Friday, March 22, 2019

Los Angeles Boxes Drop

By Karen Robes Meeks

Although it was its third busiest February ever, the Port of Los Angeles handled 2.7 percent less cargo (705,306 TEUs) than over the same period last year.

Imports fell 9.1 percent to 348,316 TEUs, while exports dipped 9.5 percent to 142,554 TEUs when compared to February 2018 — a record month for Los Angeles cargo. Meanwhile, empty containers were up 16.3 percent to 214,436 TEUs.

The port is attributing the declining numbers to the timing of the Lunar New Year, which prompted shippers to move more cargo in January instead of February. Factories in Asia slow or close shop to celebrate the new year.

"After the busiest seven months in the history of our port, the anticipated ease in cargo volume provides an opportunity for us to regroup with our stakeholders,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “With an uneven trade flow, we will be closely evaluating next steps for enhancing supply chain efficiencies.”

Long Beach Volumes Decline

By Karen Robes Meeks

Like Los Angeles, neighboring Port of Long Beach also saw lower cargo volumes in February, a result of an earlier Lunar New Year and last year’s record numbers.

The port handled 596,616 TEUs last month, 9.8 percent less than in February 2018. Imports fell 11.5 percent to 302,865 TEUs, and exports dropped 19.6 percent to 105,287 TEUs. Empty containers were 0.1 percent lower at 188,465 TEUs.

“Lunar New Year was earlier this year, shrinking shipments for most of February,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Tracy Egoscue. “We're preparing for busier months ahead and will work with all of our supply chain partners this year to deliver efficient, fast service for our customers as they adjust to market changes.”

Still, last month’s numbers represented the port’s second-busiest February in history.

“Overall, our volumes have increased and cargo flow has become more consistent as retailers constantly replenish inventory in the e-commerce economy,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “Last year set high standards. We had our busiest months and year ever, but we are still expecting modest growth in 2019.”

Seattle Floats Cruise Berth at T-46

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Seattle Commission is seeking a partner to develop and run a new, single berth cruise facility at Terminal 46, an estimated $200 million facility that is expected to be ready in time for the 2022 cruise season.

The commission recently put out a Request for Qualifications due April 18 for a public-private-partnership opportunity that would call for the port to contribute to half the cost of the terminal build.

“The intangible asset of Alaska cruises creates opportunities for Washington businesses of all sizes, from farmers and wine producers in Eastern Washington to museums, hotels, and restaurants around King County,” said Port of Seattle Commission President Stephanie Bowman.

Commissioners also adopted principles that call for the local economy benefiting from a growing cruise business and ensuring the port has one of the most environmentally forward cruise homeports in North America.

“Our principles ensure that this new cruise terminal will expand local economic benefit, and with the addition of our third shore power berth will make Seattle the national leader in promoting clean, electric shore power for our Alaska-bound cruises,” Bowman said.

Meet Vancouver’s Port Leadership

By Karen Robes Meeks

Community members have a chance to get better acquainted with the leaders that govern the Port of Vancouver USA.

The port’s Board of Commissioners will host its next evening of coffee and conversation on March 25. The low-key setting allows guests to stop by to hear and talk about the port’s latest events and projects. The meet and greet will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. in the port’s Commission Room, 3103 Northwest Lower River Road, Vancouver, Wash.

Visit www.portvanusa.com or follow on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn (@portvanusa) for updates on upcoming Commission Coffees, which happen throughout the year in different parts of the port district.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Charleston to Memorialize Fishermen

By Karen Robes Meeks

Do you know someone who was deeply involved in the Charleston or Coos Bay area commercial fishing community for more than three years? The Port of Coos Bay is seeking nominations to add names to the Charleston Fishermen’s Memorial at Charleston Marina. The committee will also consider people with years spent in businesses related to the Charleston fishing industry.

Members of the memorial committee will review the nominations. New inductees will be honored at the annual Blessing of the Fleet Memorial Service at 10 a.m. on May 27.

Applications are available at the Charleston Marina Office, 63534 Kingfisher Road. Call Margery Whitmer at 541-297-2095 to have it sent to you. The deadline for submissions is April 1, 2019.

The committee is also seeking floral arrangement donations for the blessing ceremony.

Port of Olympia Supporting Community Projects

By Karen Robes Meeks

Two projects recently received support from the Port of Olympia Commission, namely the Senior Services of South Sound community kitchen feasibility study and the Lacey MakerSpace.

The commission sanctioned $19,000 toward a community kitchen feasibility study in partnership with Washington State University, Thurston Economic Development Council and Senior Services of South Sound. This project will look at the feasibility and develop a business plan for a community kitchen where all Senior Services meals can be prepared.

The commission also approved $15,000 toward equipment and other expenses for the Lacey MakerSpace project, in partnering with Thurston EDC, Saint Martin’s University and City of Lacey.

“The Lacey MakerSpace will be a community center that will contain industrial quality equipment, access for local businesses to equipment, and technology and fabricators,” according to the port, adding that the project will provide training on computers and equipment, and nurture collaboration among those with similar interests.

Two New Ferry Gates of San Francisco

By Karen Robes Meeks

Bay Area civic and transportation leaders recently celebrated the opening of the second of two new ferry gates that are part of the $98 million downtown San Francisco Ferry Terminal Expansion. The project seeks to boost downtown ferry capacity to meet growing demand for San Francisco Bay Ferry ridership.

“Right now it is simply too difficult for many people to commute in and out of San Fran-cisco,” said Mayor London Breed. “Our population and our economy are growing. We need to make sure that we continue to invest in our transportation infrastructure to break the gridlock, and this includes expanding our ferry service throughout the Bay Area.”

Ridership has doubled since 2012, officials said.

“San Francisco Bay Ferry service is growing with new routes and more passengers than ever,” said Nina Rannells, the executive director of the San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transit Authority. “These new gates in downtown San Francisco increase our capacity and represent a major upgrade to our busiest terminal. This is a huge milestone for this project and for the growth of WETA’s ferry service in the Bay Area.”

Port of Long Beach Offers Community Grants

By Karen Robes Meeks

North Long Beach organizations can apply for grants for park space, air filtration and energy efficiency projects through the Port of Long Beach, California’s Community Grants Program.

A workshop presentation for potential applicants will take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on March 21 at the District 9 Field Office, 6509 Gundry Ave., Long Beach 90805.

The program was created to help communities most impacted by port-related operations, with a focus on community health, facility improvements and community infrastructure.

Under this program, the port has awarded in excess of $8 million to local organizations. The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners has authorized more than $46 million toward the program.

To reserve a spot, email grants@polb.com or call (562) 283-7133. For more information on the program, visit www.polb.com/grants.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Los Angeles Community Grants

By Karen Robes Meeks

Up to $1 million in grants will be given by the Port of Los Angeles toward events and other efforts that benefit the Los Angeles waterfront and surrounding communities.

Local organizations who are interested in the port’s Community Investment Grants Program can attend upcoming workshops to gather additional information:
  • April 2 at Banning’s Landing Community Center in Wilmington, and
  • April 3 at the Port of Los Angeles headquarters in San Pedro
The grants, funded by income generated by the port, are awarded to activities that help promote:
  • Maritime and port-related workforce development and education;
  • Sustainable practices aimed at preservation and conservation of natural resources in the Port environment; or
  • LA Waterfront, its history and culture
The application deadline is 4 p.m. on May 6.

For more information, visit https://www.portoflosangeles.org/community/grants.

Polar Star Returns to Seattle

By Karen Robes Meeks

After 105 days deployed to Antarctica for Operation Deep Freeze, the 150 crew members of the US Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star recently returned to their Seattle homeport.

The crew left Seattle, Wash., on Nov. 27 for their sixth deployment and journeyed 11,200-nautical-miles to Antarctica for the annual joint military service mission supporting the National Science Foundation, the lead agency for the United States Antarctic Program.

The Polar Star muscled through 16.5 nautical miles of ice to open a channel to the pier at McMurdo Station and later guided the container ship Ocean Giant through the channel, which allowed the offloading of 10 million pounds of goods needed to replenish McMurdo Station, Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station and other US field camps for the coming 12 months.

New Matson Box Ship

By Karen Robes Meeks

The second of two 850-foot long, 3,600-TEU Aloha Class containerships was christened by Matson, Inc. and Philly Shipyard, Inc. at a ceremony on March 9.

Kaimana Hila is the new sister ship to Daniel K. Inouye. Its name is Hawaiian for "Diamond Head," the landmark crater near Waikiki Beach.

"This is a proud day for everyone at Matson," said Matt Cox, Matson's chairman and chief executive officer, at the shipyard ceremony. "Daniel K. Inouye has performed well in its first four months of service, and we are excited to have Kaimana Hila joining it soon. These new vessels herald the beginning of a new era in our Hawaii service and will allow us to serve our customers better than ever for decades to come."

The two ships cost nearly $418 million and are Matson's largest ships, each weighing in at more than 51,400 metric tons. They are the first of four new vessels Matson will place into its Hawaii service over the next 18 months.

Both vessels feature the newest sustainable technology, including “dual fuel engines that can be adapted to use liquefied natural gas (LNG), double hull fuel tanks, fresh water ballast systems and a more fuel-efficient hull design,” according to Matson.

New Maritime Director at San Francisco

By Karen Robes Meeks

Andre Coleman, Northern California area associate director for the Pacific Maritime Association, is the new Maritime Director for the Port of San Francisco effective March 4.

According to the port, Coleman will oversee the Maritime Division’s 28 employees and be responsible for the “strategic oversight and implementation of the port’s maritime portfolio including assets, services, operations, and labor and client relations for the 7.5 miles of San Francisco waterfront that extends from Fisherman’s Wharf to Islais Creek.”

