Friday, December 13, 2019

LA Sees Cargo Drop

By Karen Robes Meeks

Last month, the Port of Los Angeles handled 728,918 TEUs, a 12.4 percent drop from the same period a year ago, according to statistics released Tuesday.

Year over year, imports fell 12.2 percent to 371,350 TEUs while exports dropped 9.2 percent to 138,545 TEUs, marking a 13th straight month of decline. Empty containers also fell 14.8 percent to 219,024 TEUs.

Despite these decreases, the port is reporting a 0.4 percent uptick in overall volumes through the first 11 months of the year compared to 2018, a record year for the port.

“As we expected, 2019 winds down with volumes weakening, due largely to the US-China trade war which continues to negatively impact American consumers, manufacturers and US supply chain jobs,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “Although we anticipate tariffs will linger well into 2020, we will continue to aggressively invest in our physical and digital infrastructure through this economic cycle.”

Oakland Trade Rises

By Karen Robes Meeks

At the Port of Oakland, exports rose 5.8 percent to 81,781 TEUs in November compared to the same period a year ago, while import volume fell 7.2 percent to 77,350 TEUs, according to statistics released Tuesday.

The port attributes the increased export numbers to “increased overseas demand – primarily in Asia – for US goods perceived to have high quality. It singled out American-produced farm goods, as an example.”

Meanwhile, the import numbers reflect last year’s rush by shippers to quickly move cargo ahead of tariff hikes.

Total cargo volume dipped 0.8 percent through the first 11 months of the year mainly because of the 10.5 percent decrease in empty container movement, according to the port.

Brown Line Trucking Wins EPA Award

By Karen Robes Meeks

Brown Line, part of the Lynden family of companies that specializes in the trucking of temperature-controlled goods, recently garnered its third straight SmartWay High Performer Award from the Environmental Protection Agency.

"Our team is very proud to receive this award for the third consecutive year," says Brown Line President Bill Johansen. "We continue to work hard to ensure we reduce carbon emissions by reducing idle time, sudden starts and stops and by using a new system called SmartDrive. This system allows our team to work together to improve driver safety and driving habits while reducing carbon emissions."

Brown Line, who has a location in Mount Vernon, Wash., has made several sustainable upgrades this year, including the addition of 14 new fuel-efficient trucks to its fleet – a move that makes 90 percent of its equipment less than five years old – and enhancing its refrigeration units with StarTrak, which alerts personnel of any temperature issues.

The company has also made a nearly 40 percent improvement in its fuel consumption over the past five years. It has curbed its nitrous oxide and particulate matter emissions per ton mile by 44 and 62 percent respectively over the last seven years.

Port of Camas-Washougal to Recognize Ward’s Contribution

By Karen Robes Meeks

Departing Port of Camas-Washougal District 2 Commissioner Bill Ward is expected to be honored on Dec. 16.

Ward, who has served as commissioner since 2008, will step down after Jan. 1.

“Commissioner Ward not only has years of outstanding service to the Camas and Washougal communities, but has provided strategic leadership through the early days of the waterfront development and has continued to provide valuable counsel to the board and our staff,” said Port CEO David Ripp. “I want to publicly thank Commissioner Ward for his service and dedication to serving our community and helping grow our economy through economic development.”

A professional engineer who owns and runs a consulting engineering business, Ward is deeply involved in local organizations, including the Camas-Washougal Rotary Club, the Columbia River Economic Development Commission, Camas-Washougal Economic Development Association, Washington Public Ports Association, East Vancouver Business Association and the Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce.

“Those of us that know Commissioner Ward personally, admire him not only for his business efforts, but also for his personal lifetime values and dedication to community,” Commission President Larry Keister said. “I wish Bill well and am confident the community will continue to benefit from his valued leadership.”

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

San Diego Business Women of the Year

By Karen Robes Meeks

The San Diego Business Journal has named Port of San Diego Real Estate Department Manager Penny Maus one of its Business Women of the Year, an honor bestowed upon 15 honorees selected from 100 finalists.

Now in its 26th years, the award recognizes outstanding female business leaders who have made a difference in San Diego’s workspaces and communities.

“Penny is a doer and it’s no surprise that she’s been chosen as one of the San Diego Business Journal’s 2019 Business Women of the Year,” said Randa Coniglio, Port of San Diego president and CEO. “She works hard to promote development opportunities and attract developers to the San Diego Bay waterfront. In addition to the STAY OPEN proposal, she has been an important part of the team for all of the Port’s major bayfront redevelopment efforts, from Chula Vista to the Embarcadero to Harbor Island. Penny is so deserving of this recognition.”

Maus, who arrived at the port in 2008, oversees 19 real estate assets, including four hotels, six marinas and four stand-alone restaurants on San Diego Bay.

Cutter Returns to Astoria

By Karen Robes Meeks

The 210-foot cutter Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast recently came back to Astoria, Oregon, after a 60-day counter drug patrol in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

The crew of the Steadfast – a Reliance Class cutter that has been based in Astoria since 1994 – traveled more than 10,500 miles and conducted more than 100 readiness drills. Sailors also supported volunteer projects, including painting and improving the outside of an elementary school for special needs students in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. In addition, they helped build a retaining wall that provides pedestrian access to a primary school in Huatulco, Mexico.

The Steadfast was part of the 2019 San Francisco Fleet Week Parade of Ships and hosted over 1,500 public tours.

Clean Trucks to Be Discussed in Long Beach

By Karen Robes Meeks

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will discuss the Clean Truck Program Rate at a public workshop in Long Beach, Calif. on Dec. 18.

The rate proposal – to be imposed on trucks moving containers to and from marine terminals – is being considered in 2020 as a way to speed up the San Pedro Bay truck fleet’s conversion to cleaner trucks. It is a component of the 2017 Clean Air Action Plan Update.

The workshop will take place from 9 a.m. to noon, in the Bob Foster Civic Chambers at Long Beach City Hall, 411 W. Ocean Blvd. in Long Beach, Calif.

For more details, visit

Christmas Ships at Vancouver, USA

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Vancouver USA will host the fifth annual Christmas Ships viewing event at Terminal 1 on Dec. 19.

Ships are expected to arrive between 7:30 and 8 p.m. The event is free and will feature live music, food and various activities, including face painting, free children’s books and an opportunity to pet and feed alpacas dressed as reindeer.

Port representatives will be available to discuss the latest efforts to redevelop Terminal 1.

Parking is limited on the waterfront. Guests can instead park downtown and use two RYD shuttle vehicles for pick up and drop off at the Hilton Hotel pullout. They will run for free from 5 to 9 p.m.

The event starts at 6 p.m. in the Warehouse ’23 event space located at 100 Columbia Street, Vancouver, Wash.

For more about the event, visit