Friday, August 9, 2019

Northwest Seaport Commissions Weigh in on Tariffs

By Karen Robes Meeks

Earlier this month, Port of Tacoma Commission President Clare Petrich and Port of Seattle Commission President Stephanie Bowman weighed in on President Trump’s intent to levy a 10 percent tariff on $300 billion worth of Chinese imported goods starting Sept. 1.

“The Northwest Seaport Alliance has been clear and consistent in our messaging on this topic,” Petrich said. “We support a balanced trading relationship with our global partners but are deeply concerned that the imposition of tariffs leads only to increased costs on US businesses and consumers without any long-term strategic benefit.”

Petrich added that this latest hike on remaining Chinese imports will “create economic harm to our state’s employers, workers, residents, and international partnerships.”

Trump’s announcement comes after a 12th round of negotiations between Chinese and American officials ended without resolution.

“Without any clear indication that additional tariffs will lead to productive outcomes, the United States is simply throwing good money after bad by imposing these increased costs on domestic businesses and consumers,” Bowman said. “Combined two-way trade with China through the NWSA is down 11.75% through end of May compared to the previous year, and down 6 percent through Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Our farmers, ranchers, fishing industry, and others are already being deeply harmed, and spreading the impact will only make that problem worse.”

Matson Reports Mixed Quarter

By Karen Robes Meeks

Honolulu-based carrier Matson, Inc. this week reported net income of $18.4 million, or $0.43 per diluted share, for the quarter that ended June 30.

That’s lower than the second quarter that ended June 30, 2018, when the net income was $32.6 million, or $0.76 per diluted share.

Meanwhile, consolidated revenue for the second quarter 2019 was $557.9 million, up from $557.1 million for the second quarter 2018.

"Our performance in the second quarter was mixed, with Ocean Transportation operating income coming in below expectations and Logistics posting stronger-than-expected operating income,” said Matson Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Matt Cox. “Within Ocean Transportation, we performed as expected across most of our trade lanes, except we saw a weaker-than-expected Hawaii market, and we were negatively impacted by a lower contribution from SSAT primarily driven by additional expense related to the early adoption of the new lease accounting standard, which we expect to reverse in the second half of this year, and higher terminal operating costs,” he said. “Within our Logistics segment, we continued to perform well with positive contributions to operating income across all service lines."

Cox also said 2019 will be viewed as a “transition year and remain confident about achieving the approximately $30 million in previously-mentioned annual financial benefits from the new vessels.”

New Long Beach Harbor Commissioner

By Karen Robes Meeks

Former Long Beach City Councilman and senior pastor for LIFE Gospel Ministries Steven Neal is the newest member of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners.

The council recently approved Mayor Robert Garcia’s appointment of Neal, who represented the city’s Northside from 2010 to 2014. He was also a member of the Long Beach Transit board, the Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Network board and chairman of the Measure A Citizens’ Oversight Committee. He co-founded the Economic and Policy Impact Center, established to bolster economic opportunity for working families.

Neal, who will serve a six-year term through June 2025, takes over for Commissioner Lori Ann Guzmán, who announced that she would step down to focus on her new role as city manager of Costa Mesa.

Neal’s first meeting as a harbor commissioner is set Aug. 26.

Camas-Washougal Offers Coffee Talk

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Camas-Washougal will be hosting a "Coffee Talk with the Commission" on Aug. 21.

The informal meeting allows members of the public to chat with commissioners and hear the latest on port projects. Among those projects is a 20-acre waterfront mixed use development at the site of a former lumber mill.

The port recently completed the first phase of that project, which involved building a riverfront park and a trail that is roughly about three quarters of a mile.

The second phase of the trail will head east and tie into another trail system that goes into the Steigerwald wildlife refuge.

The coffee will take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the Port Conference Room.

For more information, visit

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Port of LA Seeking Cyber Management Firm

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles is looking for a company that can design, install, run and maintain the port’s new Cyber Resilience Center.

The deadline to submit a proposal is Sept. 4. The winning bid must receive approval from the Board of Harbor Commissioners and the Los Angeles City Council.

The port envisions the center as a space to share information about cyber threats to port stakeholders and defend against potential cyber risks that could affect the supply chain.

“Collaborative cyber-threat information sharing is critical to the safety and security of our Port,” said Chief Thomas Gazsi, who serves as Deputy Executive Director of Public Safety and Emergency Management. “This Cyber Resilience Center will allow us to more quickly identify and mitigate cyber incidents that pose a threat to the maritime supply chain.”

For questions about the port’s request for proposals on the center, email Tanisha Herr at

Bonnie Lowenthal to Lead LB Harbor Commissioners

By Karen Robes Meeks

Former California state assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal is the new president of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners. The commission governs the Port of Long Beach and the city’s Harbor Department.

“I have spent more than half my life in Long Beach, my adopted hometown," said Lowenthal. "My fellow commissioners have honored me by electing me president, and I look forward to the challenge of improving the Port so it can continue to be an economic driver for the city we love."

Lowenthal, who was installed as a harbor commissioner in July 2017, is a longtime Long Beach city leader, serving on the Long Beach City Council and Long Beach Unified School District Board.

Frank Colonna was elected as the Vice President position and Lou Anne Bynum as Secretary.

The board members start in their new roles on Aug. 12, as they will meet for the first time at the new Long Beach Civic Center headquarters.

Hawaii Hosts International SAR Workshop

By Karen Robes Meeks

The US Coast Guard recently participated in a joint static display and on-the-water demonstration on Oahu’s westside as part of the 8th Pacific Regional Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) workshop in Hawaii.

A number of USCG assets were used during the workshop, including the dolphin viewing vessel Dolphin Star, the USCGC Joseph Gerczak, and a Coast Guard Station Honolulu 45-foot Response Boat-Medium.

The multi-day workshop included simulated response to a distressed vessel amid a mass rescue operation off Waianae, as well as a review of case studies, programs and equipment such as the Tsunami warning system and personal locator beacons.

More than 15 different Pacific countries took part in the workshop, which is part of a larger effort by the International Maritime Organization, secretariat of the Pacific Community, and Pacific SAR steering committee to bolster its search and rescue capacity across the Pacific.

“The long-term goal of these regular workshops is to further the mission of the steering committee to measurably improve the SAR capability of each of the Pacific Island countries or territories in line with international standards and the PACAR measures of success by 2021,” according to USCG. “The PACSAR 8 workshop is a place to collaboratively share successes and continue the learning process by assessing strengths, risks, opportunities for partnerships, and to learn from each other.”