“Andre Coleman will bring extensive maritime knowledge and relationships to the port,” said Port of San Francisco Executive Director Elaine Forbes. “His expertise in a wide range of maritime functions including labor relations and terminal, vessel, and yard operations will ensure San Francisco remains a waterfront for our working women and men, and the port sustains our growing maritime industry and remains fiscally secure.”

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Hueneme Starts Deepening

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Hueneme recently broke ground on its harbor excavation project.

The project, which seeks to deepen the port harbor from 35 feet to 40 feet, was mostly funded by a $12.3 million TIGER Grant (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) from the US Department of Transportation. That extra five feet means vessels won’t have to wait for high tide to enter the harbor.

The project also has economic reverberations, generating more than 563 new jobs, $28 million in business revenue, $5.8 million in local purchases, and $4.6 million in state and local taxes, according to the port.

“The Port of Hueneme is an instrumental and thriving component of Ventura County – forming an essential partnership in their mutual success,” said Congresswoman Julia Brownley. “Over the years, we have seen the successful expansion and growth of the Port to become a critical point of entry to our local and global economy.”

The work is expected to be completed by March 2020.

New LA Harbor Commissioner

By Karen Robes Meeks

Diane Middleton is the newest member of the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners.

Middleton, who attended her first meeting March 7, was appointed by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. She is an attorney and harbor area community activist.

“Diane is a proven leader with more than four decades of experience fighting for social justice and advocating for workers’ rights,” said Garcetti. “Angelenos will benefit from the breadth and depth of experience she will bring to the Board of Harbor Commissioners.”

The San Pedro resident takes over for longtime commissioner David Arian, who died in January following a long bout with cancer.

As an attorney, she represented injured auto, steel and hospital workers, including labor union activists. In 1979, Middleton started her own law practice in San Pedro, specializing in maritime law. Before retiring in 2010, she had represented approximately 7,000 individuals, including injured longshoremen and shipyard workers. In 1993, she co-founded the Harry Bridges Institute with David Arian and is still part of the leadership team.

New Everett CFO

By Karen Robes Meeks

Eric Russell, senior director in the finance department at Vulcan Inc. and former port employee, will be the Port of Everett’s Chief Financial Officer, taking the reins from John Carter, who announced his retirement after 30 years of public service.

“I want to thank John for his outstanding service to the Port of Everett,” Port Commission President Glen Bachman said. “His talent to creatively think outside of the box to develop financing solutions for the port, and his evident passion to enhance transparency in the budget process have been influential.”

Russell previously spent 11 years at the port as senior accountant and information services manager, and director of properties and development before working for 10 years at Vulcan Inc.

“Eric’s extensive finance and real estate background in both the public and private sectors, paired with his prior experience in port operations, provide a critical skillset as we continue to push forward with our top strategic initiatives to modernize our Seaport facilities and create a new mixed-use waterfront community at Waterfront Place,” Bachman said. Russell started in his new role on March 1.

San Diego Waterfront Park Proposed

By Karen Robes Meeks

The public is invited to weigh in on the future Harbor and Sweetwater Parks on the Chula Vista Bayfront.

The proposed parks represent more than 50 percent of the new park space planned for the Chula Vista Bayfront. Feedback on the designs will help inform the look and feel of these new green spaces. KTU+A and Jacob Petersen with Petersen Studio are the design teams.

The much larger Harbor Park will offer “signature amenities, recreational opportunities and programming,” while Sweetwater Park will connect visitors with the natural resources of the bayfront, according to the port.

The Sweetwater Park Design Workshop is set for 6 p.m. on March 20 at the City of Chula Vista Public Library, Civic Center Branch, located at 365 F St. in Chula Vista.

Friday, March 8, 2019

New Cutter for San Pedro Bay

By Karen Robes Meeks

The US Coast Guard commissioned the second of four new, California-based 154-foot Fast Response Cutters on March 2. The Coast Guard Cutter Robert Ward will be homeported in Los Angeles-Long Beach.

The four cutters will operate throughout the 11th Coast Guard District, which encompasses California and international waters off of Mexico and Central America.

“This cutter is specifically designed to face today’s threats in the maritime domain,” said Rear Adm. Peter Gautier, the 11th Coast Guard District commander. “This cutter is faster, goes further and can do more than any other Coast Guard patrol boat.”

The cutters were designed to conduct drug and migrant interdictions, search and rescue and other missions.

“The crew and I are truly honored to serve aboard such a capable platform and we look forward to continuing the Coast Guard's vital missions throughout California and the Pacific," said Lt. Benjamin Davne, the Robert Ward commanding officer.

Cranes Arrive at Tacoma

By Karen Robes Meeks

This week, the Port of Tacoma welcomed a massive ship carrying four super-post-Panamax container cranes bound for Husky Terminal located at the northwest end of the Blair Waterway.

The Zhen Hua 31, a 771-foot-long heavy-lift ship, carried the Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co. Ltd cranes, ordered by the Northwest Seaport Alliance, from China.

These new cranes – capable of working two 18,000-TEU container ships simultaneously – will possess an outreach of 24 containers and a lift height of 165 feet above the pier deck, according to the NWSA.

They will be installed at Husky Terminal, which recently completed an estimated $250 million in terminal improvements on Tacoma’s General Central Peninsula, including the strengthening and realigning of a berth and the addition of eight new super-post-Panamax cranes.

San Pedro Bay Clean Air Update

By Karen Robes Meeks

On Wednesday March 13, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will provide the latest progress report on the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan 2017 Update (CAAP). This will be the first of four meetings scheduled for this year.

The CAAP Update is the ports’ strategy for achieving its zero-emission goal while bolstering its position in the international economy.

Since enacting the strategy nearly 15 years ago, diesel particulate matter has fallen 87 percent, while nitrogen oxides dropped 58 percent, and sulfur oxides are down 97 percent. The 2017 version of the CAAP targets greenhouse gases from port operations. The goal is to lower GHG by 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

The meeting will take place from 9 to 11 a.m. in the 1st Floor Training Room at the Port of Long Beach Interim Administrative Offices, 4801 Airport Plaza Drive in Long Beach.

For more information visit www.cleanairactionplan.org.

Falls of Clyde Auction Falls Through

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Falls of Clyde, a 280-foot steel-mast sailing vessel docked at Pier 7 of Honolulu Harbor, could not be auctioned due to lack of qualified bidders, according to the Hawaii Department of Transportation.

“We were optimistic a bidder would step forward and purchase this ship, however we did not receive any qualified bids that were able to meet the requirements,” said Deputy Director Derek Chow, Hawaii Department of Transportation Harbors Division. “While a lot of people may want to see the ship restored, paying for it remains an issue.”

In accordance with state law, the agency’s Harbors Division will continue the process of removing the impounded and unpermitted vessel. Selling the vessel by negotiation, donating it to a governmental agency or otherwise disposing of it are some of the available options.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

President Signs Mariner Credential Order

By Karen Robes Meeks

Sea veterans will now be able to smoothly transition into the United States Merchant Marine, thanks to an Executive Order signed by President Donald Trump on Monday, March 4.

The order allows the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Homeland Security to support mariner credentialing. They will review all military training and experience to see which could qualify toward mariner credentials. Within a year of the order, they will submit a list of all identified training and experience to the US Coast Guard National Maritime Center. The NMC will then determine which ones can count towards credentialing and take appropriate action to waive fees for active service members pursuing or possessing a mariner credential.

A robust merchant marine is vital to US national and economic security, and qualified merchant mariners are in short supply, according to the president’s executive order.

“As our strategic competitors expand their global footprint, the United States must retain its ability to project and sustain forces globally. This capability requires a sufficient corps of credentialed merchant mariners available to crew the necessary sealift fleet. Attracting additional trained and credentialed mariners, particularly from active duty service members and military veterans, will support United States national security requirements and provide meaningful, well-paying jobs to United States veterans,” the order reads.

Port of Seattle to Develop Uplands

By Karen Robes Meeks

Port of Seattle commissioners agreed to spend $4 million toward the first phase of the Terminal 91 (T-91) Uplands Development, a move that supports infrastructure expansion of the area north of Magnolia Bridge.

The port’s Real Estate Development Department plans to build two 50,000-square-foot light industrial buildings to help maritime manufacturers and fishing industry suppliers in the Ballard Interbay Manufacturing Industrial Center.

The development will be done in two phases, spending the next 10 to 15 years, with the first phase focused on existing T-91 tenants and other maritime customers who want to expand operations on the property.

“With this approval, we can move forward with providing our local fishing and maritime clusters with much-needed industrial property,” said Commissioner Peter Steinbrueck. “We know that the key to expanding family-wage jobs in this region is developing industrial lands such as Terminal 91, an asset that can deliver jobs and growth for decades to come.”

Portland Terminal 6 Open for Breakbulk

By Karen Robes Meeks

Terminal 6 recently moved its first wind turbine tower parts, also known as “breakbulk” cargo, through its docks thanks to a partnership between Vestas, the Port of Portland and Portland-based Omega Morgan.

The sections for about 50 towers, which will be used on a wind project in Eastern Oregon, came from Korea. They were delivered over three separate ship calls. The last oversized shipment was handled on Friday, March 1 and later transported to its final destination by truck at night to minimize traffic issues.

“With our North American headquarters in Portland, we’re especially proud to be part of bringing the supply chain benefits of wind energy to the Port of Portland for a new wind project here in the state,” said Senior Manager of Transportation for Vestas North America, Arturus Espaillat. “The port’s ability to accommodate turbine components of this size was key to effectively and economically delivering the components to the project.”

“The port is focused on moving more breakbulk through Terminal 6 as we continue to serve shippers at our multi-use terminal,” said Port Chief Commercial Officer Keith Leavitt. “The local partnerships needed to complete this work complement a project that will bring renewable energy to the state.”.

