Friday, April 12, 2019

Los Angeles Volumes Rise

By Karen Robes Meeks

Cargo volumes rose 12.7 percent at the Port of Los Angeles in March when compared to the same period last year, according to statistics released Thursday.

The nation’s busiest seaport handled 650,977 TEUs, wrapping up a solid first quarter in which Los Angeles saw 4.6 percent more volume.

The port also handled 12.4 percent more imported cargo compared to the previous year, with 297,187 TEUs. Export felt 2.9 percent to 158,924 TEUs.

“Despite global trade uncertainties, we experienced strong first quarter growth,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “I commend our supply chain stakeholders who have processed record amounts of cargo in recent months and we anticipate greater efficiency improvement with the Port Optimizer™ that was rolled out in the first quarter. Retailers are forecasting an uptick in summer consumer demand and we are ready for those boxes.”

Vancouver USA Continues Clean Audit Streak

By Karen Robes Meeks

For the 10th straight year, the Port of Vancouver USA earned a clean audit from the Washington State Auditor’s Office. No deficiencies were discovered for the audit period of Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2018.

“I’m incredibly proud of the hard work of our Port of Vancouver staff,” said CEO Julianna Marler. “Receiving 10 consecutive clean audits is no small feat. It truly demonstrates the integrity of our team and our continued dedication to accountability and responsible use of public resources.”

The office annually reviews ports across Washington state for various programs and processes.

At the Port of Vancouver, the office looked at “self-insurance; marine terminal revenue; payroll disbursements; procurement, including professional services, public works, and award of contracts on an emergency basis; and accounts payable, including general disbursements, credit cards and employee reimbursements,” according to the port.

Strong Quarter for Long Beach

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach posted its second-busiest first quarter ever, according to the latest numbers released Tuesday. The strong quarter occurred despite a drop in overall cargo.

Long Beach handled more than 1.8 million TEUs from January through March, trailing last year’s record first quarter. The port handled 552,821 TEUs, 3.9 percent less than the same period last year. It moved 7.8 percent fewer imports at 247,039 TEUs and exports fell 7.7 percent at 131,436 TEUs.

“With warehouses full from shippers rushing to beat the looming threat of escalating tariffs, shipments slowed somewhat,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “It’s going to take some time for inventory to cycle to markets and for typical growth to resume.”

Oakland Offering Harbor Tours

By Karen Robes Meeks

Next month, the Port of Oakland will begin hosting free twice-monthly Friday afternoon harbor tours. The guided 90-minute narrated outings aboard the Blue & Gold Fleet can accommodate up to 230 passengers at once.

The vessels leave from Jack London Square’s ferry dock at the foot of Clay Street.

The first tour is slated for May 17 and ticket registration opens on May 6.

The cruises follow the port’s shoreline bringing guests along Oakland Estuary and Outer Harbor where passengers can take a closer look at working marine terminals, giant cranes and mega vessels while enjoying scenic views of the East Bay hills, the Bay Bridge, and San Francisco’s waterfront and skyline.

“Port of Oakland harbor tours allow us to give visitors a birds-eye view of actual maritime operations,” said Port of Oakland Director of Social Responsibility Amy Tharpe. “We want the community to see how the Oakland Seaport provides local jobs and business opportunities.”

In 2018, more than 3,000 people took advantage of this opportunity.

Visit for more details.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Long Beach Air Quality Grants Available

By Karen Robes Meeks

May 6 is the deadline to apply for a Port of Long Beach grant to fund air filtration and energy efficiency projects in port-adjacent neighborhoods. Projects serving downtown Long Beach and communities along the 710 Freeway, parts of Wilmington, Carson, Compton and Paramount will be considered.

The funding, which comes from the Facilities Improvement portion of the Community Grants Program, supports projects such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, stand-alone air filtration systems, high-performance filter upgrades and replacements, register-based air filters, as well as boiler and chiller replacement, efficient lighting, insulation, and window/door replacement and sealing, according to the port.

Applications must be turned in online by 4 p.m.

For more information, visit

Oregon Exports Up

By Karen Robes Meeks

Oregon exports continue to rise despite an uncertain trade landscape.

Oregon shipped 1.8 percent more goods in 2018 than it did in 2017 to the tune of $22.3 billion in goods, according to new US Department of Commerce data.

Oregon’s top export nations – China, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, and Vietnam – receive at least $1 billion in Oregon exports, while Canada, its second-biggest trade partner received computers and electronics, machinery, chemicals, agriculture, and transportation equipment, according to the Port of Portland.

“Oregon’s record trade numbers reflect our state’s diverse manufacturing base, and the lasting partnerships we’ve built across the Pacific Rim,” said Chris Harder, director of Business Oregon. “We’re particularly pleased to see the growth not limited to one industry or destination country, but spread throughout, increasing revenue for exporters across the state of Oregon.”

“In a trade-dependent state like ours, we rely on strong trading partnerships to help Oregon farmers feed the world and local businesses continue to grow,” said Curtis Robinhold, executive director of the Port of Portland. “With small- or medium-sized businesses making up nearly 90 percent of all exporters in Oregon, it is promising to see trade activity expand – contributing to a more equitable and prosperous region for all.”

ZIM Returns to Seattle

By Karen Robes Meeks

This month, the world’s 11th biggest container shipping company ZIM returned to the Northwest Seaport Alliance’s North Harbor with the arrival of ZIM Ningbo.

ZIM, which is making its first regular call at NWSA since spring 2017, has joined the 2M trans-Pacific service calling at Terminal 46 in Seattle, Wash. The company will have four vessels in the weekly ZP9 service, providing more capacity to serve the NWSA gateway.

“We are proud to welcome ZIM back to our family of steamship lines calling at the Northwest Seaport Alliance,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Courtney Gregoire. “This new weekly service and the cargo it brings means good-paying jobs and revenue for our region.”

This service will travel to ports in Kaohsiung, Xiamen, Yantian, Ningbo, Shanghai, Pusan, Vancouver, B.C., Seattle, Yokohama, Pusan and Kaohsiung.

“ZIM is looking forward to bringing our vessels back to the Northwest Seaport Alliance’s North Harbor, enabling us to expand our service capability in this important market,” said Elise Ha, vice president of West Coast Branch, ZIM USA. “We appreciate the partnership with the NWSA and their high level of customer focus and look forward to growing our relationship.”

Puget Sound Maritime Achievement Award

The 2019 Puget Sound Maritime Achievement Award Selection Committee is accepting nominations for this year’s award to be announced at the Seattle Propeller Club’s May Maritime Festival breakfast.

Nominations must be received by April 18, 2019 and may be e-mailed to Nominations should include specific achievements of the candidate, particularly those impacting the Puget Sound maritime community, and a brief biography of the nominee. Industry segments represented by past recipients include steamship lines and agents, shipyards, tug and barge operators, marine architects, passenger and fishing vessel operators, port authorities, stevedores, and organized labor. Several paragraphs about the nominee are sufficient.

Feel free to contact Rich Berkowitz at (206) 443-1738 with any questions about the award nomination.