from 2 to 6 p.m. and feature pump track races and bike demos in addition to a beer garden, food trucks and a DJ. The public will be able to access the park from Granary Avenue or Laurel Street.

The port teamed up with Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition to create a large pump track and singletrack sidewalk. To construct the facility, the port hired local contractor Shire Built, known for mountain bike projects such as Mohawk Trail on Galbraith, the Civic Field dirt jumps and the Burlington Indoor Bike Park.

The park is part of a bigger vision for the area, which will eventually be developed into a large city park that will go through the downtown waterfront.

Camas-Washougal Community Address

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Camas-Washougal will take part in the annual State of the Community address. The event offers an opportunity to hear from community leaders about the future of the City of Camas, Camas School District, and the Port of Camas-Washougal.

The Port of Camas-Washougal has played a role in investing in parks and infrastructure to nurture the local economy while working to keep the area’s small-town feel.

The event will take place at 6 p.m. on Sept. 19 at Lacamas Lake Lodge, 227 NW Lake Road, Camas, WA 98607.

For more information visit portcw.com.

Port of San Diego Wins Fifth Award

By Karen Robes Meeks

For the fifth straight year, the Port of San Diego has earned a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association for the United States and Canada.

The port garnered the honor for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, which also earned the port’s Financial Services Department an Award of Financial Reporting Achievement.

“The Port of San Diego remains steadfast in providing full disclosure and receiving the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for five consecutive years demonstrates just that,” said Chairman of the Board of Port Commissioners, Garry Bonelli. “We are a self-funded public agency, dedicated to serving the public and managing the magnificent tidelands of San Diego Bay.”

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Olympia Approves Vision 2050 Plan

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Olympia officially has a Port Vision 2050 plan. Port Commissioners recently approved the 24-page document, the culmination of a 15-month community engagement process that resulted in 10 core goals and 59 actions.

The first goal is to preserve and enhance Thurston County’s working waterfront and global trade link by diversifying terminal operations. Some key actions for reaching that objective include pursuing manufacturing opportunities, completing the master plan and permitting for future marine terminal uses, developing military and humanitarian cargo strategies and creating a more welcoming layout around marine terminal.

Another goal is to invest in the Swantown Marina and Boatworks by adding amenities and access to water along the peninsula, as well as enhancing the facilities through improvements and marketing, and raising the share of regional boat-based spending.

The plan also calls for researching the idea that the port could serve as a cruise ship destination and regional commuter node by taking part in state-led ferry service studies and exploring the potential for offering or hosting water-taxi service.

“The valuable feedback received from the citizens of Thurston County will help shape future port activities and investment for years to come,” said Port Executive Director Sam Gibboney. “This body of work is a wonderful gift for the port to receive.”

For more information, visit www.portolympia2050.org.

Port of Long Beach Wins FEMA Grant

By Karen Robes Meeks

The US Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) awarded the Port of Long Beach a grant of more than $4.7 million to boost cybersecurity efforts.

The FEMA Port Security Grant Program funds will go towards additional cameras and sensors around the harbor and as well as ongoing investment in the port’s fiber and wireless network infrastructure.

“Securing the Port requires state-of-the-art technology to monitor activities on land, on the water and below the water,” said Port Executive Director Mario Cordero. “This grant will help us enhance our domain awareness and maintain our readiness to protect the harbor.”

Long Beach Harbor Commission President Bonnie Lowenthal added: “Trade at the Port of Long Beach supports 2.6 million jobs around the nation, and the Harbor Commission is thankful for this federal funding that helps us ensure the smooth flow of commerce.”

San Diego to Release Multimodal Study Results

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of San Diego is ready to share the findings of its Harbor Drive Multimodal Corridor Study. The document lays out the issues and looks at potential improvement opportunities regarding usage of Harbor Drive between the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal and the National City Marine Terminal, the area known as the Working Waterfront.

The port wants to improve the safety and mobility of Harbor Drive and is presenting the study’s findings before a final plan comes before the Board of Port Commissioners this fall.

“While we have evaluated challenges and solutions to improve Harbor Drive, we know no single improvement can enhance mobility in this critical goods movement corridor,” said Garry Bonelli, chairman of the Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners. “Yet, the Port, in concert with our transportation partner agencies, are eager to make progress for our entire community – while balancing the costs, benefits and impacts to everyone involved.”

An open house on the study will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. on Sept. 12 at the National City Aquatic Center in Pepper Park, 3300 Goesno Place, National City, California, 91950.

For more information, including a list of possible projects suggested by the study, go to www.portofsandiego.org/HarborDriveStudy.

Kalama Facility EIS Released

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Kalama Manufacturing & Marine Export Facility project at the Port of Kalama is now available for review.

The project by Northwest Innovation Works, LLC-Kalama seeks to create and run a natural gas-to-methanol production plant and storage facility at the port. A new marine terminal, a gas pipeline lateral, electrical upgrades and a methanol plant would be located on a 90-acre site adjacent to Tradewinds Road.

The project is currently following the State Environmental Policy Act process. The evaluation will provide a comprehensive review of any potential environmental impacts that need to be identified and addressed before acting on any permits or approvals.

Visit www.kalamamfgfacilitysepa.com for more information.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Olympia Harbor Days

By Karen Robes Meeks

From Aug. 30 to Sept. 1, the Port of Olympia will host the 46th Harbor Days Maritime Festival to celebrate the community’s maritime roots.

Vintage and working tugboats will be on display at Percival Landing and Port Plaza in downtown Olympia. Some tugs will offer tours on Saturday.

Festival goers will be able to admire various vessels including the retired US Coast Guard Cutter tug Comanche, now a floating WWII museum, and Tordenskjold, a 100-year-old Bering Sea fishing vessel. Also returning to Olympia is the famous tall ship Lady Washington, which will share dock space with the historic Mosquito Fleet steam ship Virginia V and US Navy retired admiral’s barge, Old Man IV. Tours and cruises will be offered all weekend.

On Saturday, Aug. 31, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., visitors are invited to take a free port tour. Go to the Port of Olympia’s booth on the northwest corner of the Port Plaza, just north of Percival Landing on Budd Inlet for more details.

Harbor Days after Dark will take place at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings at the Port Plaza. This free live theater performance of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” is presented by OlyArts Magazine, a local art publication.

Not to be missed is the annual Tugboat Races in Budd Inlet scheduled for noon on Sunday Sept,1.

For more information, visit www.HarborDays.com.