Everett South Terminal Reaches Milestone

By Karen Robes Meeks

The final steel pile to support a strengthened South Terminal was installed at the end of February, marking a significant step in the Port of Everett’s Seaport Modernization program.

Since last summer, 343 piles have been set into the sea floor to strengthen the dock and make it ready to accommodate the next generation of over-dimensional cargo, including aerospace parts for the new 777X.

The South Terminal facility is a major component of the port’s modernization program.

First constructed in 1970s to support logging operations it couldn’t accommodate the minimum 1,000 pounds per square foot requirement for cargo operations. Phase 2 of the project was designed to bolster the remaining 560-feet of the 700-foot South Terminal dock structure and update the wharf’s electrical capabilities.

When completed, the dock will be able to support two, 100-foot gauge rail-mounted container cranes and provide the ability to plug in while at dock.

The $36 million project will be finalized by December 2019.

Long Beach Students to Partner with USCG

By Karen Robes Meeks

Long Beach students will benefit from a recently signed memorandum of understanding by the US Coast Guard and California State University, Long Beach for a Coast Guard scholarship program.

The College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative enacted by the Coast Guard Pacific Area Command allows Coast Guard Pacific Area deputy commander Rear Adm. Nathan A. Moore to award CSPI scholarships to applicants from their Minority Servicing Institution partner school.

Accepted students may take part in a minimum of 16 hours a month of Coast Guard activities.

"The Coast Guard is excited to begin this partnership with Cal State Long Beach," said Moore. "The CSPI program gives young men and women a chance to serve their country while earning their college degree, which is beneficial for the Coast Guard, the university and the community."

For more, visit www.gocoastguard.com.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Construction Starts on Four Foss Tugs

By Karen Robes Meeks

This week, Foss Maritime kicked off the construction of four Tier IV ASD 90 Tractor Tugs with a keel laying and welding at Nichols Brothers Boat Builders (NBBB) of Freeland, Wash.

The four tugs are part of the company’s ongoing fleet expansion program. They also represent the start of a new production line at NBBB to more efficiently meet the accelerated four-boat order.

"The new tugs are designed to upgrade our fleet and improve the company’s ability to provide timely harbor and port services to a variety of customers. By offering lower maintenance down time, greater operating efficiencies and lower emissions, these new tugs help expand our nearshore and offshore capabilities,” said Foss Maritime President and CEO John Parrott.

Foss has the option for six more Jensen Maritime Consultants-designed ASD 90 tugs, which uses high-efficiency catalytic aftertreatment technology to lower emissions. They will be outfitted with two MTU series 4000 main engines, Rolls-Royce US255 azimuth thrusters and Markey winches.

“Foss is celebrating our 130th anniversary this year, and I can’t think of a better way to kick off our 130 years than by laying the keel of our next generation of harbor tugs,” said Parrott. “These new vessels will not just expand our fleet but will add new vitality with the latest innovative technology.”

The first vessel is expected to be delivered in the winter of 2020.

Hawaii DOT Earns High Rating

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Hawaii Department of Transportation recently earned a 'AA-' rating from Fitch Ratings on its $160.3 million of outstanding harbor system revenue bonds, with a rating outlook of “stable.”

While the port's outstanding debt balance is expected to rise in the short term with the anticipated borrowing of $260 million next fiscal year, leverage will remain supportive of the current rating given the port's high liquidity levels.

“Despite a sizeable capital plan that calls for additional borrowing, the harbor system is expected to maintain its historically robust financial profile with strong coverage, relatively low leverage, and high liquidity providing over 1,000 days cash on hand,” the report reads.

The port system has a natural monopoly on serving the Hawaiian Islands, offsetting the system’s exposure to tourism industry fluctuations. It also benefits from positive revenue trends from stable volume growth and an enacted tariff rate mechanism.

Long Beach Holds Port Grant Workshops

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach will host workshops for local organizations who want to apply for the port’s Community Grants Program. The program seeks to fund projects providing park space, enhancing energy efficiency and taking on indoor air pollution.

Proposed projects must be located within the program’s priority zone, which represents the area most affected by port operations. The zone stretches from downtown Long Beach north along 710 freeway and includes portions of Wilmington, Carson, Compton and Paramount.

Two workshops will take place on March 13 in the Board Room of the port’s Interim Administrative Offices, 4801 Airport Plaza Drive, Long Beach, CA 90815.

The 1 p.m. workshop will focus on indoor air filtration and energy-efficiency projects, while the 2 p.m. workshop will cover parks and open space projects.

To reserve a workshop spot email grants@polb.com or call 562-283-7133. Request for translation must be received by March 6.

For more details, visit www.polb.com/grants. The workshop will be broadcast live at www.polb.com/webcast.

Camas-Washougal Seeks Committee Members

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Camas-Washougal is looking for residents interested in participating in The Performing Arts and Cultural Center Steering Committee. The committee will work closely with the port and will be tasked with submitting recommendations on the waterfront center’s design, planning and building, as well as the development of an operational and strategic plan for the center.

Starting in April, the port will interview and chose applicants for the committee.

Applications must be received by April 1 at 5 p.m. They can be sent to the Port Office at 24 South A Street, Washougal, WA 98607 or emailed to Yvette@portcw.com.

For more information, visit portcw.com.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Bulker Makes Maiden Stop at Vancouver, USA

By Karen Robes Meeks

Earlier this month, the 590-foot-long Handymax bulk carrier Iwagi Island arrived at the Port of Vancouver USA as a stop on its maiden voyage.

Capt. Yi Hai Yu of China and his 17-crew members were greeted Feb. 15 by representatives from Kinder Morgan Bulk Terminals, Cascade Marine Agencies Ltd. and General Steamship Agencies.

Built in Imabari, Japan, the Iwagi Island is owned by Iwagi Island Limited and operated by Pacific Basin Shipping (HK) Limited. It arrived at the Washington port to load approximately 26,000 metric tons of copper concentrate before leaving for ports in the Black Sea.

Hueneme CEO Decas General Manager of the Year

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Ventura County Special District Association has named the Oxnard Harbor District/Port of Hueneme CEO and Port Director Kristin Decas General Manager of the Year for her efforts in growing cargo and protecting the environment. Since 1974, the association has represented more than 20 independently governed special districts in Ventura County.

“I am humbled to be selected for this accolade,” Decas said. “It takes a village to realize success. I would like to thank my Port Board of Harbor Commissioners for their leadership and tireless efforts; the port’s team, our industry and community partners. Every spoke in the wheel, all these stakeholders give 100 percent to the progress of the port, which in turn has created 23.5 percent growth over the past six years.”

According to the port, Decas has also enacted several environmental initiatives, including shoreside power, public electric vehicle charging stations, a zero-waste policy, and a joint clean air plan with the Ventura County Air Pollution Control District.

“Kristin is very deserving of this recognition,” said Mary Anne Rooney, Oxnard Harbor District commissioner. “Her passion, dedication, and service to the interests of our local community and our port customers, is a true testament to her character.”

Grays Harbor Project Phase II Completed

By Karen Robes Meeks

At the Port of Grays Harbor’s sixth annual Business Report event presented earlier this month, port leaders touted its business successes and the completion of Phase II of the Grays Harbor Navigation Improvement Project.

Commission President Stan Pinnick announced record-breaking cargo results handled at the port’s four deep-water terminals, record number of camping nights at Friends Landing and Westport Marina’s commercial seafood landings ranking 11th in the nation.

Past strategic investments in infrastructure have resulted in today’s success for port partners, acknowledge Executive Director Gary Nelson.

“Our customers and tenants are able to utilize the buildings, docks, waterways, roadways, rail and utilities that we have invested in to support and grow their businesses, employ our neighbors and generate solid economic impacts for our community,” he said.

Nelson noted that investment in infrastructure will continue this year with road paving projects in the Port Industrial area and Satsop Business Park, dredging and upland improvements at Westport Marina, and a critical drainage project at Bowerman Airport.

The port also celebrated the long-awaited completion of a Grays Harbor Navigation Channel deepening project, allowing more vessels to call at the Grays Harbor.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Vancouver USA Soliciting Developers

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Vancouver USA is looking for developers with ideas for a portion of its 10-acre site on the Columbia River in Vancouver, Washington.

Developers have until 5 p.m. PST on March 21 to submit proposals for designing, permitting, constructing and managing a mixed-used development on available land at Terminal 1, which includes two blocks on the north part of Columbia Way between the riverfront and Vancouver’s downtown. The mixed-use development concept is to include office, residential, retail on the ground level and parking.

“Our request for qualifications is an important step toward reinventing this remarkable waterfront property as the premier gateway to Washington state and the connection to all our community has to offer, from public trails and historic sites to distinctive shopping and restaurants,” said Mike Schiller, port director of business development. “Terminal 1, and specifically the mixed-use development, will be vital to the ongoing revitalization of the Columbia River waterfront.”

San Diego Microgrid Planned

By Karen Robes Meeks

Work is expected to begin in March to upgrade the infrastructure needed to support a renewable, solar-powered microgrid at the Port of San Diego’s Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal.

Last week, the Board of Port Commissioners awarded Chambers, Inc. nearly $1.6 million to replace the roof of warehouse B with a new, lighter and more durable single-ply Thermoplastic Polyolefin membrane roof system. The construction is expected to be completed by December 2019.

The roof work is part of the larger $9.6 million microgrid project, which is funded by a grant from the California Energy Commission and other matching funds.

With installation expected by summer 2020, the microgrid will help address the need for renewable energy at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal. It will also help lower greenhouse gas emissions, save the port about $168,000 in utility rates annually and allows the terminal to run for about 12 hours without connecting to the larger electrical grid. The microgrid will feature solar photovoltaic panels. Other component of the project includes battery energy storage, a centralized microgrid controller and other electrical and energy efficiency improvements. It will also give backup energy to port facilities, powering security infrastructure, lights, offices, and the existing jet fuel storage system.

