Friday, June 7, 2019

Everett to Acquire Kimberly-Clark Property

By Karen Robes Meeks

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Study Shows Port Hueneme Economic Impact

By Karen Robes Meeks

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

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

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

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

For more on the report, visit

Scrubbers for Matson

By Karen Robes Meeks

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

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

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

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

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

New Foss CFO

By Karen Robes Meeks

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

USCGC Douglas Munro Alaska Change of Command

By Karen Robes Meeks

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

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

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

Oregon DOT Seeks Bridge Approval

By Karen Robes Meeks

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

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

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

Visit for more information on the project.

Oakland Freight System Receives Funding

By Karen Robes Meeks

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

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

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

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

Lynden Chairman Receives Award

By Karen Robes Meeks

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

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

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