Long Beach to Brief Public on Rail Facility

By Karen Robes Meeks

The public is invited to hear the latest details on the Port of Long Beach’s Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility. The project is at the heart of the port’s $1 billion rail program that will shift cargo transport at marine terminals to rail.

The move is expected to lower the number of regional truck trips and aligns with the port’s approach to greening operations.

“No cargo trucks would visit the facility,” according to the port. “Instead, smaller train segments would be brought to the facility and joined together into a full-sized train.”

The initial arrival, departure and storage tracks are expected to be in place by 2024, with more tracks ready for operation in 2030. The entire project is to be finalized by 2032.

A public meeting to discuss the project is set for 11 a.m. on Sept. 4, at the Long Beach Multi-Service Center, 1301 W. 12th St.

Visit polb.com/economics/pier_b_meeting_rsvp.asp to RSVP. For more information, go to www.polb.com/PierB.

USCG Sector Juneau Spill Response Exercise

By Karen Robes Meeks

This week, members of the US Coast Guard Sector Juneau conducted an oil spill response exercise in Ketchikan, Alaska.

Representatives from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Southeast Alaska Petroleum Response Organization and Western Canadian Marine Response Corporation also took part in the exercise that saw an exclusion boom being deployed in Ward Cove and Whipple Creek.

The exercise allows participants to practice on-water recovery of free oil within the Tongass Narrows while using a boom around environmentally sensitive areas outlined in the Southeast Alaska Area Contingency Plan.

“This exercise will enable us to assess the effectiveness of our pre-planned strategy as well as our ability to carry it out,” said Cmdr. Byron Hayes, response department head at Sector Juneau. “The inclusion of our response partners ensures that in the event of a real pollution incident, we will be able to respond decisively as one team to safeguard the pristine Southeast Alaska environment.”

Oakland Exports Up

By Karen Robes Meeks

Export cargo at the Port of Oakland rose 2.4 percent in the first half of 2019, compared to the first six months of 2018. Port officials attributed the rise to double-digit increases of exports to South Korea, Japan and Taiwan, filling the gap left by China, the port’s biggest trading partner.

Exports to China fell 17 percent, the equivalent of 14,000 20-foot cargo containers this year, a result of Chinese tariffs on US goods. However, shipments to South Korea rose by 10,000, Japan by 7,000 and Taiwan by 3,000.

“This is testament to the resilience and ingenuity of our customers,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “They’re finding the means to overcome debilitating trade barriers.”

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Redwood City Receives Security Grant

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Redwood City has secured a $1.85 million 2019 Federal Emergency Management Agency Port Security Grant, allowing it to bolster its maritime security-related partnership with federal and area first responders.

The grant will go towards a new modern Interagency Operations Center, training and exercises. It will also pay for security infrastructure and equipment, including cameras, fencing, lights, a new jet dock, and equipment that detects chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive dangers for the Redwood City Fire and Police Departments.

“Receiving this grant underscores the federal government’s confidence in the port as a valued strategic partner in homeland security and a leader in emergency preparedness,” stated Port of Redwood City Executive Director Kristine A. Zortman. “This grant further demonstrates to our community the significance that the port plays in security and disaster recovery for the region.”

Port of LA Awards $1 Million in Grants

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles announced on Thursday the recipients of its fiscal year 2019/20 Community Investment Sponsorship Program. Thirty local groups have been awarded a total of $1 million in grants. The program funds community projects that promote the development of a local workforce, education, the environment and the Los Angeles Waterfront.

Recipients included EXP for its Preparing the Next Generation Workforce Program, the Los Angeles Maritime Institute for its Topsail Youth Program, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Los Angeles Harbor for its Port Ocean and Land Awareness Program, as well as Beacon House Association of San Pedro and Clean Wilmington.

“The Port’s Community Investment Sponsorship Program continues to serve as an important vehicle to support innovative and promising local projects in the Los Angeles Harbor area,” said Port Executive Direction Gene Seroka. “We’re proud to support programs like these that are truly making a difference in our Port communities.”

Two National Security Cutters Commissioned

By Karen Robes Meeks

The US Coast Guard on Saturday morning celebrated the commissioning of two national security cutters at its Honolulu base.

The ceremony was for the USCGC Kimball (WMSL 756), which made it to destination on Dec. 22, 2018, and USGCG Midgett (WMSL 757), which arrived Friday from Pascagoula, Mississippi.

The Legend-class national security cutters are some of the Coast Guard's newest additions to the fleet and are a capable platform for a wide range of missions including homeland security and defense.

Capt. Holly Harrison is the commanding officer of Kimball and Capt. Alan McCabe commands Midgett.

“These national security cutters will continue our 150 years of partnership and commitment to the Pacific region – since September 1849, when Revenue Cutter Lawrence sailed into Honolulu Harbor escorted by Native Hawaiians in outrigger canoes,” said Adm. Karl Schultz, the Coast Guard’s commandant. “In today’s complex geostrategic environment with rising great power competition, the importance and demand for a strong Coast Guard presence in the Pacific has never been greater.”

Port of Hueneme Wins Fiscal Award

By Karen Robes Meeks

For the ninth straight year, the Port of Hueneme has been honored by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for its Excellence in Financial Reporting. The award highlights the port’s Fiscal Year 2018 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR).

“The CAFR has been judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program,” the association’s statement read adding that the port’s report “includes demonstrating a constructive ‘spirit of full disclosure’ to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the CAFR.”

“As a Special District, the importance of accuracy and transparency cannot be overstated,” said Oxnard Harbor District President Jess Herrera. “We are proud to be recognized with this award, as we only want to perform at the very highest level within our community of which we’re proud.”

Friday, August 23, 2019

Pot and Peppers Stopped at the Border

By Karen Robes Meeks

A shipment of jalapeño peppers was spiced with four tons of illegal marijuana seized by Customs and Border Protection officers earlier this month in San Diego, Calif.

Officers at the Otay Mesa cargo facility found the $2.3 million worth of drugs co-mingled in the shipment transported by a Mexican man, 37, which arrived at the port of entry at 6:15 p.m. on Aug. 15.

A K-9 unit zeroed in on the peppers, prompting officers to pull 314 large-wrapped packages of marijuana that weighed 7,560 pounds.

“I am proud of the officers for seizing this significant marijuana load,” said Otay Mesa Port Director Rosa Hernandez. “Not only did they prevent the drugs from reaching our community, they also prevented millions of dollars of potential profit from making it into the hands of a transnational criminal organization.”

