Friday, July 26, 2019

Portland-Based Vigor Acquired
by the Carlyle Group

Global investment firm The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) and private equity firm Stellex Capital Management today announced a definitive agreement to acquire and merge Vigor Industrial LLC, an infrastructure, defense, and maritime services company based in Portland, Oregon, and MHI Holdings LLC, a ship repair, maintenance, and other ship husbandry services company based in Norfolk, Virginia.

The combined company is expected to create a bicoastal leader in critical ship repair services and commercial and defense-related fabrication services. Key customers include the US Navy, US Coast Guard, Military Sealift Command, Boeing, cruise lines, fishing fleets, barges and ferry services for local and state governments, and other key commercial and defense customers.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close by the end of the third quarter 2019. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Frank Foti, President and CEO of Vigor, said, “Through this transaction, Vigor gains responsible, forward-thinking investors who will seek to build on our current platform while maintaining a values-driven culture. In addition, we are excited to join forces with a company of MHI’s caliber which has a history of delivering strong results and shares our mission to serve the people who protect our country every day. This evolution takes us where we want to go, growing sustainable jobs into the future. I’m excited to be an investor in this adventure and to be a part of what’s to come.”

Tom Epley, President and CEO of MHI, said, “MHI is stronger than it has ever been, and we’ve successfully executed our strategy of delivering cost effective maintenance and repair solutions to the U.S. Navy, a job we take very seriously. We are excited to continue our partnership with Stellex and look forward to working with The Carlyle Group and our new colleagues at Vigor. The MHI leadership team and our 800 employees across MHI Ship Repair, Seaward Marine and Accurate Marine remain committed to our mission.”

Bellingham Manager Honored by Surrey, BC

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Bellingham’s Economic Development Program Manager John Michener has been selected and confirmed as an honorary director on the Surrey, British Columbia, Board of Trade’s Board of Directors, the port announced earlier this month. It marks the first time an American citizen has served on the board in this role. The port has been a member of the board in an effort to foster relationships with its Canadian border since 2014.

The Surrey Board of Trade, which represents an estimated 6,000 members, offers economic opportunity, workplace development and education, international trade, government advocacy, and business connections to businesses and organizations.

New Infrastructure Director at Coos Bay

By Karen Robes Meeks

Jake Jacobs is the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay’s Director of Infrastructure Support Services. In this newly created role, Jacobs will be overseeing procurement processes, contract management, grant management and the Project Management Department.

“I am excited for this new opportunity at the Port of Coos Bay and looking forward to making a positive impact by supporting economic development in southwestern Oregon,” Jackobs said.

Before joining the port, Jacobs worked as the Supervisory Contracting Specialist at the United States Army Mission Installation Contracting Command in Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. Prior to that, he was the Branch Chief of Supplies and Services, Procuring Contracting Officer with the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

USCGC Oliver Berry Change of Command

By Karen Robes Meeks

Lt. Eric Johnson is taking over as commanding officer of the US Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Berry, replacing Lt. Cmdr. Kenneth Franklin, who is heading to Boise, Idaho to pursue graduate studies in human performance technology. The command change took place last week at Coast Guard Base Honolulu.

Johnson previously served as the commanding officer of Coast Guard Cutter Wrangell at Patrol Force Southwest Asia in Bahrain.

The New Jersey native graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in naval architecture and marine engineering. His tours include Coast Guard Cutter Resolute and Coast Guard Cutter Edisto. He was also a nautical science instructor and deputy branch chief at the US Coast Guard Academy. Johnson earned his master’s degree in defense and strategic studies from the Naval War College.

The Oliver Berry is the first Fast Response Cutter based in the Coast Guard 14th Coast Guard District, which includes Hawaii, Guam and American Samoa.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Long Beach Port Moving to New
Administration Building

By Karen Robes Meeks

Earlier this month, the Long Beach Harbor Department began the three-week process of moving into its new Port Administration Building at the new Long Beach Civic Center.

This department, which manages the Port of Long Beach, left its longtime headquarters in 2014 after it was determined that the building would not be safe in the event of an earthquake. They moved into an interim building while the center was being built.

“We’re all excited to return to the waterfront, where we belong,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “Being near the harbor will allow us to work more efficiently with our tenants and fulfill our mission to facilitate trade and be a key engine of the city’s economy.”

Starting Aug. 1, the port’s new address will be 415 W. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90802. Phone numbers and email addresses will stay the same.

Shipping Lines Voluntarily Reduce Speed

By Karen Robes Meeks

Twenty-eight shipping lines have been recognized by the Port of Los Angeles for taking part in the Vessel Speed Reduction Program, which incentivizes operators to curb vessel speeds as they approach the port.

There were 174 companies that took part in the program in 2018, including Chevron, CMA CGM, COSCO, Evergreen Marine, Grieg Star Shipping A/S, Gulf Energy Maritime Gem, Hapag-Lloyd, Hyundai Merchant Marine, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Maersk, Mitsui O.S.K., MSC, Navig8, Nippon Yusen Kaisha, Nissan Motor Car Carrier, Ocean Network Express, Orient Overseas Container Line, OSG Ship Management, Pacific Basin Shipping, Pacific International, Panamax International, Saga Welco, Tokyo Marine Asia, TORM, Valero, Wan Hai, World Logistics Service, and Yang Ming.

More than 3,000 combined vessel calls contributed to the efforts to lower emissions, with 589 ships achieving 100 percent compliance of the program within 20 and 40 nautical miles of the port.

“Vessel Speed Reduction has cut harmful emissions in San Pedro Bay for nearly two decades,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “We’re grateful to our partners – many who have been doing this for years – who have committed to this and other sustainability efforts in our Clean Air Action Plan.”

Oakland Exports Up, Imports Down

By Karen Robes Meeks

Exports at the Port of Oakland were up 4.2 percent last month compared to June 2018, while imports fell 7.2 percent after four straight months of year-over-year increases, according to new numbers released by the port last week.

The port, which moved 74,901 TEUs in exports last month, has seen export numbers trending upward for the last four months.

“We remain cautious about our trade outlook as we head towards peak shipping season,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “But we’re pleased to see the uptick in exports.” Meanwhile, Oakland’s overall cargo numbers are 3.6 percent higher in the first half of this year than during the first six months of 2018.

Cutter Elm Arrives in Astoria

By Karen Robes Meeks

The US Coast Guard Cutter Elm arrived Monday at its new homeport in Astoria, Oregon.

Commissioned in 1998, the Juniper Class 225-foot seagoing buoy tender is run by the same crew that operated the Coast Guard Cutter Fir, which left Astoria in June 2018.

The Elm, which recently received a major overhaul at the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore, had been part of Sector Field Office Macon, North Carolina, where it spent the last two decades maintaining more than 250 floating aids to navigation from central New Jersey to the North and South Carolina border.

The Elm will service the 114 navigational aids floating along the Oregon and Washington coasts and the Columbia River, These aids are critical to commercial vessel traffic in ports such as Coos Bay, Newport, Astoria, Portland, Longview, and Seattle. The Elm’s heavy lift capabilities allow the cutter to reach buoys out to 60 feet and lift close to 40,000 pounds, according to the Coast Guard.