“The Microgrid Project will not only help us reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality, it will also make us more resilient in the event of natural or human-caused disasters that impact the electric grid,” said Board of Port Commissioners Chairman Garry Bonelli. “With the added bonus of reducing energy costs, this project is good for the community, for businesses on the terminal, and for the port.”

Big New Cranes for Oakland

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Oakland announced Tuesday, Feb. 18 that three 300-foot-tall gantry cranes would be arriving late next year to Oakland International Container Terminal.

SSA Terminals, which operates Oakland International Container Terminal, ordered the $30 million cranes from Shanghai-based ZPMC. They will be delivered by ship from China and arrive partially assembled in order to clear the San Francisco-Oakland Bay bridge. According to SSA, with booms upraised the cranes could be 440-feet tall. They will have a lift height of 174 feet above the dock and be able to reach 225 feet across a ship’s deck.

“Big ships are the future,” said SSA Containers President Ed DeNike. “They’re coming to Oakland and we’re going to be ready for them.”

The cranes will allow SSA to move containers on and off the world’s biggest cargo vessels from stacks 12 boxes high above deck. “This demonstrates the faith that business partners have in Oakland as a trade gateway,” said Port Maritime Director John Driscoll. “There’s no more visible sign of a port’s growth than installing larger ship-to-shore cranes.”

New Director for Bellingham SeaFeast

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Bellingham SeaFeast Board of Directors has hired a new executive director to oversee its popular event celebrating Whatcom County’s maritime roots and waterfront offerings.

Liz Purdy has been tapped to helm Bellingham SeaFeast, set for Sept. 21-22, 2019.

“Liz Purdy is the ideal candidate to serve as Executive Director for Bellingham SeaFeast,” said SeaFeast Board of Directors Chair and Port Executive Director Rob Fix. “Liz worked during last year’s festival and proved herself to be a tremendous asset. Liz has the working waterfront background and event planning experience necessary to hit the ground running and continue to grow attendance at this incredible event.”

Purdy said she is honored to serve in the role.

“Bellingham SeaFeast represents what I love about living in Whatcom County,” she said. “[Former executive director] Deb Granger started this event with a vision to showcase the significance of the working waterfront. I intend to carry that vision forward to host a family-friendly celebration with plenty of fresh seafood for an experience that keeps people coming back each year.” The event was launched in 2016 as a way to bolster tourism and hotel occupancy during the off-season.

“Many people don’t understand just how much fish comes over the docks in Whatcom County” said Granger. “Over 6,000 people in Whatcom County have jobs created or supported by the maritime sector and the success of Bellingham SeaFeast is the result of the pride in our waterfront shared by the individuals and families who make up our maritime and commercial fishing industries.”

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Illegal Drugs from California Intercepted

By Karen Robes Meeks

Six people were arrested earlier this year by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers for their alleged involvement in an illegal drug shipment at the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport.

According to the release, Australian agents assigned to the Joint Organized Crime Task Force (JOCTF) told Homeland Security Investigations special agents about a “planned large-scale drug importation by a suspected drug smuggling group operating out of California.”

CBP authorities discovered the drugs, concealed inside fake loudspeakers, in two containers bound for Australia on Jan. 11. This investigation led to the arrest of two US and four Australian citizens by the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

“This is the biggest ever seizure of methamphetamine – more than 1.7 tons – stopped before it had a chance to reach Australian streets,” said AFP National Manager Organized Crime Assistant Commissioner Bruce Hill. “The JOCTF investigation demonstrated the effectiveness of Australian and international authorities working together to stamp out illicit drug importation, and I wish to thank our US counterparts for their expert involvement in this investigation.”

The seizure consisted of 3,810 pounds of methamphetamine, 55.9 pounds of cocaine, and 11.5 pounds of heroin.

“This is an extraordinary example of the superb and effective collaboration between CBP, HSI and our Australian law enforcement partners in targeting an international high-scale narcotics operation, and the unity of effort in protecting our communities from the irreversible harm of harsh drugs like methamphetamine,” said Carlos C. Martel, CBP director of Field Operations in Los Angeles.

Oakland Imports Rise

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Oakland handled 81,895 TEUs of imported cargo last month, a nine percent jump from January 2018, making it the busiest January on record for imports. It marks six straight months of rising imports, according to the port.

Officials credited the surge to US shippers rushing products into the country because of the worry about future Chinese tariff increases and importers stocking up on goods before Asian factories close to celebrate the annual Lunar New Year. Asia is Oakland’s biggest trade market.

“Concern over international trade issues has driven unprecedented import volume,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “We’re watching closely to see what happens next.”

SOLAS Discrepancies Bring Vessel Detentions

By Karen Robes Meeks

Seven foreign vessels have been detained since November 2018 after the US Coast Guard found compliance discrepancies with the International Maritime Organization Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) multilateral treaty during Port State Control exams, the agency announced Wednesday.

The latest detention took place after Marine Safety Unit Portland examiners found 100 inoperable carbon dioxide cylinders, which are needed to extinguish fires in the vessel’s machinery space or cargo holds.

“The Coast Guard maintains the safety of the port by preventing damage to property or the marine environment,” said Capt. Tom Griffitts, commanding officer, Marine Safety Unit Portland. “Inspectors from our unit do a great job of identifying major non-conformities aboard vessels and through this identification we ensure vessels are safe, secure, and environmentally sound to transit the complex Columbia River System.”

New LA Port Policy Director

By Karen Robes Meeks

Jennifer Cohen is the Port of Los Angeles’ new director of Policy and Legislative Affairs. She recently worked as director of government affairs for the Los Angeles Department of Transportation.

In her new role, effective Feb. 25, Cohen will oversee the port’s legislative team, help develop the port’s local, state, federal and international policy priorities and communicate with the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, the Los Angeles City Council and other governmental and regulatory agencies, according to the port.

“As the busiest port in [the] nation, the Port of Los Angeles has a major interest in assuring that public policy and government initiatives support our business priorities and needs,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “We are thrilled to have someone of Jennifer’s caliber and expertise on board to guide our legislative and government affairs efforts.”

Previously, she was the main liaison to the L.A. City Council and managed state and federal government and regulatory affairs at the Southern California Regional Rail Authority.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Record Box Numbers in San Pedro

By Karen Robes Meeks

The nation’s two busiest seaports, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, posted record or near record cargo numbers last month, the ports announced Wednesday.

Los Angeles had its busiest January ever, moving 852,449 TEUs, a 5.4 percent increase from the same period last year. It also represents the seventh straight month in which the port moves more than 800,000 TEUs.

"These robust volumes reflect the pre-Lunar New Year surge of cargo, continued tariff-related inventory advances and strong consumer demand,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “With warehouses and distribution centers already full with spring goods and supplies, we will see softer volumes immediately after the Lunar New Year as anticipated.” The port handled 429,923 TEUs in imports, a 1.7 percent increase from January 2018, while it moved 144,993 TEUs in exports, a 3.4 percent drop for the same period.

Meanwhile, Long Beach tallied 657,286 TEUs, 0.1 percent lower than January 2018, which stands as the port’s busiest January. “It’s encouraging to see these healthy volumes to start the year,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “As long as the economy is performing well, we expect our container trade to mirror it. Regardless, the Port will continue to focus on delivering operational excellence, working with ocean carriers, terminals, truckers, labor, cargo owners and all of our many stakeholders.”

Long Beach also registered 323,838 TEUs in imports a 0.3 percent decrease compare to January 2018 and 117,288 TEUs in exports, a 2.7 percent drop.

“While it will be a challenge to top last year, when we moved the most cargo in our 108-year history, we do anticipate modest growth in 2019,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Tracy Egoscue. “The Commission would like to wish our supply chain partners in Asia a happy Lunar New Year, and prosperous months ahead.”

Bellingham, Lummi Reach Accord

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Bellingham and Lummi Nation announced on Wednesday, Feb. 13 that they have reached a landmark agreement that will go a long way in settling long-standing issues that have affected the Lummi Nation’s fishing grounds and stations.

In the region’s early days before the port existed, white settlers began dredging Bellingham Bay and Drayton Harbor for development, a move that ruined “valuable finfish and shellfish habitat and created a permanent obstruction to Lummi fishing areas protected by the Point Elliot Treaty of 1855 with the Federal Government,” according to the port, which now owns/operated the areas affected by these changes.

Instead of going to court, the port and the Lummi Nation decided to work on an agreement, allowing the port to maintain and upgrade its in-water facilities while providing the Lummi Nation with vessel moorage in Squalicum and Blaine Harbors for their fishing fleet.

“This agreement sets the stage for a new era of cooperation and economic prosperity. The port and Lummi Nation are working collaboratively to not only increase the number of salmon in local waters, but to also increase public understanding of the Lummi Nation’s treaty rights and cultural heritage,” noted the port.

Marina Wins Award

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles-owned and Westrec Marinas-operated Cabrillo Way Marina has earned a 2018 Boaters’ Choice Award by marinas.com. The announcement was made Tuesday, Feb. 12.

The Boaters’ Choice Awards are based on audience reviews posted on marinas.com. Boaters praised the Cabrillo Way Marina’s helpful staff, cleanliness, new docks, and ease and accessibility of the slips.

“Marinas are the very first point of visibility and experience for most boaters,” said Westrec President Bill Anderson. “Setting a high bar to ensure their experience keeps them coming back and out on the water is one of Westrec’s primary mandates.”

Located south of 22nd and Miner streets, the 700-slip Cabrillo Way Marina encompasses 87 acres of land and water in the West Channel/Cabrillo Beach Recreational Complex, which includes a public waterfront promenade.

The $147.6 million marina was completed in 2011 and represented the port’s biggest non-terminal construction project at the time.