Vancouver USA Breaks Ground on Hotel

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Vancouver USA and hotel development Vesta Hospitality broke ground on a new seven-story, 150-room AC Hotel by Marriott at Terminal 1 Thursday.

Once completed in mid-2021, the hotel will be the first project to open at Terminal 1. Plans for the area include commercial space, public art, outdoor spaces to gather, pedestrian trails and a public marketplace along the waterfront.

“We are so pleased to have the AC Hotel by Marriott as the first project underway at Terminal 1,” said Port CEO Julianna Marler. “This project is a key component to making Terminal 1 a vibrant gathering place for our community and a premier destination for the region.”

In the last two years, Washington state contributed $6 million toward the project’s ground stabilization work and construction activities. The money will go toward improving parts of Daniels Way, the Renaissance Trail near Terminal 1, the East Portal stormwater facility and Vancouver Landing.

“This is a true public-private partnership, and with today’s groundbreaking, we are getting Terminal 1 off to a strong start,” said Washington State Sen. Annette Cleveland. “This is my community; I grew up here, I live here and I’m excited to see the positive economic impact this project will bring. I congratulate Vesta Hospitality and the port on getting to this milestone, and I look forward to seeing this hotel welcome visitors to beautiful Vancouver.”

Long Beach Seeks Public Input

By Karen Robes Meeks

The public is invited to weigh in on a draft that outlines the Port of Long Beach’s long-term land use and development goals and policies.

The port has released a draft of its Port Master Plan, which was last updated in 1990. Revisions were required to reflect changes to the industry and prepare for future challenges.

The public can provide input on Aug. 26, at 6 p.m., during the regular Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners meeting, which takes place at the Long Beach City Hall, Bob Foster Civic Chambers, 411 W. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, Calif., 90802.

Stakeholders may submit comments in writing until Sept. 30 to Matt Plezia, Director of Master Planning, Port of Long Beach, 415 W. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90802, or to pmp@polb.com.

The draft can be found at www.polb.com/masterplanupdate. An Environmental Impact Report for the Master Plan Update is expected to be released as well.

Buoy Tender Roundup

By Karen Robes Meeks

This week, the US Coast Guard 17th District in Alaska hosted the annual Buoy Tender Roundup, a five-day event featuring training and friendly competition.

Crew members from Coast Guard cutters Kukui and Henry Blake, Coast Guard Regional Dive Locker West and Canadian coast guard ship Bartlett took part in the event, which provides members the opportunity to receive specialized training in areas such as engine repair, buoy maintenance, first aid, navigation, weather observation and fisheries.

"The roundup is an extremely cost effective and efficient means to ensure our buoy tender crews have access to the training they need to be successful in their chosen professions," said Lt. Cmdr. Michael Newell, chief of the district Waterways Branch. "Subject matter experts from across the Coast Guard are being brought in to inspect and service vital shipboard equipment to ensure the safety of our crews while they are deployed.”

Coast Guard buoy tenders in Alaska maintain 1,350 navigational aids along 33,000 miles of coastline. They also take part in search and rescue, environmental protection and law enforcement missions.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Northwest Seaport Alliance Earns
Logistics Honors

By Karen Robes Meeks

The ports of Seattle and Tacoma recently earned top marks for their customer service in Logistics Management’s 2019 Quest for Quality awards.

More than 4,500 readers of the trade publication rated North American ports on ease of doing business, value, ocean carrier network, intermodal network, and equipment and operations.

The Northwest Seaport Alliance was one of only four West Coast ports to earn at least 5 percent of the category vote – minimum criteria to be eligible for the win. It garnered the highest score in three of the five categories to claim the overall title.

“We are honored for the recognition. From day one of the NWSA partnership, we have been focused on helping customers find solutions,” said Tong Zhu, NWSA chief commercial officer and chief strategy officer. “Despite uncertainty within our industry, we continue to look for new opportunities that enhance operational performance and customer experience through our gateway.”

Since 2015, the alliance has earned Quest for Quality honors annually.

Coast Guard Puts School on Notice

By Karen Robes Meeks

Alaska’s Lower Kuskokwim School District has until the end of the month to remove all fuel oils from its Napakiak School fuel storage facility, where approximately 36,000 gallons of home heating oil threaten the Kuskokwim River.

The Coast Guard on Friday issued an Administrative Order, following an Aug. 12 report that stated the storage facility was within 150 feet of the river and at risk of riverbank erosion.

“The Coast Guard is dedicated to the protection of the marine environment and in this case that means we’re taking preventative steps to mitigate the potential for pollution,” said Lt. James Nunez, incident management division, Coast Guard Sector Anchorage.

Coast Guard Sector Anchorage used $10,000 from the Oil Spill Trust and Liability Fund and investigated the facility, where measurements taken by personnel showed that the fuel storage facility at its closest point was 76 feet away from the riverbank’s erosion point.

Port of Olympia and State Agree on Stormwater

By Karen Robes Meeks

An Agreed Order has been reached between the Port of Olympia and the Washington State Department of Ecology over the industrial stormwater permit that covers the port’s Marine Terminal.

The order gives the port a specific timeline to propose and implement a range of possible system modifications designed to ensure the facility can consistently meet Chemical Oxidation Demand (COD) permit benchmarks into the future.

“The Port of Olympia is committed to sound environmental stewardship,” said Port Executive Director Sam Gibboney. “I appreciate Ecology’s cooperation in clarifying our mutual expectations and look forward to working together to achieve our shared goal of protecting the water quality of Budd Inlet.”

In 2015, a failed system component in the then-newly operational Port Marine Terminal stormwater treatment facility led to a release of hydrogen peroxide. The system returned to operations in 2016 and have since been working to make corrective action requirements.

Cleanest Carrier Calls

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach recently welcomed the cleanest cargo vessel to come to the US.

On July 12, Mediterranean Shipping Company’s 1,200-foot-long MSC Jewel stopped at Total Terminals International’s Pier T facility.

The ship, built this year, can move as many as 14,436 TEUs with Tier III diesel engines, which are “75 percent cleaner than the Tier II standard set by the International Maritime Organization,” according to the port.

“The Port of Long Beach is known for our commitment to operational excellence, and part of that is leading the industry into the future with our environmental initiatives,” said Port Executive Director Mario Cordero. “MSC runs our largest terminal, one of the most productive in North America. We couldn’t be prouder of our partnership with them and the example this sets for other ports.”

