Friday, July 12, 2019

Oakland Exec Retires

By Karen Robes Meeks

After 53 years in trade and transportation, Port of Oakland Executive Director Chris Lytle, 73, will retire on July 19, the port announced Wednesday.

Lytle, who will stay on as a port consultant until the end of the year, has led the port of Oakland since July 2013. Before that, he ran the Port of Long Beach. In the private sector, Lytle has been an executive with P&O Ports, APM Terminals, Sea-Land Service and CMA CGM.

“Chris Lytle is one of the best-known and most respected executives in the industry and it has been our good fortune to have him as our leader,” said Board of Port Commissioners President Ces Butner. “Our priority now is finding an able successor.” Butner said Lytle would help in the search for his replacement and facilitate meetings with customers and Port Attorney Danny Wan, who will serve as the acting interim executive director. Lytle will also be asked to meet overseas with key clients as part of the leadership transition.

During his six years with Oakland, Lytle has been credited for leading the port through a time of tremendous growth, which has included record cargo volumes, turning the former Oakland Army Base land into the Seaport Logistics Complex and developing Cool Port Oakland, the new refrigerated cargo facility.

San Diego Partners with ecoSPEARS

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of San Diego is partnering with startup cleantech solutions firm ecoSPEARS Inc., on a two-year pilot project to test its remediation technology as part of its Blue Economy Incubator program.

The company, which is exclusive licensee of the NASA-patented SPEARS technology, is developing “a cost-effective and eco-friendly cleanup solution to extract and destroy toxic contaminants from sediment, soil and groundwater,” according to the port.

The spiky-shaped SPEARS (Sorbent Polymer Extraction and Remediation System) get filled with a special eco-friendly cleaning solution before they are dropped into contaminated areas and soak up the pollution like sponges.

“ecoSPEARS is a great fit for our Blue Economy Incubator and aligns well with the port’s vision to support commerce, community and the environment,” said Chairman of the Board of Port Commissioners Garry Bonelli. “We look forward to seeing what SPEARS can do and how this technology can make a difference in San Diego Bay.”

As part of the program, SPEARS will be deployed at three locations in San Diego Bay to see how much PCB mass can be collected over a specific time period. The company will also demonstrate its Additive Desorption System for sampled dredged dewatered sediments collected during the pilot project in San Diego Bay.

The ecoSPEARS pilot is the seventh project approved under the port’s Blue Economy Incubator.

Bellingham Thoroughfare Reopens

By Karen Robes Meeks

For the first time in more than a century, the public can drive through Bellingham's downtown waterfront, the Port of Bellingham announced Tuesday.

Newly open Laurel Street connects to Cornwall Avenue, while Granary Avenue links to Roeder Avenue just south of the Granary Building and connects residents to Waypoint Park, a new public park along the Whatcom Waterway.

The access has been created, thanks to a port project that includes new public and franchise utilities, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, parking, landscaping and street lighting. The work also paves the way for a mixed-use development along the waterfront. The port expects to start construction of new mountain bike trails through the downtown waterfront featuring a singletrack sidewalk and a pump track.

New USCG D13 Command

By Karen Robes Meeks

Rear Adm. Anthony J. Vogt is the new Commander of the Coast Guard 13th District, taking over for Rear Adm. David G. Throop in a change-of-command ceremony last Tuesday at Coast Guard Base Seattle.

Throop will go on to serve as Deputy Commander Pacific Area in Alameda, Calif.

Vogt comes into the role after serving as Coast Guard Assistant Commandant for Response Policy at Coast Guard Headquarters. In that capacity, he was responsible for developing the strategic response doctrine and policy guidance for all Coast Guard forces.

“These policies encompassed seven of the eleven operational maritime missions in the areas of law enforcement, search and rescue, maritime security, counterterrorism and defense operations, oil spill response, incident management, and contingency exercise programs,” according to the Coast Guard.

Vogt will oversee operations in the Pacific Northwest encompassing over 4,400 miles of coastline, 600 miles of inland waterways and a 125 nautical mile international border with Canada.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Largest Wind Shipment for Vancouver USA

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Vancouver USA recently handled its biggest single shipment of wind turbine blades, beating a prior record of 156 blades.

Thanks to a partnership between blade manufacturer Vestas and project owner PacifiCorp, the port received 198 special repowering blades, which were unloaded, moved to the laydown space at Terminal 5 and eventually trucked to their destination in Dayton, Wash.

The blades will enable a 35 percent increase in production at PacifiCorp’s Marengo Wind Project.

“We’re excited to bring this upgrade to the Marengo Wind Project near Dayton, a town that’s helping to grow clean, renewable energy right here in our region,” said Tim Hemstreet, managing director for Renewable Energy at PacifiCorp. “By using the latest technology to repower these existing wind turbines, we’re able to deliver to our customers a boost of clean, wind energy while keeping energy costs low.”

Larger Ships and Volumes at Oakland

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Oakland is handling bigger vessels with never-seen-before container volumes, a result stemming from shipping lines merging more cargo on larger ships, according to the port.

The port is seeing volumes up by 5.5 percent compared to last year. It is handling an average load of 1,767 TEUs per vessel, the highest container move count in its history, which is 9 percent more than last year and 50 percent greater than 10 years ago.

Some vessels are moving as many as 2,500 containers when they are in Oakland, challenging terminals to operate at a highly productive rate.

“Ships still depart within 24 hours of arrival and harbor truckers are usually getting in and out with their container loads in less than 80 minutes,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “It’s a tribute to the marine terminal operators who’ve stepped up to meet our cargo demand.”

New Charleston, Oregon Harbormaster

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay announced that Brandon Collura is the new harbormaster overseeing the Charleston Marina Complex.

Collura was director of a marina in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for the last seven years. In his new role, he will be managing a staff of 18 in the security and maintenance departments at the marina and overseeing operations and projects at the marina, RV park, shipyard and ice plant in addition to handling commercial lease agreements.

The Charleston Marina Complex is the third largest fishing hub in Oregon with more than 400 moorage slips for recreational and commercial vessels, a six-lane launch ramp, various restaurants and businesses, over 100 full-service RV camping sites, and a robust shipyard.

“I’m looking forward to my new role at the Port of Coos Bay, and excited for the opportunity to make a positive impact in the Charleston community,” said Collura.

The port will host a meet and greet from 11 a.m. to noon on July 17 at the Charleston RV park meeting room.