Thursday, June 20, 2019

Oakland Commission Passes Emissions Plan

By Karen Robes Meeks

Improving air quality continues to be a priority for the Port of Oakland, whose commissioners earlier this week passed a plan aimed at dramatically reducing diesel and greenhouse gas emissions stemming from maritime operations at the port.

The Seaport Air Quality 2020 and Beyond Plan is a 259-page blueprint that “calls for changes in equipment, operations, fuels and infrastructure at the seaport,” including making port fleet vehicles and equipment to zero-emission, putting in electric infrastructure at terminals; and looking at cleaner fuels and other renewable sources of power, according to the port.

“The Port’s Seaport Air Quality 2020 and Beyond Plan sends a powerful message that the port will lead the way towards a post-carbon future,” said Port Executive Director Chris Lytle. “We’re always looking at pollution reduction measures that reflect new technologies, financial resources and stakeholder input.”

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Matson Christens Newest Ship

By Karen Robes Meeks

On Saturday, Honolulu-based Matson, Inc. and General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard celebrated the christening of Lurline, the largest combination container/roll-on, roll-off ship ever built in the US.

At 870 feet long, 114 feet wide (beam), with a deep draft of 38 feet and more than 50,000 metric tons, Lurline is the first of two new ships being constructed by NASSCO for about $500 million total and the third of four new ships to come online 2018-2020, according to Matson.

And with a top speed of 23 knots, it will also be among the company’s fastest, “ensuring on-time deliveries in Hawaii from Matson's three West Coast terminals in Seattle, Oakland and Long Beach,” according to the company.

"The great speed, capacity and environmental improvements of this new ship position us well to serve the needs of our communities in Hawaii for many years to come," said Matt Cox, Matson's chairman and chief executive officer, after the shipyard ceremony.

Cranes Arrive at Everett

By Karen Robes Meeks

A special delivery has finally arrived earlier this month at the Port of Everett.

Two container cranes made their way on a barge towed over 11 days by Foss Maritime from the Port of Los Angeles to Everett, where it was tied up at Pier 3 before being moved to South Terminal for transfer.

Last week, the cranes were rolled from barge to wharf and stored for maintenance and upgrades, according to the port.

When the $57 million South Terminal Modernization project is finished, the cranes will be placed in operation there as the key equipment for handling the next version of over-dimensional cargo, including aerospace parts for the new 777X.

Peruvian Tall Ship

By Karen Robes Meeks

From now until June 22, visitors can check out the Peruvian Tall Ship B.A.P. Unión at the Los Angeles World Cruise Terminal.

No appointment is necessary to view the 378-foot, four-mast sailing school Peruvian Navy ship, which has about 250 Peruvian Navy officers and trainees on board.

Commissioned in 2016, B.A.P. Unión is the second biggest training tall ship in the world.

This is the first time it has visited the Port of Los Angeles, a visit made possible thanks to a partnership with the Peruvian Consulate.

The Unión will be open to the public from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. June 20-22.

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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Oakland Volumes Rise

By Karen Robes Meeks

Despite trade uncertainties, cargo volumes were up 9 percent at the Port of Oakland last month, according to the port’s latest numbers.

The port handled about 85,964 imported TEUs in May, a 4.2 percent increase from the same time last year, and 78,070 exported TEUs, an 8.4 percent jump from May 2018 numbers.

Last month marked the third consecutive month of improving import and export cargo volumes for Oakland, which at the moment appears to be bucking expectations of lowered numbers as a trade war between the U.S. and China is ongoing.

“Logic tells us that at some point, tariffs should drive down cargo volumes because they’re making international trade more expensive,” explained Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “But our customers have so far defied conventional wisdom by finding new markets for their products.”

Aiding the port’s numbers are exporters looking to China’s neighbors - Vietnam, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan, while importers are seeking markets to buy goods previously sourced in China, according to the port.

Matson Dividends Up

By Karen Robes Meeks

Honolulu-based Matson Inc.’s board of directors recently announced a third quarter dividend of $0.22 per common share, a 4.8 percent increase from the previous quarter's dividend.

Shareholders on record as of Aug. 1 are expected to be paid on Sept. 5.

"We are pleased to announce the seventh consecutive annual increase to Matson's quarterly dividend, underscoring our Board's confidence in our long-term free cash flow growth as well as our commitment to rewarding shareholders through dividends," said Matson's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Matt Cox.

"Over the course of the Hawaii fleet renewal program we have prudently managed our debt leverage and maintained strong operating and cash flow results,” he continued. “As we near the end of the renewal program, our focus remains squarely on preserving our low-cost balance sheet by de-levering, allocating capital judiciously to organic growth projects and strategic acquisitions that meet our returns objectives, as well as returning capital to shareholders."

AAPA Workforce Development

By Karen Robes Meeks

The American Association of Port Authorities will co-host its first Workforce Development Summit on June 25-27 in Long Beach.

The association will partner with the Port of Long Beach, Long Beach City College and TransPORTS, the US Department of Labor-endorsed industry intermediary aimed at growing registered apprenticeship in ports and the multi-modal transportation, distribution logistics industry across the US.

“Our industry faces increasing challenges in filling port-related jobs that require highly skilled or specialized technical training,” said Mary Beth Long, AAPA’s vice president of external affairs. “The pool of viable candidates to fill these jobs is diminishing as other industry sectors, such as technology and manufacturing, are competing for applicants from the same job pool.”

LA/LB to Offer Clean Air Update

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will update the public on the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan 2017 Update’s progress on June 25 in Wilmington.

It is the second of four meetings to discuss the CAAP 2017 Update, the latest version of the twin ports’ original 2006 blueprint for addressing the environmental impact of maritime business operations.

The update calls for a number of ambitious emissions-curbing measures, including a goal to lower greenhouse gases “40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.”

The meeting is set from 10 a.m. to noon on June 25 at Banning’s Landing Community Center, 100 E. Water St., Wilmington, CA 90744.

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