Friday, August 16, 2019

Everett Names Lefeber as CEO

By Karen Robes Meeks

Deputy Executive Director Lisa Lefeber will become the Port of Everett’s new CEO, making her the first woman to lead the port in its 100-year history.

The commission this week approved her contract, which will take effect Oct. 16.

“It’s an honor to welcome Lisa into this historic role,” Port Commissioner Glen Bachman said. “She is a strong leader dedicated to this Port District and our greater community. We are lucky to have her and the creative foresight she brings to this organization that helps grow our economy, create and protect jobs and enhance livability in our county.”

She takes over for outgoing Port CEO Les Reardanz, who will move back to Bellingham to care for his aging parents and focus on his expanded military responsibilities.

Lefeber has been with the port since 2005, serving as Chief of Policy and Communications, then Deputy Executive Director.

She was chosen in 2016 to oversee the port’s seaport modernization efforts, which includes more than $100 million in infrastructure spending. In 2018, she was acting CEO when Reardanz was deployed to Afghanistan “I am honored to have the opportunity to lead an organization in a community that has become home to me,” Lefeber said. “I have a strong passion for the Port of Everett and the surrounding community, and I look forward to continuing on in my predecessors’ footsteps of building a balanced waterfront that supports commerce, Navy operations, jobs, recreation and creates a destination on the beautiful Everett waterfront. I am also excited to grow and diversify the Port to help our surrounding communities with job growth.”

Lefeber, who is in the American Association of Port Authorities Professional Port Management Program, earned her master’s degree in public administration from Seattle University and an undergraduate degree in Journalism from Western Washington University.

Long Beach Funds Environmental Projects

By Karen Robes Meeks

This week the Port of Long Beach will fund 16 area projects that improve air quality and energy use. More than $1.3 million was given by the port through its Community Grants Program, which was created in 2016 to help curb environmental impact to port operations.

Those that received funding include YMCA of Greater Long Beach ($16,538); Pacific Baptist School in Long Beach ($26,288); Gaines Elementary School in Paramount ($22,431); The Salvation Army Long Beach Corps and Community Center for two projects ($333,068) and Camp Fire Angeles for two projects at DeForest Park ($111,137).

“We facilitate the nation’s trade at the Port of Long Beach, but it’s important for us to share the economic benefits more directly with our surrounding communities,” said Harbor Commission President Bonnie Lowenthal. “These projects will help people using these facilities breathe cleaner air and result in less electricity being used.”

Lynden Transport Wins 7th Logistics Award

By Karen Robes Meeks

For the seventh straight year, Lynden Transport secured its No. 1 ranking and 23rd overall award in the 36th annual Logistics Management Quest for Quality Awards, considered “the highest measure of customer satisfaction and performance excellence in the transportation and logistics industry.”

Lynden earned the highest scores among “Less-than-Truckload (LTL) western regional carriers in the on-time performance and information technology categories” and garnered the highest overall weighted score.

“Although this is our seventh award in seven years, it is still exciting and gratifying to be recognized by our customers for the work we do each day,” said Lynden Transport President Paul Grimaldi. “Our industry is rapidly changing with the demands of e-commerce and the pressure of quicker delivery expectations. This award lets us know that we are not only keeping pace with industry changes, we are doing it while providing exceptional customer service. As always, credit goes to our hard-working drivers, customer service representatives, support staff and the entire Lynden Transport team.”

Oakland's Busiest Month

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Oakland handles 90,598 TEUs in imports last month, the busiest month in the port’s 92-year history and the first time it surpassed the 90,000 TEU mark in a single month.

It broke the previous record of 87,207 containers set in June 2018, according to recent statistics released by the port. Imports in July were also up 7.5 percent from July 2018.

“This is the fourth-time import volume has increased in the past five months,” pointed out Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “This demonstrates the continued strength of the US economy and consumer purchasing power.”

Exports in July were also up 10.2 percent from July 2018, making it five months in a row of year-over-year growth in exports. How the new tariffs on Chinese imports, with some expected to take effect on Sept. 1, will affect Oakland’s numbers remains uncertain.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

New Cargo Record for Port of LA

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles set a new single-month record for cargo volumes for the fourth consecutive month, according to the numbers released Monday. The nation’s busiest seaport handled 912,154 TEUs, making it the busiest July in the port’s 112-year history.

Imports jumped 8.7 percent to 476,438 TEUs, while exports dipped 4 percent to 161,340 TEUs. Empty containers, which are sent overseas to be refilled with goods, soared 20.7 percent to 274,376 TEUs year over year.

July 2019 was the port’s third busiest month and the fourth time it moved more than 900,000 TEUs.

“Container exchange per vessel reached 9,915 TEUs, the highest and most efficient level we’ve ever experienced,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “Despite the continued decline in exports and high level of uncertainty driven by trade tensions, we continue to optimize our facilities and are grateful for the support and confidence of our supply chain partners.”

Cargo volumes are 6 percent higher in the first seven months of 2019 when compared to the same period in 2018, which was a record year for Los Angeles.

Long Beach Cargo Slumps

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach saw its monthly cargo volumes fall when compared to last July.

According to port statistics released Monday, Long Beach moved 621,780 TEUs, which is 9.7 percent less than July 2018. Meanwhile, imports were down 9.9 percent to 313,350 TEUs, and exports fell 6.8 percent to 111,654 TEUs. Empty saw an 11 percent decline to 196,777 TEUs.

“The trade war is hitting the West Coast hard,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “For more than a year, the supply chain has bent under the weight, and there’s very little give left. If the tariffs continue and escalate as planned next month, American consumers could see higher prices during the holiday season as businesses pass along their costs.”

The port has handled more than 4.3 million TEUs so far this year, down 7.2 percent from the same period last year.

Fairbanks Center Trains Kodiak Firemen

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Kodiak Fire Department recently hosted a six-day training course presented by the Fairbanks-based Lynden Training Center.

For the last six months, the Training Center has worked with the Alaska Fire Marshal's office to become accredited to teach the General Technical Rescuer class, the first of its kind to be taught in Alaska for State of Alaska certification, according to Tyler Bones, director of HSSE.

"It's rare that new courses are added to the state's accreditation list, so our training center being the first shows what a great working relationship we have with the state," Bones said.

Lynden has been providing training to the Kodiak Fire Department for the last two years. In 2018, firefighters used what they learned from the Confined Space Rescue course to respond to a fishing vessel rescue.

