Thursday, June 13, 2019

Coos Bay Rail Bridge Repairs Complete

By Karen Robes Meeks

Repair and rehabilitation work on 37 timber bridge structures along the Coos Bay Rail Line has been completed by Scott Partney Construction, it was announced Tuesday by the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay, which owns and operates the rail line.

The Port’s contracted bridge engineering firm, Stantec Inc. will conduct the final inspection of the $2.3 million project, which calls for finding and replacing timber bridge bent caps, installing ballast at timber bridge approaches and surfacing and tamping of track at timber bridges, according to the port. Funding came from an Oregon Lottery-backed bond grant awarded in 2013 to the port.

Keeping the bridge infrastructure along the rail line is vital to the region. Ten shippers use the rail line to move goods on a daily basis.

“This project is important to not only the rail line, but to the economic health of the Southwest Oregon region,” says Project Manager, Rick Adamek. “It takes a team to pull off large rehabilitation projects such as this. We thank Scott Partney Construction and Stantec for helping to ensure the continued success of CBRL.”

LA’s Busiest May

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles reported its busiest May in its port history, handling 828,662 TEUs last month, according to new numbers released Tuesday.

That’s a 7.8 percent increase from May 2018 and beats the prior record set in May 2018, when the nation’s busiest seaport moved 796,217 TEUs.

Los Angeles also handled 427,789 imported TEUs last month, 5.5 percent more than last May, while it moved 167,357 TEUs of exports, a slight dip of 0.8 percent. Meanwhile, empty containers rose 20 percent to 233,515 TEUs last month compared to May 2018.

“I’m extremely pleased with another record month of throughput and grateful to our supply chain stakeholders, terminal operators and unparalleled labor force for their performance,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “As we prepare for our traditional peak shipping season in the months ahead, we’re closely monitoring global trade tensions that have created heightened unpredictability.”

Everett Welcomes Public Input

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Everett is inviting the public to a Strategic Plan Update Open House on June 20 to find out more about its effort to form its vision for the future.

Stakeholders attending the open house can learn more about the port’s key initiatives at booths displaying the port’s past, present and future projects, including projects related to the seaport modernization, the Waterfront Place Central mixed-use development, industrial developments at Riverside Business Park, environmental cleanups and a sneak peek of the new Hotel Indigo expected to open this summer.

Port officials are also seeking feedback on potential economic development opportunities to pursue in the next 100 years. Visit for more information.

Contact the Port of Everett at 425-259-3164 or by email at for more information.

Long Beach Sees Decline

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach saw cargo volumes down 16.6 percent last month to 573,623 TEUs, according to recent statistics.

Long Beach handled 290,568 TEUs in imports, a 19.5 percent drop from May 2018, and moved 120,577 TEUs in exports last month, a 15.3 percent decline. Empty containers also fell 11.7 percent to 162,479 TEUs last month.

The numbers were challenged by May 2018’s historic high and various factors affecting international trade.

“One year into the trade war, escalating tariffs have pushed retailers to order goods early, warehouses are brimming with inventory as a result, and in response, ocean carriers are managing their vessels to deal with reduced demand,” said port Executive Director Mario Cordero. “We are hopeful Washington and Beijing can resolve their differences before we see long-term changes to the supply chain that impact jobs in both nations.”

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Oakland Trucks Turn Faster

By Karen Robes Meeks

The amount of time it takes a truck driver to get in and out of the Port of Oakland is getting faster.

The port said truck turn times at its terminals averaged 62 to 72 minutes, lower than the 92 minutes experienced in January.

“It’s an encouraging sign for all of us,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “It indicates that we’re operating more efficiently for the benefit of the global supply chain.”

The port credits the faster turn times to measures the port enacted over the last three years, which include adding night shifts to relieve daytime traffic, requiring appointments before drivers can pick up boxes and completing the expansion at TraPac, which saw turn times improve by more than 20 percent since January.

Everett Salmon Habitat Restoration

By Karen Robes Meeks

Last week, the Port of Everett and the Port Gardner Bay Trustees have struck a deal that would allow for the investment and restoration of a 338 acre-salmon habitat north of Everett.

Now public for a 30-day review and memorialized under a formal Consent Decree with the US Department of Justice, the agreement achieved by the port and the trustees - which include the Tulalip Tribes, Suquamish Tribe, NOAA, U.S. Fish and Wildlife and the Washington State Department of Ecology - seeks a “comprehensive settlement for natural resources damage liability from the years of historic industry on Everett’s waterfront.”

“The Port, together with our restoration partner Wildlands, pursued an innovative and groundbreaking approach to settling natural resource damages on Port Gardner Bay in a way that provides immediate and significant environmental benefits by ensuring funding for the construction of the Port’s Blue Heron Slough Conservation Bank project,” said Erik Gerking, the port’s director of environmental programs. “The Blue Heron Slough project will benefit various threatened species, including the Chinook salmon, which is the primary food source of the Southern Resident Killer Whale (Orca).”

The settlement is a win-win for the environment and local communities, said Jim Pendowski, Toxics Cleanup Program Manager for the Washington Department of Ecology.

“Restoring and protecting 353 acres of critical tidal habitats will help salmon thrive and help the communities that rely on healthy fisheries,” he said.

Port of LA Passes Spending Plan

By Karen Robes Meeks

Harbor commissions at the Port of Los Angeles recently passed a $1.6 billion spending plan for fiscal year 2019-2020.

The port says that the spending plan aligns with priorities in its 2018-2022 Strategic Plan, with extra emphasis on sound financial management.

“Diligently pursuing the Port’s Strategic Plan objectives while maintaining financially sound management practices is our top priority for this budget,” said Marla Bleavins, deputy executive director and chief financial officer, whose team developed the proposed budget for consideration and approval by the Harbor Commission.

The budget will include $144.4 million for capital improvement projects, nearly 59 percent more than the last fiscal year.

About $64.7 million is set aside for terminal improvements, while $38 million will go to maritime services, $11.7 million to upgrades related to transportation and $8.5 million to projects related to security, according to the port.

About $21.5 million has been budgeted for LA Waterfront projects, with $20.9 million of that funded from the Public Access Investment Plan.

“While the Port of Los Angeles achieved record cargo volumes in 2018, this budget takes a purposeful and measured approach as we move into the next fiscal year,” said Harbor Commission President Jaime Lee.

June 16 Deadline for Olympia Input

By Karen Robes Meeks

June 16 is the last day for the public to take the Port of Olympia’s Vision 2050 Survey.

Results for the survey will help inform port officials of its priorities in the coming years.

Thanks in part to a community-based Task Force, the port has already garnered close to 10,000 comments, allowing the port to develop 10 core goals and 60 possible actions.

The survey’s results help will prioritize those goals and actions and form a final plan for the port commission to consider.

To take the survey, go to

Those who participate will be automatically entered into a drawing for a $250 Visa Gift Card.