“Between 2005 and 2025 the Port of Los Angeles is investing more than $1 billion in the LA Waterfront, with approximately $700 million already spent,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “The Cabrillo Way Marina is a great example of how that investment continues to provide significant benefits to the community.”

USCG Fatality

By Karen Robes Meeks

A member of the US Coast Guard assigned to the Coast Guard Cutter Hickory (WLB-212) died Jan. 31 shortly after an accident at the Coast Guard buoy yard in Homer, Alaska.

A crane accident occurred while Chief Warrant Officer Michael Kozloski, 35, from Mahopac, New York, was working in the buoy yard.

Emergency responders performed CPR on Kozloski before he was taken to South Peninsula Hospital, where he died.

“It’s with great sadness that we announce the passing of a devoted shipmate, husband and father following this tragic accident,” said Rear Adm. Matthew T. Bell Jr., Coast Guard 17th District commander. “Chief Warrant Officer Kozloski faithfully served his country for over 17 years and we are forever grateful for his steadfast devotion to duty and sacrifices.”

The Coast Guard is investigating the accident.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Input Solicited on Long Beach Harbor Improvements

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach and the US Army Corps of Engineers are asking the public to weigh in on potential environmental issues related to harbor improvements.

The public will be able to comment on the Port of Long Beach Deep Draft Navigation Feasibility Study and Channel Deepening Project environmental impact statement and a study on the project’s “economic benefits, costs, increased transportation efficiencies and improved navigational safety,” according to the port.

The meeting is set for 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 13, in the Board Room of the port’s Interim Administrative Offices, 4801 Airport Plaza Drive in Long Beach, Calif.

Written comments can be sent to ceqa@polb.com or mailed to the Director of Environmental Planning, Port of Long Beach, 4801 Airport Plaza Drive, Long Beach, CA 90815. Feedback must be received by 4 p.m. on March 1, 2019.

For more, visit www.polb.com/ceqa.

New Cruise Lines for San Diego

By Karen Robes Meeks

Last week, the Port of San Diego welcomed two European cruise lines that made their inaugural calls to the port, a sign that the “cruise business is bouncing back,” the port announced.

The 964-foot-long, 3,000-passenger MSC Magnifica arrived Feb. 5 as part of a 118-day global cruise visiting two dozen countries. On Feb. 8, German Cruise Line Phoenix Reisen’s 757-foot-long, 1,260-passenger Artania stopped in San Diego during its 116-day global cruise. Both trips started in Genoa, Italy, and are making their way along the California coast.

“The Port of San Diego is proud to welcome MSC Magnifica and the Phoenix Reisen Artania on their inaugural visits,” said Garry Bonelli, Chairman of the Board of Port Commissioners. “These Port calls highlight the diversity of our cruise line customers and strengthen San Diego’s reputation as a world-class destination for vacations.”

The port expects about 92 cruise calls and nearly 300,000 passengers in fiscal year 2019-2020.

Olympia Gains New Citizen Advisors

By Karen Robes Meeks

Three new members have joined the Port of Olympia Commission’s Citizens Advisory Committee: Kevin Decker, Chris Richardson and Tom Szymoniak.

“I am impressed by the number of motivated and qualified members of our community willing to give their time and knowledge to assist the commissioners with issues and opportunities that chart the future of our port,” said Port Commissioner Bill McGregor.

Formed in 1994, the Citizens Advisory Committee is made up of nine to 13 volunteer residents who gather monthly to address commission assignment, which includes various port programs and projects such as the ferry study, fuel dock report, public participation report, port cargoes report, port renaming, comprehensive plan land use plan update, new market industrial campus development alternatives study, commission redistricting, marine fuel dock public participation, small cities program report, and naming convention and protocols.

Port of Bellingham Seeks Event Planners

By Karen Robes Meeks

Calling all event planners and coordinators. The Port of Bellingham, Wash., is looking for proposals related to the organization of ticketed events at the Port of Bellingham Parks in 2019.

The events – which may take place in either Zuanich Point Park, Tom Glenn Common or Marine Park in Fairhaven – should highlight what Whatcom County has to offer in terms of retail, recreation, art and culture, all within the backdrop of these parks’ expansive views of the local waterfront.

For more details on this opportunity, review the Request For Proposal information posted at www.portofbellingham.com/DocumentCenter/View/8324/Ticketed-Event-RFP or email events@portofbellingham.com to request a copy. Proposal must be submitted by March 31, 2019.

Friday, February 8, 2019

New Matson VP

By Karen Robes Meeks

Branton B. "Bal" Dreyfus has been appointed Matson’s vice president, Alaska, and will report directly to Chairman and CEO Matt Cox, the company announced on Wednesday, Feb. 6.

Dreyfus, who will replace Kenny Gill, will be tasked with overseeing all of Matson’s operations in Alaska, including terminal operations, customer service, sales and financial performance of Matson’s terminals in Anchorage, Kodiak, and Dutch Harbor.

Before starting as Matson’s general manager, Sales Mainland in 1993, Dreyfus spent six years working for Sea-Land in Guam, the Philippines, Thailand, and Tacoma, Wash.

Within a year, Dreyfus became Area Manager, Northern California, then Vice President/Area Manager, Southern California in 1995. He later was named Vice President/Area Manager Hawaii, a role he fulfilled from 1998 to 2001. He then served as president of Matson Logistics Solutions (2001–2004); Vice President, West Coast Terminals and Vehicle Operations from 2005 to 2017; and most recently, as Vice President Equipment and Purchasing.

"We're building on more than 50 years of experience serving Alaska with some of the most knowledgeable people in our industry," Cox said. "Adding Bal to this team brings more than 30 years of management experience in all facets of ocean shipping – including his years with SeaLand, the company that established the Alaska history we're building on today."

Cocaine Seized

By Karen Robes Meeks

More than $83 million worth of cocaine was seized, thanks to members of the Coast Guard Cutter Alert.

The crew, which recently came home after a 60-day counter-drug patrol in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, interdicted two suspected drug smuggling vessels carrying more than 5,700 pounds of cocaine and held seven suspected drug traffickers.

“Coast Guard men and women operating under Joint Interagency Task Force-South, a US Southern Command component, use military hardware and law enforcement authority to interdict smuggling vessels and bring the suspects to justice,” said Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz. “This disrupts key funding sources for these dangerous criminal networks and diminishes their influence in the Western Hemisphere. Aviation forces from the US Navy, US Air Force, US Coast Guard, US Customs & Border Protection, and others all support this crucial effort.”

Developers Compete for Camas-Washougal Job

By Karen Robes Meeks

This month, four developers will be vying for the opportunity to partner with the Port of Camas-Washougal on the Parker's Landing Waterfront Development. They will be interviewed between Feb. 11 and 22.

The port's strategic advisors, The Leland Consulting Group, will help with the interviewing process.

"This is a very exciting time for the Port and the community," said Port CEO David Ripp. "Choosing the right developer that will continue the vision of a thriving and vibrant destination is of vital importance."

Many of the port’s waterfront projects are in progress, including the clearing of the 20.5 acres for future development. This month, Keystone Contracting is expected to work on the Waterfront Park Natural Play Area. Construction of the connector trail between the waterfront and the City of Washougal’s downtown should begin this summer.

Visit portcw.com for more details.

San Diego Master Plan Workshops

By Karen Robes Meeks

This month, the Port of San Diego is hosting two public workshops to gather feedback on its Integrated Planning Port Master Plan Update (PMPU), the blueprint for developing the 6,000 acres of waterfront property within the port, which includes the Embarcadero area.

The public is invited to weigh in on “the preferred uses for the Embarcadero, specifically North and Central Embarcadero, because of the great interest both residents and visitors have in this highly visible area,” according to the port. “The feedback will be used in developing policies within the PMPU, the culmination of the Port’s Integrated Planning initiative, which is currently being drafted.”

The workshops are set to begin at10 a.m. on Feb. 12 and on Feb. 25 at the Port of San Diego Administration Building, 3165 Pacific Highway in San Diego, California.

For more about the PMPU, visit portofsandiego.org/integrated-planning.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Port of Hueneme Sees ‘A’ Rating

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Hueneme has garnered an ‘A’ credit rating from the Standard and Poor’s (S & P) bond rating system. The port’s stability with its top customers, solid fiscal track record and favorable GDP per capital were among several factors that went into S & P’s decision to raise the port’s bond rating.

“As an independent special district that does not rely on taxes but on our earned revenue, this accomplishment is a testament to the efforts of our District staff and leadership in prioritizing the Port’s fiscal health,” stated Oxnard Harbor District President Jess Herrera. “Being a public agency, we have the responsibility to be good stewards of our finances, and this third-party certification signals to the public, potential lenders, and our customers that we have our fiscal house in order.”

This bond rating increase comes at a crucial time for the port, which is embarking on several infrastructure development projects that may require the port to go to the bond market to finance, said CEO & Port Director Kristin Decas.

“This upgraded rating will allow the port better borrowing terms, and ultimately save the public millions of dollars over the life of projects.”.

Economic Impact Reported for Seaport Alliance

By Karen Robes Meeks

Together, the ports of Seattle and Tacoma accounted for 20,100 jobs, $1.9 billion in labor income and nearly $6 billion in business output from marine cargo in 2017, according to an economic impact report released by the Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA).

The tandem ports, which team up to create the fourth largest seaport in North America, saw more than 3.7 million TEUs carrying 26.1 million metric tons of containerized cargo that year, most of it international.

“The 3.7 million containers the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma handled in 2017 supported 15,000 jobs and $1.5 billion in income and benefits. These middle-class jobs, averaging $95,000, are the backbone of an inclusive economy and underscore the importance of protecting and investing in our working waterfront,” said Port of Seattle Commission Vice President and NWSA Managing Member Fred Felleman. “These port-related jobs are among the top-earning industries in King and Pierce Counties.”