"Tyler and Don have provided incredibly technical and thorough training for our department in both Confined Space Rescue and most recently, the first-ever State of Alaska General Technical Rescuer," said Kodiak Fire Chief Jim Mullican. "Their expertise and professionalism allowed my staff to practice in real-world situations, honing their skills in a positive learning environment. It is a pleasure to work with two top-notch instructors."

Port of Longview Honored by AAPA

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Longview recently earned two Awards of Excellence from the American Association of Port Authorities’ 53rd annual Communications Awards Program.

The program, which recognizes seaports in the Western Hemisphere for outstanding communications projects, gave Longview the highest score in the Audio Only Presentations category for its Port Talk Radio series, a one-minute radio version of the port’s monthly newsletter.

Longview was also honor in the Visual Only Presentations category for its 64-foot, outdoor educational display at the 2018 Cowlitz County fair.

Longview has garnered such recognition in the last four editions of the national contest. This time around, the port competed against the Port of New Orleans, Port of New York/New Jersey, as well as ports in the Gulf Coast.

“Year after year I continue to be impressed with our communications staff,” said Port Commission President Doug Averett. “I am exceedingly proud of their creativity and commitment to teaching the community about the complexities of the port, as are my fellow commissioners.”

Friday, August 9, 2019

Northwest Seaport Commissions Weigh in on Tariffs

By Karen Robes Meeks

Earlier this month, Port of Tacoma Commission President Clare Petrich and Port of Seattle Commission President Stephanie Bowman weighed in on President Trump’s intent to levy a 10 percent tariff on $300 billion worth of Chinese imported goods starting Sept. 1.

“The Northwest Seaport Alliance has been clear and consistent in our messaging on this topic,” Petrich said. “We support a balanced trading relationship with our global partners but are deeply concerned that the imposition of tariffs leads only to increased costs on US businesses and consumers without any long-term strategic benefit.”

Petrich added that this latest hike on remaining Chinese imports will “create economic harm to our state’s employers, workers, residents, and international partnerships.”

Trump’s announcement comes after a 12th round of negotiations between Chinese and American officials ended without resolution.

“Without any clear indication that additional tariffs will lead to productive outcomes, the United States is simply throwing good money after bad by imposing these increased costs on domestic businesses and consumers,” Bowman said. “Combined two-way trade with China through the NWSA is down 11.75% through end of May compared to the previous year, and down 6 percent through Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Our farmers, ranchers, fishing industry, and others are already being deeply harmed, and spreading the impact will only make that problem worse.”

Matson Reports Mixed Quarter

By Karen Robes Meeks

Honolulu-based carrier Matson, Inc. this week reported net income of $18.4 million, or $0.43 per diluted share, for the quarter that ended June 30.

That’s lower than the second quarter that ended June 30, 2018, when the net income was $32.6 million, or $0.76 per diluted share.

Meanwhile, consolidated revenue for the second quarter 2019 was $557.9 million, up from $557.1 million for the second quarter 2018.

"Our performance in the second quarter was mixed, with Ocean Transportation operating income coming in below expectations and Logistics posting stronger-than-expected operating income,” said Matson Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Matt Cox. “Within Ocean Transportation, we performed as expected across most of our trade lanes, except we saw a weaker-than-expected Hawaii market, and we were negatively impacted by a lower contribution from SSAT primarily driven by additional expense related to the early adoption of the new lease accounting standard, which we expect to reverse in the second half of this year, and higher terminal operating costs,” he said. “Within our Logistics segment, we continued to perform well with positive contributions to operating income across all service lines."

Cox also said 2019 will be viewed as a “transition year and remain confident about achieving the approximately $30 million in previously-mentioned annual financial benefits from the new vessels.”

New Long Beach Harbor Commissioner

By Karen Robes Meeks

Former Long Beach City Councilman and senior pastor for LIFE Gospel Ministries Steven Neal is the newest member of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners.

The council recently approved Mayor Robert Garcia’s appointment of Neal, who represented the city’s Northside from 2010 to 2014. He was also a member of the Long Beach Transit board, the Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Network board and chairman of the Measure A Citizens’ Oversight Committee. He co-founded the Economic and Policy Impact Center, established to bolster economic opportunity for working families.

Neal, who will serve a six-year term through June 2025, takes over for Commissioner Lori Ann Guzmán, who announced that she would step down to focus on her new role as city manager of Costa Mesa.

Neal’s first meeting as a harbor commissioner is set Aug. 26.

Camas-Washougal Offers Coffee Talk

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Camas-Washougal will be hosting a "Coffee Talk with the Commission" on Aug. 21.

The informal meeting allows members of the public to chat with commissioners and hear the latest on port projects. Among those projects is a 20-acre waterfront mixed use development at the site of a former lumber mill.

The port recently completed the first phase of that project, which involved building a riverfront park and a trail that is roughly about three quarters of a mile.

The second phase of the trail will head east and tie into another trail system that goes into the Steigerwald wildlife refuge.

The coffee will take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the Port Conference Room.

For more information, visit portcw.com.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Port of LA Seeking Cyber Management Firm

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles is looking for a company that can design, install, run and maintain the port’s new Cyber Resilience Center.

The deadline to submit a proposal is Sept. 4. The winning bid must receive approval from the Board of Harbor Commissioners and the Los Angeles City Council.

The port envisions the center as a space to share information about cyber threats to port stakeholders and defend against potential cyber risks that could affect the supply chain.

“Collaborative cyber-threat information sharing is critical to the safety and security of our Port,” said Chief Thomas Gazsi, who serves as Deputy Executive Director of Public Safety and Emergency Management. “This Cyber Resilience Center will allow us to more quickly identify and mitigate cyber incidents that pose a threat to the maritime supply chain.”

For questions about the port’s request for proposals on the center, email Tanisha Herr at THerr@portla.org.

Bonnie Lowenthal to Lead LB Harbor Commissioners

By Karen Robes Meeks

Former California state assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal is the new president of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners. The commission governs the Port of Long Beach and the city’s Harbor Department.

“I have spent more than half my life in Long Beach, my adopted hometown," said Lowenthal. "My fellow commissioners have honored me by electing me president, and I look forward to the challenge of improving the Port so it can continue to be an economic driver for the city we love."

Lowenthal, who was installed as a harbor commissioner in July 2017, is a longtime Long Beach city leader, serving on the Long Beach City Council and Long Beach Unified School District Board.

Frank Colonna was elected as the Vice President position and Lou Anne Bynum as Secretary.

