Friday, November 8, 2019

Everett to Receive Federal Transportation Funds

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Everett will receive $15.5 million in federal funds for improvements along Everett’s waterfront, paving the way for future freight transportation.

The money, which comes from the US Department of Transportation’s Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development (BUILD) program, allows the port to buy the land, build utilities, make stormwater improvements and prep the site to support container-on-barge service in the future.

“This grant award is a win-win for the Port of Everett that will clean up a neglected environmental hazard while also restoring the former Kimberly-Clark mill site to support maritime freight and commerce – stimulating Everett’s waterfront economy, and creating hundreds of new jobs in our state’s fastest growing county,” said Senator Patty Murray, D-Wash.

“The port is thrilled to receive the BUILD grant to help purchase the former Kimberly-Clark mill site for maritime development,” said Lisa Lefeber, port CEO and executive director. “We will now be able to put this strategic site back into productive use, creating hundreds of jobs for the Everett-area economy,” she said. “The port greatly appreciates the strong support given to our grant application by Senators Murray and (Maria) Cantwell and Congressman (Rick) Larsen.”

Matson Posts Earnings

By Karen Robes Meeks

Matson, Inc. posted a net income of $36.2 million for the quarter ending Sept. 30, 2019 slightly lower than the $41.6 million recorded for the quarter ending Sept. 30, 2018, the company announced Thursday.

Consolidated revenue for the 2019 third quarter reached $572.1 million, a drop from $589.4 million reported for the same period in 2018.

The quarter’s results came in as expected, according to Matt Cox, Matson's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Within Ocean Transportation, our China trade lane service performed well, but we saw continued weakness in our Hawaii market and experienced softer-than-expected volume in our Alaska service,” he said in a statement. “Within our Logistics segment, we continued to perform well with positive contributions to operating income from nearly all of the service lines."

The company maintains its 2019 consolidated operating income outlook, “given the performance year-to-date and our expectations for our businesses in the final quarter of the year,” Cox said.

“As we near the end of this transition year with Lurline expected to enter service this quarter, we take a significant step towards realizing our previously-mentioned approximately $30 million in financial benefits in 2020, when compared to 2019, driven primarily from the reduction in Hawaii fleet deployment to nine vessels," he said.

LA Cargo Down

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles handled 770,189 TEUs last month, falling 19.1% below its 2018 October record-breaking figures, according to numbers released Thursday. Imports dropped 19.1% to 392,768 TEUs and exports fell 19.3% to 140,332 TEUs.

The drop was not unexpected. Last year’s October numbers were significant in part because shippers were rushing to import cargo before tariffs took effect.

“With 25% fewer ship calls, 12 consecutive months of declining exports and now decreasing imports, we’re beginning to feel the far-reaching effects of the U.S.-China trade war on American exporters and manufacturers,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “We expect soft volumes in the months ahead and with the holiday season upon us, less cargo means fewer jobs for American workers. We need a negotiated settlement and the tariffs lifted.”

USCG to Partner with University of Hawaii

By Karen Robes Meeks

The US Coast Guard and the University of Hawaii at Mānoa have inked a memorandum of agreement as part of the Coast Guard's Minority-Serving Institutions Partnership Program, the agency announced Monday. The agreement allows both parties to increase opportunities for students.

"This agreement reflects a new chapter in the strong bond between the Coast Guard and University of Hawai’i. We are honored to be a part of the University of Hawai’i ‘ohana and look forward to greater engagement with students and faculty. Working together, we offer students and faculty an opportunity to learn about the Coast Guard and our important work in the Blue Pacific, and the Coast Guard seeks to strengthen our diverse and inclusive workforce through remarkable student scholarship programs,” said Rear Adm. Kevin Lunday, commander, Coast Guard 14th District. UH Mānoa Provost Michael Bruno said the college is very excited about this partnership and the opportunities it will provide students.

“That includes additional options for financial assistance, academic choices and amazing career opportunities,” he said. “The agreement also offers research opportunities for the university and the Coast Guard to explore.”

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

USCG Healy Returns to Seattle

By Karen Robes Meeks

After three months at sea, the 420-foot US Coast Guard Cutter Healy recently came back to its Seattle home base. Crewmembers went to the Arctic to support Coast Guard operations and various National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Office of Naval Research missions.

"During our deployment, we successfully transited 14,000 nautical miles and spent 50 cumulative days above the Arctic Circle, reaching as far north as 81 degrees north latitude,” said Capt. MaryEllen Durley, Healy’s commanding officer. “As the Coast Guard's sole Arctic icebreaker, we forged new relationships, trained new Arctic sailors, and conducted high latitude research that will help forecast the impact of seasonal ice formation critical to maintaining the Arctic maritime domain.”

Los Angeles Expects to Exceed Emissions Goals

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles is reaching and surpassing its 2023 targets for curbing pollution as cargo volumes soar, according to the recent release of its 2018 Inventory of Air Emissions Report.

Los Angeles met its 2023 goal to lower its diesel particulate matter in 2012 (77%), its SOx in 2014 (93%), and its NOx (59%) in 2017, the report read. The port also continues to surpass its 2020 goal of curbing the health risk related to port operations first reached in 2014.

The port is pushing to lower GHG emissions 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 and 80% by 2050.

“Even as cargo has increased 26 percent since the baseline year of 2005, we’ve sustained the remarkable clean air gains we’ve made since then,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “Our goal remains getting to zero emissions, which is why we’re focused on working with our partners on operational efficiencies and next-generation near-zero and especially zero emissions solutions, so our port, community and environment can thrive together.”

For more on the report, visit

Seattle Meeting to Discuss Marine Noise

By Karen Robes Meeks

Leading maritime agencies gathered in Seattle recently to discuss efforts to curb underwater noise that is harming endangered Southern Resident killer whales.

Representatives of the Port of Seattle, Port of Tacoma, Northwest Seaport Alliance, Washington State Ferries, NOAA, and the Puget Sound Partnership teamed to bring about a workshop that could help lower the noise pollution for the orcas, who have a hard time hunting and communicating underwater because of the noise.

“It was heartening to have such a broad range of expertise in the same room committed to tackling the critical issue of orca survival in the Salish Sea,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner and Northwest Seaport Alliance Managing Member, Fred Felleman, who studied killer whales in graduate school and championed the workshop. “As we know from the study of cooperative hunters such as wolves, lions, and orcas, we can accomplish great things when we work together, and the recovery of our iconic orca hinges on our collaboration.”

The workshop addressed various matters, such as “acoustic monitoring, real-time notification of orca presence to mariners, vessel operations, and technology and innovation,” the port said. Officials hope these discussions will lead to agreements by mid-2020.