According to the report, when indirect and induced ports-related activities are factored in, the NWSA activities supported 58,400 jobs in Washington, $3.2 billion in labor earnings and $9.7 billion in business output. Contributing to those numbers are auto imports, which supported 1,330 jobs, over $108.4 million in labor earnings and close to $309 million in business output; marine cargo accounted for3,880 jobs, $292 million in labor income and more than $1 billion in business output.

“More than 90 percent of the world’s trade travels over water, with total volume expected to triple by 2050,” said Port of Tacoma Commission President and NWSA Managing Member Clare Petrich. “NWSA ports need to be primed and ready to serve the future needs of our entire state.”

Oakland Increases Cold Ironing

By Karen Robes Meeks

Shore power use is ramping up at the Port of Oakland. About 75 percent of all vessels that arrived at the Northern California seaport in 2018 switched to landside electricity, up from 68 percent the previous year.

“Shore power is the most effective way we know to reduce vessel emissions,” said Port of Oakland Environmental Planner Catherine Mukai. “We’re pleased because the trends are positive.”

Among those leading the way are ocean carriers MSC and Hyundai Merchant Marine, which allowed for 100 percent deployment of shore power-ready ships and plugged in 165 vessels last year. Oakland International Container Terminal linked over 750 ships to shore power during the year.

“Shore power is the best way to meet the Port’s clean air goals and reduce the impact of global containerized trade on our neighbors,” said Environmental Planner Catherine Mukai, who presented awards to the three businesses at the port’s annual State of the Port address last month.

Promotions at Global Diving

By Karen Robes Meeks

Seattle-based Global Diving & Salvage, Inc. recently promoted two of its own Marine Construction, Engineering & Technology team members: Estimating Group Manager Renee Gowdy and Lead Estimator Lee Brockmoller.

A Global employee since 2010 and a construction veteran for more than three decades, Gowdy has been elevated to Construction Group Manager, overseeing the group’s day-to-day operations. She will work with the company’s Business Development Group to go after new opportunities and customers.

According to the company, her expertise in estimating and preconstruction project development has been critical to Global’s successful bidding efforts.

Brockmoller, who’s been with Global since 2016 and brings more than 15 years of project manager and estimator experience, is now Global’s Chief Estimator responsible for the Marine Construction Group’s bidding and proposal efforts.

“Global has seen impressive growth the last few years, and Renee and Lee have both played critical roles in helping us achieve and maintain our goals,” said Mike Langen, vice president of Marine Construction, Engineering & Technology. “Their advancement is not only well-deserved; their new roles will help Global as we continue to seek out new projects and opportunities across the US.”

Friday, February 1, 2019

Hueneme’s Herrera Sees Seventh Stint

By Karen Robes Meeks

Jess Herrera will, in 2019, serve his seventh term as president of the Port of Hueneme Board of Harbor Commissioners. First elected to the Board in 1994, Herrera is the port’s longest consecutively serving commissioner. He served 10 terms as Executive Officer of the Internal Longshore and Warehouse Union and eight terms as Chairman of the ILWU’s Southern California Regional Jurisdiction Committee.

Herrera, currently a marine clerk, has worked on the waterfront at the Port of Hueneme for 53 years.

“In a time with unprecedented political strife in our nation, we have the opportunity to lead locally by prioritizing goals that are both socially responsible and in the best interests of all our stakeholders,” Herrera said when asked about his goals for the port this year. “Our shared future prosperity is dependent on our ability to expand port facilities and infrastructure. I look forward to working closely with my fellow elected officials and community stakeholders to create greater access to economic opportunity, a district free from the woes of crime and poverty, and a sustainable environment where all can succeed.”

Long Beach Delegation to Southeast Asia

By Karen Robes Meeks

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia and Port of Long Beach officials are on their way to Southeast Asia on a trade mission to bolster international relationships and explore business opportunities in the region.

The nine-day mission includes stops in Singapore and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. It will also mark the first time a sitting Long Beach mayor visit Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Long Beach’s sister city. Long Beach has the highest population of Cambodians outside of Cambodia.

“Long Beach and Cambodia are united by our culture and our people,” Garcia said. “We must work to strengthen that bond by increasing trade and tourism and creating jobs for Long Beach.”

The delegation will go to Singapore to meet with officials from Ocean Network Express, which began calling to the Port of Long Beach last year.

“The continued economic growth of Cambodia and Vietnam creates a strong potential for increasing trade through the Port of Long Beach,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Tracy Egoscue. “We are looking forward to building new alliances and strengthening existing relationships with our partners in Southeast Asia.”

There is a strong desire to build trade between the port and these rapidly emerging markets.

“Trade with Asia allows the Long Beach economy to thrive, and a personal exchange of ideas will bond our communities closer together. This trip will solidify the cultural and economic ties between Long Beach and our Asian partners for years to come,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero.

Oakland Opens Transaction Portal

By Karen Robes Meeks

This week, the Port of Oakland expanded its online portal to feature transaction times for harbor truck drivers, allowing them to see how long it takes to pick up or drop off cargo.

“This is a big step forward on our digital platform,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “It helps take the guesswork out of scheduling for truckers, dispatchers and the owners of cargo that moves through Oakland.”

Activated in May 2018, the Oakland Portal gathers shipping data from every marine terminal in the harbor to help stakeholders better plan for their customers. The new addition of turn times means fewer bottlenecks at terminals.

Everett Wins State Auditor’s Award

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Everett was recently bestowed with a State Auditor’s Stewardship Award, the state’s highest honor for financial achievement in government, highlighting the port’s century of outstanding financial accountability, transparency and stewardship of public resources.

“The Office of the Washington State Auditor recognizes the Port of Everett’s dedication to making government work better,” State Auditor Pat McCarthy stated in a letter to the Port Commission. “The port recently celebrated its 100th year of operation and throughout this time, the port’s leadership has promoted a culture of accountability and dedication to maintaining strong internal controls throughout its processes. Management has consistently shown compliance with state law and the Port’s own policies by immediately acting on suggestions or recommendations throughout the Port’s audits and by staying current on regulations. Of particular note, the port has not received an audit finding in over 20 years.”

“To be proud of this incredible accomplishment is an understatement,” said John Carter, chief financial officer for the port. “Receiving a stewardship award of this caliber and checking off our 21st consecutive clean audit is a testament to the leadership of our Port Commission, our dedicated financial team managed by Port Controller Robert Marion, and the work of our entire staff who take pride in ensuring we continue to be fiscally responsible.”

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Hueneme Strengthens Guatemalan Trade Agreement

By Karen Robes Meeks

Following its first trade mission to Guatemala, the Port of Hueneme announced this month the signing of a major sister port agreement with Puerto Quetzal, the leading Guatemalan seaport. The agreement – a pledge for the two ports to work together to bolster their trade relationship and share best practices – further strengthens the port’s relationship with Guatemala, Hueneme’s top trading partner by volume with more than 345,886 US cargo tons traded annually.

“Guatemala is one of our top trading partners, with millions of bananas being imported from the country’s farms to our port each year,” said CEO and Port Director Kristin Decas. “Establishing a sister port relationship with the Port of Quetzal is the next step in opening doors of trade, sharing best practices in logistics and environmental sustainability, and building upon our relationship for the betterment of our port communities.”

On the trip, port officials explored ways to boost its trade and partnerships with Chiquita, Del Monte, One Banana Company and other customers who operate in Guatemala. The port also promoted Hueneme to exporters and shipper associations there “as a port of choice for new business supporting Ventura County’s agricultural and general cargo exports along with Guatemala mango, coffee, and agricultural imports.”

“It was great to visit our partners in Guatemala and to be able to better understand their operations and discuss opportunities to grow together,” said Dona Toteva Lacayo, the Port’s Chief Commercial and Public Affairs Officer. “As we export a variety of US West Coast grown fruit to Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala’s strong agricultural and manufacturing sectors are also very well positioned to play a pivotal role in the continued expansion of trade with Port of Hueneme’s customers for many years to come.”

TraPac Completes Oakland Expansion

By Karen Robes Meeks

On Thursday, TraPac marine terminal completed a two-year, $67 million project to boost the capacity of the Port of Oakland’s second-biggest terminal with the opening of its newest vessel berth.

The project expanded the terminal from 66 to 123 acres, added three more ship-to-shore cranes and features a third 1,400-foot-long dock to accommodate megaships.

“We are grateful to dockworkers, truckers, carriers, cargo owners and all of our stakeholders for working with us during this buildout,” said TraPac Operations Vice President Brian Bauer. “We forecast continued cargo growth in Oakland and we are ready for it.”

About 15 percent of the containers that come through Oakland are handled by TraPac, which inked a 14-year lease with the port in 2016.That cargo includes refrigerated containers bound for Japan, so TraPac boosted plug-in spaces from 388 to 860 to store refrigerated boxes during the expansion, the company said.

TraPac also opened a new gate complex for harbor truckers and acquired nine pieces of cargo-handling equipment.

Bellingham Reaches Development Milestone

By Karen Robes Meeks

Bellingham, Wash., city officials opened the first 800 feet of Granary Avenue earlier this month, a major milestone in the Port of Bellingham’s effort to redevelop the downtown waterfront. It allows the public to have access to the former Georgia-Pacific mill site, the new Waypoint Park and new temporary parking lot.

Meanwhile, work is ongoing on the remaining part of Granary Avenue and Laurel Street, which is expected to be finished later this year. When completed, it will connect the downtown waterfront redevelopment area to Cornwall Avenue. Granary Avenue and Laurel Street will feature the city’s first protected bike lane also called cycle-track.

New San Francisco Communications Director

By Karen Robes Meeks

San Francisco Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing Communications and Community Relations Manager Randy Quezada is the new Director of Communications for the Port of San Francisco.