The board members start in their new roles on Aug. 12, as they will meet for the first time at the new Long Beach Civic Center headquarters.

Hawaii Hosts International SAR Workshop

By Karen Robes Meeks

The US Coast Guard recently participated in a joint static display and on-the-water demonstration on Oahu’s westside as part of the 8th Pacific Regional Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) workshop in Hawaii.

A number of USCG assets were used during the workshop, including the dolphin viewing vessel Dolphin Star, the USCGC Joseph Gerczak, and a Coast Guard Station Honolulu 45-foot Response Boat-Medium.

The multi-day workshop included simulated response to a distressed vessel amid a mass rescue operation off Waianae, as well as a review of case studies, programs and equipment such as the Tsunami warning system and personal locator beacons.

More than 15 different Pacific countries took part in the workshop, which is part of a larger effort by the International Maritime Organization, secretariat of the Pacific Community, and Pacific SAR steering committee to bolster its search and rescue capacity across the Pacific.

“The long-term goal of these regular workshops is to further the mission of the steering committee to measurably improve the SAR capability of each of the Pacific Island countries or territories in line with international standards and the PACAR measures of success by 2021,” according to USCG. “The PACSAR 8 workshop is a place to collaboratively share successes and continue the learning process by assessing strengths, risks, opportunities for partnerships, and to learn from each other.”

Friday, August 2, 2019

New Software for Long Beach Container Terminal

By Karen Robes Meeks

To improve workflow between terminals and trucking firms, marine terminal operator Long Beach Container Terminal (LBCT) has developed “Application Programming Interfaces” or APIs, LBCT President Anthony Otto announced earlier this week.

The new program – vetted and validated on LBCT’s proprietary Trucker Portal website – enables integrated data between trucking companies and terminal operators to flow more efficiently, allowing for short truck turn times.

“Benefits of the new platform include automatic creation of appointments as soon as containers become available, automatic cancellation of appointments that cannot be kept allowing for that time slot to be made available to other truckers and automatic grouping of appointments to facilitate dual transactions,” according to LBCT.

Other elements to make new APIs available is in the works, allowing LBCT to push data out to the Truck Management System. This move would do away with a truck driver’s need to give information on container and seal numbers, delivery and reception times and other data.

“LBCT continues to be an industry leader in working with the drayage community to realize greater efficiencies that impact the entire port ecosystem,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero.

Port of Seattle to Announce Cruise Facility Developer

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Seattle is expected to announce early next year which of the three shortlisted teams it will partner with for the development and operation of the proposed single-berth cruise facility at Terminal 46.

The teams, selected last May, are:

• Cruise Industry Leaders Group, a joint effort of 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., and

• Ports America, who is partnering with Jacobs Engineering Group.

The new facility is expected to be delivered in time for the 2023 cruise season.

For more information on the project, visit https://www.portseattle.org/projects/new-cruise-terminal.

Oakland Signs Logistics Lease

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Oakland recently inked a 13-year lease with Shippers Transport Express, keeping the company on 32 acres at the Port’s Seaport Logistics Complex through 2032. The move is critical to the prompt handling of import cargo to domestic markets.

“Shippers Transport Express hauls 400 loaded import containers off the terminal every night,” pointed out Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. "That frees up space at the terminal for additional cargo and makes it easy to collect those containers for delivery.”

By staging containers away from terminals, cargo pickup time is reduced significantly, from 75 minutes to 15 minutes or less, according to the port.

Rent for the Shippers Transport Express property will average $4 million annually. The port will invest $7 million toward paving the land for container parking.

Los Angeles Port Police Make Drug Haul

By Karen Robes Meeks

Approximately 1,200 pounds of smuggled marijuana worth an estimated $450,000 was recently seized at Cabrillo Beach, thanks to increased patrols by the Los Angeles Port Police.

On July 20, Los Angeles Port Police Marine Units noticed a suspiciously bow-heavy 23-foot boat, a vehicle, a trailer, and three men trying to leave the public boat launch.

They were taken into custody by the Los Angeles Border Enforcement Security Task Force and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Homeland Security Investigations, which will handle the investigation.

A rise in drug smuggling along the state coast has prompted port police officials to ramp up patrols.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Longshore Training Program Slated
for San Pedro Bay

By Karen Robes Meeks

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 13 and the Pacific Maritime Association (APM) have agreed to establish a workforce training program at the San Pedro Bay complex. A Blue Ribbon Commission was instituted to study and weigh in on the future of work at the Port of Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who announced the agreements earlier this month, had been involved in talks between the two parties since April. The agreement comes after many months of negotiations over the automation of Pier 400, the port’s largest terminal.

“In Los Angeles, we know that if we don't guide the future, workers and communities can be left behind,” Garcetti said. “This workforce training program will ensure today’s waterfront workers are equipped for tomorrow’s jobs and continue to support the harbor community. I will never stop fighting to preserve good, middle-class jobs and protect the hardworking women and men who power our economy – and today’s agreement is a start, and not an end, to our work.”

The creation of the workforce training program will help boost the skillset of up to 900 registered longshore workers and mechanics. The agreement between the ILWU and APM Terminals “calls for the ILWU mechanics to begin familiarization and training of the new APM equipment in the coming weeks as it begins a modernization project on its terminal.”

Meanwhile, APM Terminals will postpone additional automated-related projects until at least July 1, 2022, according to the port. Los Angeles Councilman Joe Buscaino, whose district encompasses the port and San Pedro, proposed the Blue Ribbon Commission, which intends to look at the automation issue and future work at the port. The commission will make recommendations to the City Council.

“This agreement calls for a comprehensive, fully-paid training program to re-skill and up-skill longshore workers to equip them for the next generation of work on the waterfront,” said Pacific Maritime Association CEO Jim McKenna. “This will help longshore workers prepare for the port jobs of the future.”

Everett CEO Moving On

By Karen Robes Meeks

In a special Port Commission meeting on July 22, Port of Everett CEO Les Reardanz announced that he will step down from his post in October to care for his aging parents and focus on his newly expanded military duties.

Reardanz, who served his fourth overseas tour of duty in 2018, was recently promoted to the Reserve list for promotion to the permanent grade of Rear Admiral (Lower Half) in the Navy Reserve Judge Advocates General Corps (JAG).

“Character and integrity are values I hold deep, and it is with great sadness that I have to move on from my role at the Port of Everett to tend to my aging parents, while also balancing my new Navy role,” Reardanz said. “It has been a humbling honor to work at the Port of Everett, and I am so proud of what our team has accomplished and will continue to accomplish in the years to come.”

