Friday, March 29, 2019

Supplemental USCG Operations End
in Bering Sea

By Karen Robes Meeks

The aircrews of US Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak ended their supplemental seasonal coverage of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Chain earlier this month when crew members demobilized forward operating locations in St. Paul and Cold Bay.

Aircrews had been on two-week rotations to respond to the Bering Sea fishing fleet during busier maritime activity.

During their forward-deployment, St. Paul MH-60 aircrews handled two cases, which resulted in one life saved and five helped. “This has been a great Bering Sea deployment season, and as the fleet shifted further north, it was an all-hands-on-deck evolution to mobilize our crews and reopen our facility in St. Paul mid-season,” said Lt. Cmdr. Tom Huntley, Air Station Kodiak Jayhawk assistant operations officer. “This shift allowed us to maintain our search and rescue posture and protect our critical fishing industry, and it allowed us to be ready and responsive when called upon.”

Oakland Terminal Moving to Hybrid Yard Cranes

By Karen Robes Meeks

The largest marine terminal at the Port of Oakland is transforming 13 diesel-powered yard cranes to hybrid power, a move that is anticipated to lower diesel-related air pollutants by 45 tons annually.

Oakland International Container Terminal, which introduced its first hybrid crane earlier this month, expects the retrofitted fleet will come online by 2020.

Each retrofitted crane will feature batteries and new, smaller diesel backup engines.

“This is the Prius of cargo-handling equipment,” said Port of Oakland Environmental Planner Catherine Mukai. “We’re gratified that our partners at the terminal are taking this step to help clear the air.”

Last summer, terminal operator SSA Terminals secured a $5 million grant from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District for the hybrid project and is spending an additional $1 million to reconfigure its cranes.

“We depend heavily on this equipment to keep cargo flowing smoothly,” said Jim Rice, General Manager at Oakland International Container Terminal. “We’re pleased to find a solution that makes us more efficient and at the same time benefits the environment.”

Long Beach Harbor Tours

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach is once again launching its popular harbor tours.

The boat tours, which occur from May to September, is a 90-minute, narrated tour that takes visitors behind the scenes at the nation’s second busiest seaport.

The port is using a lottery system for tour signups, the first of which takes place from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on April 1 for a tour in May. The next signups will be on the first Monday of each month.

Tours take place on the first and third Saturdays of each month at 10 a.m., and the second and fourth Thursdays at 7 p.m.

Go to for more information or to make reservations.

Tacoma to Host Agriculture Transportation Coalition

By Karen Robes Meeks

This summer, the Agriculture Transportation Coalition will return to Tacoma for its 31st annual association meeting.

The June 11–14 event brings together food, farm and fiber importers and exports and other supply chain stakeholders in what is considered one of the largest gatherings of agriculture and forest products transportation professionals in the nation.

Last year, a record-shattering attendance of nearly 500 participants convened at the Greater Tacoma Convention Center over four days to discuss tariffs, trucking and technology.

This year’s event will feature panels on the chassis crisis, fuel, China-US trade relations and much more.

Find more details about the annual meeting, visit

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Grays Harbor Director Named AAPA Chairman

By Karen Robes Meeks

Gary G. Nelson, the executive director of Port of Grays Harbor, has been chosen to be board chairman of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) for the 2019–20 activity year starting this upcoming October.

“With his valuable experience as a port director involved with diversified cargo, his international trade background, and his longstanding active engagement with AAPA and our member ports throughout the hemisphere, Gary Nelson is an outstanding choice for leading our association during the upcoming activity year,” said Kurt Nagle, AAPA’s president and chief executive officer. “Gary’s outstanding leadership and business skills, together with his easy-going demeanor, will be of enormous value as our member ports work together to address common challenges and legislative priorities.”

Nelson, who’s been with Grays Harbor since 2000, takes the one-year baton from outgoing chairman, William D. Friedman, president and chief executive officer for Northeast Ohio’s Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority.

New USCG Cutter Commissioned

By Karen Robes Meeks

On Friday, March 22, the 154-foot US Coast Guard Cutter Terrell Horne was commissioned in San Pedro, Calif. It is the third Fast Response Cutter to be based at Coast Guard Base Los Angeles-Long Beach.

The vessel will operate throughout the 11th Coast Guard District that encompasses California and international waters off Mexico and Central America.

The cutter can carry 24 crew members and is equipped for patrols that can last up to five days. It is named after Senior Chief Petty Officer Terrell Horne III, who was killed in 2012 after saving a fellow crewmember from suspected drug smugglers who purposely rammed the boat Horne and others rode while conducting law-enforcement operations near Santa Cruz Island.

New Geologist at Port of Long Beach

By Karen Robes Meeks

Geologist Kimberley Holtz has been tapped to lead the Port of Long Beach’s Survey Division, which measures the harbor’s depths to ensure safe navigation and help the port with utility marking, property rights and construction projects.

A licensed professional land surveyor and licensed Geologist in California, Holtz started in her new role this month. She previously worked 11 years at the City of Long Beach’s Energy Resources Department and was also a senior surveyor for the city’s Public Works Department. She has worked in various positions in the public sector, including 12 years with Orange County, where she helped to create the county’s GPS network.

Camas-Washougal to Celebrate Earth Day

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Camas-Washougal will host its Earth Day event on April 22 at Washougal Waterfront Park and Trail.

The two-hour event is an opportunity for volunteers to collect litter along the trail and river and help beautify the area, port officials said.

“We invite the community to join the movement that continues to inspire and motivate people to action,” said Port Chief Executive Officer David Ripp.

Volunteers will meet at 3 p.m. at Washougal Waterfront Park picnic shelter next to the port office located at 24 South “A” Street. Gloves, trash bags and light refreshments will be provided.