Quezada is expected to start at the port on Feb. 11, taking the reins from retiring director Renée Dunn Martin, the port announced.

“Randy will be a strong addition to our hard working and innovative Port staff and leadership team,” said Port of San Francisco Executive Director Elaine Forbes. “His knowledge and expertise in a wide range of critical citywide initiatives including equity, homelessness, and housing will be invaluable as we plan robust communications and stakeholder engagement efforts to keep San Francisco’s waterfront a place for everyone, plan for a resilient and environmentally sustainable shoreline, sustain our growing maritime industry, and ensure a fiscally secure port.”

Friday, January 25, 2019

Everett Approved for Short Sea Shipping

By Karen Robes Meeks

The US Secretary of Transportation has designated the Port of Everett as a Federal Maritime Administration Marine Highway Project for the Puget Sound Container on Barge Service under the America’s Marine Highway Program.

The designation – one of 25 US marine highway projects and the only marine project designation on the West Coast – makes the port eligible for future grant funding from the Marine Highway Grant Program.

“This service highlights the importance of expanding waterborne options that can relieve congestion on local roads and rail networks while introducing additional resiliency that is vital to our Nation’s transportation system,” said Catherine Simons, legislative affairs specialist in the US Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration. “With anticipated regional growth specifically, and in our nation broadly, there is expected to be significant growth in freight volumes, requiring transportation alternatives for shippers. Our nation’s vast network of inland waterways and coastal routes has substantial excess capacity that can absorb growth.”

Offered from its shipping terminals in Everett to the Mount Baker Terminal, the port’s Container on Barge service is currently limited to the aerospace industry. But with the new designation, the service will be open to non-aerospace containerized freight shipping via the marine highway from Everett to the Seattle and Tacoma ports, a move that will eliminate up to 300 containers per month from the congested I-5 corridor.

“This designation provides the foundation for the Port of Everett and our partner ports in Seattle and Tacoma to develop and market the Container on Barge service,” said Carl Wollebek, chief operating officer for the Port of Everett Seaport. “We have identified strong market opportunities to expand short-sea shipping service for the Port of Everett to Seattle and Tacoma for a variety of cargoes.”

Long Beach Sets Box Record

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach has exceeded eight million TEUs for the first time in history, Executive Director Mario Cordero said Wednesday to an audience of more than 700 people at the annual State of the Port address.

The record number of 8,091,023 TEUs, a seven percent increase from the previous year, sets the stage for continued growth has the port pushes ahead on its $4 billion infrastructure program and zero-emissions efforts.

Future projects include $1 billion in rail upgrades that will enhance the port’s on-dock rail cargo to 35 percent and eventually to 50 percent.

“Rail allows us to move goods to and from all the major US markets much faster than cargo routed through Gulf and East coast ports,” Cordero said. “This is true for imports and exports. And for the American exporter, my message to you is this: our rail will move your cargo faster and more efficiently.”

“The 2019 year will be a “monumental” one for the port,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Tracy Egoscue. “We are moving into our new Civic Center headquarters,” she said. “We will be putting the finishing touches on the replacement for the Gerald Desmond Bridge. The new Long Beach Container Terminal is entering its final phase of construction. And we’re leaping ahead with the greening of the port.”

Cordero noted that there are $80 million in grants that will help the port move toward zero-emissions operations.

Long Beach is pushing terminal operators toward using only zero-emissions equipment by 2030, and for drayage fleets to change to zero-emissions vehicles by 2035.

Oakland Commits to 5-Year Strategy

By Karen Robes Meeks

Despite an uncertain freight future brought on by a US-China trade war, the Port of Oakland will press forward with its five-year Growth with Care strategy, Maritime Director John Driscoll confirmed at the recent annual State of the Port event. Under the strategy, the port will continue to grow its three business lines: aviation, commercial real estate and maritime.

The 2018 growth included the new 280,000-square foot Cool Port Oakland for shipping refrigerated cargo and initial work on a 460,000-square foot distribution center, a major component of a Seaport Logistics Complex as well as the newly expanded TraPac marine terminal.

More jobs are also in the works, thanks to an agreement that includes local hiring when the Seaport Logistics Complex opens in 2020.

Driscoll also pointed out that port-adjacent neighborhoods will also see some traffic and environmental improvements when plans are finalized.

“We’ve worked closely with the community to make sure we properly manage growth at the Port,” Driscoll said. “We’ve heard the concerns of our neighbors, and we’re working to address them.”

Boat Launch Opens at San Diego

By Karen Robes Meeks

Port of San Diego on Tuesday celebrated the new and improved Shelter Island Boat Launch Facility, considered one of California’s busiest boat launches.

Largely grant funded, the $9.6 million project includes a wider maneuvering area in the facility’s basin, longer boarding floats, a public walkway with areas for viewing and new signs and lighting.

“This state-of-the-art boat launch facility will allow more people to safely and quickly get out and enjoy our San Diego Bay,” said Garry Bonelli, Chairman of the Board of Port Commissioners. “The Shelter Island Boat Launch Facility handles more boaters than any such facility in the entire State of California. It’s one of many projects being added to jumpstart the port’s ‘renaissance on the bay.’”

Monday, January 21, 2019

Alaska Marine Lines Expanding North

By Karen Robes Meeks

Alaska Marine Lines recently announced that it is extending services from Seattle, Washington and Anchorage, Alaska, to the Arctic region.

New stops will be added this year to the Alaska marine transportation company' ports of call, linking Naknek, Dillingham, Nome, Bethel and Kotzebue and over 65 villages along the Western Alaska coast.

Bowhead Transport – which provides door-to-shore service to the Arctic through its agreement with Alaska Marine Lines – will offer destination services at the North Slope villages of Point Hope, Point Lay, Wainwright, Utqiagvik (Barrow), and Kaktovik. Alaska Marine Lines will serve Deadhorse with two annual sealifts.

"Adding these new locations allows us to meet our goal of serving the entire state of Alaska, from Ketchikan to Kaktovik,” said Alaska Marine Lines President Kevin Anderson.

Oakland Sees TEU Record

By Karen Robes Meeks

On Tuesday, the Port of Oakland announced it had handled 2.55 million TEUs in 2018, 5.2 percent higher than in 2017 and a record year for the Northern California port.

It’s the second consecutive year of record volume for Oakland, which also saw a 5 percent jump in imports and a 3.5 percent decline in exports. Port officials attributed those figures to several factors, including a strong US dollar, higher demand for empty containers and a push by shippers to hasten imports in the face of pending tariffs.

“Last year was the busiest one ever at the port for a variety of reasons,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “Our objective now is to build on this performance to grow import and export volume.”

State of the Port of Long Beach

By Karen Robes Meeks

Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners President Tracy Egoscue and Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero are expected to deliver the annual State of the Port address on Wednesday.

The port leaders will highlight major 2018 accomplishments and provide updates on significant infrastructure projects, cargo trends, jobs, security and other initiatives for 2019.

Attendees will begin gathering at 11 a.m. in preparation for the noon lunch and program taking place at the Long Beach Convention Center Grand Ballroom. The event will also be webcast live at www.polb.com/stateoftheport.

For more information, visit polb.com.

Carnival Cruising from San Francisco

By Karen Robes Meeks

Carnival Cruise Line is preparing to launch a series of voyages leaving from San Francisco, Calif., for the first time in its 46-year history.

Throughout the 2020 spring and summer months, Carnival will offer four-day long weekend jaunts to Ensenada departing on Thursdays and five-day and six-day cruises to Ensenada, Catalina Island and San Diego.

On April 16, Carnival Journeys will depart on a 15-day Hawaii cruise round-trip from San Francisco, with stops in Maui (Kahului), Honolulu, Hilo, Kona, and Kauai.

Carnival is also planning 10-day round-trip to Alaska with stops in Juneau, Skagway, and Icy Strait Point, as well as Sitka and Tracy Arm Fjord. A one-time 11-day Alaska cruise leaving San Francisco on Aug. 9, 2020 will also be available.

“These deployments further bolster Carnival Cruise Line’s position as the West Coast cruise leader, carrying more passengers than any other cruise operator,” the company said. “That number will continue to increase with the debut of Carnival Panorama from Long Beach in December 2019, the first new Carnival ship on the West Coast in 20 years.”

Friday, January 18, 2019

Cook Inlet to Buy Crowley Assets

By Karen Robes Meeks

Cook Inlet Tug & Barge has inked an asset purchase agreement with Crowley Vessel Sales Group, allowing Cook Inlet to acquire all of Crowley’s Prudhoe Bay, Alaska assets, which include tugs, barges, heavy machinery and other vehicles and equipment, the company recently announced.

The move will allow Cook Inlet, a Foss Maritime Co. independent subsidiary, to augment its operations in Alaska.

“These assets are already positioned on the North Slope,” said Foss President and CEO John Parrott. “They are operationally ready to perform shallow draft tug and barge services and offer us the opportunity to expand our Alaska operations.”

The assets are made for the North Slope and have only operated in the area.

“The shallow draft design of the vessels makes them ideal to service the North Slope and Western Alaska Markets,” said CITB Sr. Business Development Director, Mike O’Shea. “In addition, the vessels are all in excellent condition.” To streamline its operation, Cook Inlet Tug & Barge intends to focus on marine equipment and working with established shoreside service providers in Prudhoe Bay.

“CITB is excited about the addition of this fleet,” Parrott said. “We look forward to working with companies on the North Slope and providing leaner options to the oil and gas industry.”

Port of Los Angeles Breaks Cargo Record

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles announced Wednesday that it broke its cargo volume record last year after handling more than 9.4 million TEUs.

The nation’s busiest seaport moved 9,458,749 TEUs, beating by 1.2 percent its 2017 numbers, which held the record for most cargo moved in port history.