Reardanz has been Port CEO since November 2014. Previously, he served as the port's Deputy Executive Director. Before coming to Everett, he worked as municipal legal advisor at the city of Bellingham and project manager for the city’s Waterfront District Development, a joint venture with the Port of Bellingham.

The commission directed staff to enter contract talks with the Port’s Deputy Executive Director Lisa Lefeber with the intent of promoting her to port director role. Lefeber was Acting CEO in 2018 when Reardanz was deployed to Afghanistan.

LA, LB Seek Public Opinion on Truck Emissions

By Karen Robes Meeks

The public is asked to weigh in on a proposed fee structure that could incentivize truck fleets to curb air pollution at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.

The proposed fee structure is part of the ports updated Clear Air Action Plan (CAAP) which requires that new trucks registered to operate at the ports as of Oct. 1, 2018, be model year 2014 or newer.

Part of the 2017 CAAP Update also calls for a proposal to enact a rate in 2020 on all trucks coming into marine terminals, except for those that are near-zero or zero-emissions.

The Clean Truck Fund Rate Workshop, put on by the twin ports, is scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 1, at Banning’s Landing Community Center, 100 E. Water St. in Wilmington.

Visit www.cleanairactionplan.org for more details.

Oakland Leaders Announced

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Oakland recently announced several leadership moves this month.

The Board of Port Commissioners selected Port Attorney Danny Wan as Acting Executive Director shortly after Executive Director Chris Lytle announced his retirement on July 19.

Wan, who has been port attorney since 2012, was deputy port attorney from 2004 to 2008 and formerly served on the Oakland City Council.

Assistant Port Attorney Michele Heffes will take over as Acting Port Attorney.

The board also chose Cestra “Ces” Butner to serve a third term on the board as president, re-elected Commissioner Andreas Cluver as First Vice President and selected first-year Commissioner Barbara Leslie as Second Vice President.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Portland-Based Vigor Acquired
by the Carlyle Group

Global investment firm The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) and private equity firm Stellex Capital Management today announced a definitive agreement to acquire and merge Vigor Industrial LLC, an infrastructure, defense, and maritime services company based in Portland, Oregon, and MHI Holdings LLC, a ship repair, maintenance, and other ship husbandry services company based in Norfolk, Virginia.

The combined company is expected to create a bicoastal leader in critical ship repair services and commercial and defense-related fabrication services. Key customers include the US Navy, US Coast Guard, Military Sealift Command, Boeing, cruise lines, fishing fleets, barges and ferry services for local and state governments, and other key commercial and defense customers.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close by the end of the third quarter 2019. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Frank Foti, President and CEO of Vigor, said, “Through this transaction, Vigor gains responsible, forward-thinking investors who will seek to build on our current platform while maintaining a values-driven culture. In addition, we are excited to join forces with a company of MHI’s caliber which has a history of delivering strong results and shares our mission to serve the people who protect our country every day. This evolution takes us where we want to go, growing sustainable jobs into the future. I’m excited to be an investor in this adventure and to be a part of what’s to come.”

Tom Epley, President and CEO of MHI, said, “MHI is stronger than it has ever been, and we’ve successfully executed our strategy of delivering cost effective maintenance and repair solutions to the U.S. Navy, a job we take very seriously. We are excited to continue our partnership with Stellex and look forward to working with The Carlyle Group and our new colleagues at Vigor. The MHI leadership team and our 800 employees across MHI Ship Repair, Seaward Marine and Accurate Marine remain committed to our mission.”

Bellingham Manager Honored by Surrey, BC

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Bellingham’s Economic Development Program Manager John Michener has been selected and confirmed as an honorary director on the Surrey, British Columbia, Board of Trade’s Board of Directors, the port announced earlier this month. It marks the first time an American citizen has served on the board in this role. The port has been a member of the board in an effort to foster relationships with its Canadian border since 2014.

The Surrey Board of Trade, which represents an estimated 6,000 members, offers economic opportunity, workplace development and education, international trade, government advocacy, and business connections to businesses and organizations.

New Infrastructure Director at Coos Bay

By Karen Robes Meeks

Jake Jacobs is the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay’s Director of Infrastructure Support Services. In this newly created role, Jacobs will be overseeing procurement processes, contract management, grant management and the Project Management Department.

“I am excited for this new opportunity at the Port of Coos Bay and looking forward to making a positive impact by supporting economic development in southwestern Oregon,” Jackobs said.

Before joining the port, Jacobs worked as the Supervisory Contracting Specialist at the United States Army Mission Installation Contracting Command in Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. Prior to that, he was the Branch Chief of Supplies and Services, Procuring Contracting Officer with the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

USCGC Oliver Berry Change of Command

By Karen Robes Meeks

Lt. Eric Johnson is taking over as commanding officer of the US Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Berry, replacing Lt. Cmdr. Kenneth Franklin, who is heading to Boise, Idaho to pursue graduate studies in human performance technology. The command change took place last week at Coast Guard Base Honolulu.

Johnson previously served as the commanding officer of Coast Guard Cutter Wrangell at Patrol Force Southwest Asia in Bahrain.

The New Jersey native graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in naval architecture and marine engineering. His tours include Coast Guard Cutter Resolute and Coast Guard Cutter Edisto. He was also a nautical science instructor and deputy branch chief at the US Coast Guard Academy. Johnson earned his master’s degree in defense and strategic studies from the Naval War College.

The Oliver Berry is the first Fast Response Cutter based in the Coast Guard 14th Coast Guard District, which includes Hawaii, Guam and American Samoa.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Long Beach Port Moving to New
Administration Building

By Karen Robes Meeks

Earlier this month, the Long Beach Harbor Department began the three-week process of moving into its new Port Administration Building at the new Long Beach Civic Center.

This department, which manages the Port of Long Beach, left its longtime headquarters in 2014 after it was determined that the building would not be safe in the event of an earthquake. They moved into an interim building while the center was being built.

“We’re all excited to return to the waterfront, where we belong,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “Being near the harbor will allow us to work more efficiently with our tenants and fulfill our mission to facilitate trade and be a key engine of the city’s economy.”

Starting Aug. 1, the port’s new address will be 415 W. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90802. Phone numbers and email addresses will stay the same.

Shipping Lines Voluntarily Reduce Speed

By Karen Robes Meeks

Twenty-eight shipping lines have been recognized by the Port of Los Angeles for taking part in the Vessel Speed Reduction Program, which incentivizes operators to curb vessel speeds as they approach the port.

There were 174 companies that took part in the program in 2018, including Chevron, CMA CGM, COSCO, Evergreen Marine, Grieg Star Shipping A/S, Gulf Energy Maritime Gem, Hapag-Lloyd, Hyundai Merchant Marine, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Maersk, Mitsui O.S.K., MSC, Navig8, Nippon Yusen Kaisha, Nissan Motor Car Carrier, Ocean Network Express, Orient Overseas Container Line, OSG Ship Management, Pacific Basin Shipping, Pacific International, Panamax International, Saga Welco, Tokyo Marine Asia, TORM, Valero, Wan Hai, World Logistics Service, and Yang Ming.

More than 3,000 combined vessel calls contributed to the efforts to lower emissions, with 589 ships achieving 100 percent compliance of the program within 20 and 40 nautical miles of the port.

“Vessel Speed Reduction has cut harmful emissions in San Pedro Bay for nearly two decades,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “We’re grateful to our partners – many who have been doing this for years – who have committed to this and other sustainability efforts in our Clean Air Action Plan.”

Oakland Exports Up, Imports Down

By Karen Robes Meeks

Exports at the Port of Oakland were up 4.2 percent last month compared to June 2018, while imports fell 7.2 percent after four straight months of year-over-year increases, according to new numbers released by the port last week.

The port, which moved 74,901 TEUs in exports last month, has seen export numbers trending upward for the last four months.

“We remain cautious about our trade outlook as we head towards peak shipping season,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “But we’re pleased to see the uptick in exports.” Meanwhile, Oakland’s overall cargo numbers are 3.6 percent higher in the first half of this year than during the first six months of 2018.

Cutter Elm Arrives in Astoria

By Karen Robes Meeks

The US Coast Guard Cutter Elm arrived Monday at its new homeport in Astoria, Oregon.

Commissioned in 1998, the Juniper Class 225-foot seagoing buoy tender is run by the same crew that operated the Coast Guard Cutter Fir, which left Astoria in June 2018.

The Elm, which recently received a major overhaul at the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore, had been part of Sector Field Office Macon, North Carolina, where it spent the last two decades maintaining more than 250 floating aids to navigation from central New Jersey to the North and South Carolina border.

The Elm will service the 114 navigational aids floating along the Oregon and Washington coasts and the Columbia River, These aids are critical to commercial vessel traffic in ports such as Coos Bay, Newport, Astoria, Portland, Longview, and Seattle. The Elm’s heavy lift capabilities allow the cutter to reach buoys out to 60 feet and lift close to 40,000 pounds, according to the Coast Guard.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Cook Inlet Tug & Barge Ramps Up
North Slope Ops

By Karen Robes Meeks

Cook Inlet Tug & Barge will expand operations on Alaska’s North Slope for the 2019 ice-free season, the independently managed Foss Maritime Company subsidiary announced Tuesday.

For the next three months, three tugs acquisitions, as well as barges and shore equipment will run out of Prudhoe Bay, further expanding the companies’ Arctic operations and bolstering harbor towage, oil and gas support services, mining and construction support, and offshore marine transportation services, according to CITB and Foss.

“It is great to see these vessels on the water and ready to work,” said CITB President Jeff Johnson. “These shallow-draft tugs and barges are ideally suited for work on the North Slope waterways and the Western Alaska markets.”

The 64-foot long and 27-foot wide tugs – Sag Wind, Kuparuk Wind, and Kavik Wind – run on three 1095 HP CAT 343D engines. “The ice-free season in Prudhoe Bay is short, so we’re glad to have such capable vessels available there to support the oil and gas industry as well as construction activities on the North Slope,” said Johnson. “These versatile workhorses help round out Cook Inlet and Foss operations in Alaska.”

Oakland Logistics Complex Underway

By Karen Robes Meeks

Construction is underway on the Seaport Logistics Complex, one of the most anticipated developments at the Port of Oakland.

Over the last nine months, CenterPoint Properties has been preparing and conducting ground stabilization operations on its 27-acre site and working toward the building of the 460,000-square-foot facility, set for completion in mid-2020.

“We look forward to starting vertical construction and continuing to work closely with the port to make sure this project is a point of pride for everyone involved,” said CenterPoint Chief Development Officer Michael Murphy.

When completed, the $52 million project will anchor a logistics campus at the decommissioned Oakland Army Base. CenterPoint will build and operate the first building at the campus and lease it to cargo transportation or logistics-related tenants.

“We’ve waited a long time to reach this point, but now our future is in view,” said Port Maritime Director John Driscoll. “CenterPoint’s facility will give us logistics capability you can’t find at other ports.”

Long Beach Board Member to Step Down

By Karen Robes Meeks

Her new role as Costa Mesa’s city manager has prompted Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioner Lori Ann Guzmán not to seek a second term on the board that governs the Port of Long Beach, the port announced Tuesday.

Guzman, who was appointed to the position in December 2013, was then the fifth female board member in the port’s 108-year history and served two years as president. She believes the port is best served by someone who can devote sufficient time to its various initiatives.

“It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve the Port of Long Beach for the past nearly six years, and I’ll look back with pride on the amazing progress we’ve made,” Guzmán said. “We’ve been through one of the port’s most challenging periods, and I feel strongly that this organization is well-positioned to thrive in an industry that is dramatically changing. Although I’d love to continue my service to the port, my new position requires my undivided time and attention.”

Prior to her new leadership role, Guzmán was assistant city manager for the City of Huntington Beach and CFO for the City of Long Beach.

Wilmington Seeks Community Input

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Wilmington Waterfront Development Project will be the subject of two community meetings hosted by the Port of Los Angeles.

The meetings will allow the public to hear an overview and status update on the project, including a review of the environmental document for the Avalon and Fries Street Segment closure, information about the entry plaza sundial for the Avalon Promenade and Gateway Project and naming development projects along the waterfront.

The meetings will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on July 25 and Sept.12 at Banning’s Landing Community Center in Wilmington.

Once completed, the Wilmington Waterfront project will feature a promenade, plaza for pedestrians, parking lot, and realignment of Water Street next to the railroad tracks and parking area northwest of Banning's Landing Community Center. The Avalon Promenade and Gateway Project will include a pedestrian bridge over the railroad tracks and Water Street to provide safe public access to the waterfront.

For more information, visit lawaterfront.org.

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.”