Last month’s figures helped put Los Angeles’ number over the top. the port handled 903,258 TEUs, a 15.9 percent increase from the same period last year, making it the busiest December ever for the port.

It also builds upon six straight months of 800,000-plus TEUs of cargo movement.

“Los Angeles is open for business and engaged with the world — and now, we have another record year at the Port of Los Angeles to show for it,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Our port helps make LA a global hub for commerce, and it continues to drive our economy forward by creating jobs and expanding opportunity across the City.”

Last year was “marked by a robust economy coupled with tariff-induced surges of cargo headed to US retail and manufacturing sectors,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka.

“These extraordinary volumes highlight the need for continued stakeholder collaboration on methods to maximize supply chain efficiency,” Seroka said. “Through a number of initiatives, we are focused on both physical and digital infrastructure enhancements that continue to ensure the reliable, safe and efficient conveyance of cargo through our gateway.”

Redwood City Moves More Cargo

By Karen Robes Meeks

In the first half of its fiscal year running from July 1 to Dec. 31, the Port of Redwood City moved 1.36 million metric tons of cargo, 150,000 metric tons more than a year ago.

The cargo movement generated $4.78 million in port revenue, $470,000 more than the previous period.

“The port’s mid-year results continue to lay a strong foundation for both cargo and revenue growth,” said Port Commission Chair Lorianna Kastrop. “Nearly half a million dollars better than our best year in operational history is quite an accomplishment and furthers our maritime and economic development goals serving Silicon Valley.”

The port anticipates strong results for the rest of fiscal year 2019 from construction materials, a top-ranking port import, according to Kastrop, adding that construction industry trends point to ongoing growth over the next five years. “These positive maritime trade results allow us to support the local Redwood City community through an annual payment (or subvention) to support city services and activate recreational waterfront uses,” she said.

The port’s fiscal year is from July 1 to June 30.

Bowman Takes Seattle Commission Presidency

By Karen Robes Meeks

Stephanie Bowman is the Port of Seattle Commission President for 2019.Fred Felleman will serve as Commission Vice-President and Peter Steinbrueck as Commission Secretary.

“I look forward to continuing the progress the Port of Seattle made in delivering projects to support trade and transportation, expand workforce development and protect the environment,” said Bowman. “We have much to work on this year, ensuring that economic growth and our programs are helping people across King County and the state of Washington.”

The commission will provide oversight for a more than $2 billion investment in facilities upgrades at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and plans to fund the port’s major maritime infrastructure efforts.

According to the port, priorities for 2019 include identifying partners for a new cruise terminal and working with the Northwest Seaport Alliance to finalize a commercial deal for Terminal 5 as it becomes ‘big ship ready’

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Washington Governor Launches Strategy

By Karen Robes Meeks

Washington state Governor Jay Inslee’s Maritime Blue Strategy kicked off Jan. 8 at Pier 66, where stakeholders met to discuss an effort to grow the regional economy through sustainable innovation by 2050. Leveraging business, academic, port, labor and community partnerships will be key to the strategy’s success.

"I welcome the opportunity to support the development and implementation of Governor Inslee's Maritime Blue Strategy representing the Port of Seattle on the Innovation Advisory Council," said Port of Seattle Commissioner Fred Felleman, who served as a member of the Maritime Blue Advisory Committee.

“The Port is committed to creating a competitive maritime gateway, based on industry and labor prospering while decreasing their carbon intensity and environmental footprint,” he said. “There is no better region in the nation to lead this effort than the Pacific Northwest where our maritime heritage runs deep and the spirit of innovation is part of our cultural fabric."

The Maritime Blue strategy includes the development of a Maritime Innovation Center, a business incubator space being considered for Fishermen’s Terminal, and a push to bring shore power to maritime facilities.

Nichols to Build High Speed Ferries

By Karen Robes Meeks

Nichols Brothers Boat Builders recently signed a contract with Bremerton, Washington-based Kitsap Transit to design and construct two new high-speed passenger-only ferries, with an option for a third.

The new ferries, which will each carry 250 passengers and 26 bicycles, will augment Kitsap’s Kingston service and add service to Southworth in 2020.

“We really appreciate the opportunity to work with Kitsap Transit on the development and implementation of this new transportation system networking the Olympic Peninsula with Seattle,” said Nichols Brothers CEO Gavin Higgins.

“Using Puget Sound as a water highway to reduce the Seattle metro traffic congestion and expand housing market with very reasonable travel times is a great model for the other counties around Seattle to follow.”

Carnival Long Beach Terminal Wins Award

By Karen Robes Meeks

Carnival Cruise Line’s Long Beach Cruise Terminal was recently named Most Improved Cruise Terminal as part of the Porthole Cruise Magazine’s annual Editor-in-Chief Awards. Winners will be featured in the publication’s January issue.

Editor-in-Chief Bill Panoff picked the winners “based on his personal experiences with various cruise operators throughout the year,” according to the Carnival Cruise press release.

Last year, the Long Beach Cruise Terminal, which Carnival opened in 2003, went through a massive multi-million-dollar makeover that more than doubled the size of the facility housed inside the former Spruce Goose dome. The new 142,000-square-foot facility features a mural of the Sierra Mountain and other natural elements native to California, a starry night sky ceiling and retro 1980s-style arcade games.

“The Long Beach Cruise Terminal has always been a very popular homeport for Carnival Cruise Line, and we could not be more elated to see this stunning facility recognized for its jaw-dropping renovation,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “Thousands upon thousands of satisfied guests sail from Long Beach each year, and we can’t wait to welcome the new Carnival Panorama to Southern California later this year.”

Carnival, which runs three year-round ships from Long Beach, is growing operations this year with the new Carnival Panorama joining Carnival Imagination and Carnival Inspiration in December for seven-day Mexican Riviera sailings. This trio is anticipated to carry 600,000 passengers annually from Long Beach, according to Carnival.

Everett Waterfront Hotel to Open in June

By Karen Robes Meeks

The first private development at the Port of Everett’s Waterfront Place Central in Fisherman’s Harbor recently celebrated a milestone on Jan. 9 when the final beam of the new Hotel Indigo was put in place.

Port and local government leaders commemorated the moment by signing the last beam before it was put into position.

Port Commissioners Glen Bachman, Bruce Fingarson and Tom Stiger, Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin and Snohomish County Council Chair Terry Ryan attended the event.

Expected to open in June, the 98,000-square-foot, $36 million Hotel Indigo will feature 142 rooms, over 7,000 square feet of event space, a restaurant, bar, and indoor pool and outdoor plazas.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Hueneme Signs Groundbreaking Labor Agreement

By Karen Robes Meeks

For the first time in its 81-year history, the Port of Hueneme has signed a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) that prioritizes union hiring on projects greater than $250,000 for the next three years.

The Oxnard Harbor District Board of Commissioners inked the PLA in December.

“The port’s priority has always been to hire contractors and labor from our local community, the PLA formalizes this priority and ensures that our projects directly support our local workers and families,” said Oxnard Harbor District President Mary Anne Rooney. “We are eager to continue moving the Port forward as the leading provider of homegrown good-paying jobs, real ladders of economic opportunity, and strong environmental leadership for our community.”

The contract mandates that at least 30 percent of all construction labor hours go to those living in Oxnard and Port Hueneme first, before extending those opportunities to Ventura County residents and then those living in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties.

The agreement also prioritizes work for veterans through the “Helmets to Hardhats” program.

“Although our cargo comes from all over the world, this agreement guarantees that we will continue to provide economic opportunity for our local workforce first and foremost,” denoted Oxnard Harbor District Board Secretary Jess Ramirez. “Our projects, and the millions of dollars the Port is planning on investing in our community, is now guaranteed to directly support our local families and workers who help us modernize our port.”

Seattle Hires New Diversity Director

By Karen Robes Meeks

Small Business Program and Policy Manager Mian Rice has been elevated to Director of Diversity in Contracting for the Port of Seattle.

"Mian Rice brings over 23 years of public and private sector experience to this position, having managed complex projects in limited time-frames while delivering results,” said Economic Development Division Director, Dave McFadden.

Rice, whose promotion is effective immediately, will be key in the port’s new effort to bolster spending on WMBE contracts by 15 percent and triple the use of women and minority business suppliers over the next five years.

“I look forward to improving opportunities for small and WMBE businesses, to promote diversity in Port contracts, and to provide economic equity across the region,” said Rice. “For me, this is the role my work experience has led me to, and it will be an honor to help others succeed.”

New Longview Commissioner

By Karen Robes Meeks

Allan Erickson is the newest member of the Port of Longview Board of Commissioners.

Erickson, who represents the Commission’s 3rd District, was chosen to fill the seat left vacant by former Commissioner Bob Bagaason, who resigned in September after serving since 2007.

“On behalf of the Board, I want to welcome Mr. Erickson to our team,” said Commission President Jeff Wilson. “We look forward to Allan’s participation in continuing the Port’s success.”

A University of Washington graduate with a bachelor’s degree in political science, Erickson worked in the printing industry for more than four decades before retiring and becoming involved in community organizations.

“I am honored to help guide port leadership as we build on the momentum of recent successes,” said Erickson. “One of my goals as commissioner is to work toward building more family-wage jobs for the citizens of the port district.”

Bellingham Native to Lead Port Commission

By Karen Robes Meeks

Bobby Briscoe will serve as president of the Port of Bellingham Board of Commissioners.

The Bellingham native was selected by his colleagues to lead the board in 2019, while Commissioner Ken Bell was chosen to be the Vice President and Michael Shepard the new Secretary.

A fourth-generation fisherman and longtime business owner, Briscoe operates commercial fishing vessels out of Squalicum Harbor and has worked in ports along the West Coast. He was previously the president of the Puget Sound Crab Fisherman Association. Briscoe represents District 3, which encompasses Northwest Whatcom County. His four-year term on the commission ends Dec. 31, 2019.