Friday, March 27, 2020

COVID-19 Crisis Prompts Port of Seattle to Delay Cruise Season

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Seattle announced Tuesday that it will delay the launch of cruise season until the public health emergency is resolved.

“At a time when Governor Inslee has ordered all Washingtonians to ‘Stay Home, Stay Healthy,’ we must consider public health and safety above all else,” said Port of Seattle Commission President Peter Steinbrueck. “The eventual return of our cruise season is something we fully expect as an important contribution to living wage jobs, local small businesses, and our region’s economic recovery. We also recognize the critical role Seattle cruise plays in supporting the Alaska economy for over 20 years.”

It’s a blow for the region, where a full cruise season creates almost $900 million statewide and supports 5,500 jobs.

“The loss and impact of these sailings will ripple through the tourism industry and our regional economy – however, we understand the Port of Seattle’s hard but necessary decision,” said Tom Norwalk, Visit Seattle President and CEO. “We appreciate the Port’s commitment to re-evaluate the 2020 cruise season as the situation evolves, and Visit Seattle will help lead the economic recovery and work in tandem with the Port of Seattle.”

Young Brothers Enacts Safeguards

By Karen Robes Meeks

This week, Young Brothers – a company that handles freight and transportation needs for the Hawaiian Islands – implemented additional safeguards to operate under heightened COVID-19 alert.

In a message to customers dated March 19, the company said that for the time being it would eliminate cash and check transactions in favor of credit card payment taken over the phone and require advance reservations to eliminate walkups at the pier. Shippers with no reservation will be turned away.

The company will not allow customers to box or shrink-wrap pallets onsite, so mixed and palletized cargo must come ready to ship.

Young Brothers continues to stress the practice of social distancing when at its facilities, including approaching with rolled-up windows and pressing TWIC ID or driver’s license against the window for inspection, and staying in vehicles while delivering or receiving shipments.

“Please know that we do not make these changes lightly, and they are designed to maintain safe and reliable service while minimizing personal contact,” the company said. Visit for more details.

Port of Olympia Implements new Changes Amid COVID-19

By Karen Robes Meeks

Heeding Gov. Jay Inslee’s stay-at-home order, the Port of Olympia’s offices will be closed to the public until April 8 and regular port commission meetings and work sessions have been postponed until the order is lifted, the port announced this week.

Staff coverage will be limited in the port’s administrative offices, with most working remotely.

The commission will only convene if a commission decision is required. Meetings will be conducted via GoToMeeting ( to maintain social distance. Swantown Marina will continue to operate but business will be done by phone, email or through its website as the office are closed. Maintenance and Harbor Operations personnel are onsite and the marine fueling station will stay operational. Harbor Patrol operations have been suspended.

Swantown Boatworks’ office and work yard closed this week and will remain closed until the end of the stay-at-home order. The boat yard will only operate emergency haul-outs. Staff members will check daily for any voicemails and address customer needs.

Also, the Marine Terminal will be operational with limited access. All ship visits and community tours have been cancelled.

Long Beach Port Chief Is AAPA’s Next Chairman

By Karen Robes Meeks

Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero will serve as the next chairman of the American Association of Port Authorities.

He is expected to be installed in September at the association’s annual convention, taking over for Port of Grays Harbor Executive Director Gary G. Nelson, who has served since Oct. 15, 2019.

“With his vast experience as an attorney, on the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners (Board) as a member, vice president and president, as a member and chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission, and as executive director of America’s second busiest container port, Mario Cordero is an outstanding choice for heading our association during the upcoming activity year,” said Chris Connor, AAPA’s president and chief executive officer. “Together with his long-standing active engagement with AAPA and our member ports throughout the hemisphere, Mario’s remarkable skills as a maritime industry leader will be of enormous value as we work together to navigate through and out of the effects of the coronavirus crisis and address other common challenges and legislative priorities.”

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Port of Los Angeles Marine Terminals Remain Open

By Karen Robes Meeks

Marine terminals at the Port of Los Angeles will continue to be open for business amid COVID-19 while exercising precautionary measures to minimize risk exposure to workers.

“Our highest priority is maintaining a safe and healthy working environment throughout the Port complex while continuing our role of keeping consumer goods and critical supplies flowing into all of the nation’s 435 congressional districts served by the port,” said port Executive Director Gene Seroka.

As the nation’s busiest seaport, the Port of Los Angeles is an essential entity that is exempt from the recent “Stay at Home’ order issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom. Currently, cargo volumes are at 85 percent of normal traffic, according to the port.

Meanwhile, cruise lines that operate out of the port have been suspended for now.

Visit for more information.

Port of Coos Bay Stays Open

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Coos Bay will continue to move cargo until otherwise ordered by federal, state and local agencies, the port announced March 19.

“Currently, we are unaware of any prohibitions that have been placed on vessels coming into or out of our port. The US Coast Guard monitors each vessel that is coming into port, particularly those which have recently been to select countries.”

Meanwhile, the Charleston Marina office will be closed to public access for now. During that time, staff will work in the office to fulfill administrative duties, including payment processing. Security and maintenance will continue as well, the port said.

Visit for more details.

Fishing Vessel Aground at Hilo Harbor Moved

By Karen Robes Meeks

The US Coast Guard recently moved a 63-foot fishing vessel, the Midway Island, from the rocks to Pier 2 within Hilo Harbor. The vessel had been grounded since Feb. 3.

Contractors for the agency were careful to stabilize the ship, implement an absorbent boom to sop up any leaky petroleum.

“We are lucky to have strong partnerships with the industry, state, and the local community,” said Chief Warrant Officer Russ Strathern, marine safety specialist, Sector Honolulu. “This complex incident involved a lot of coordination, communication, and patience, as we leveraged multiple strategies to mitigate the environmental threat. I am thankful for our response ohana.”

Meanwhile, Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources will work with the coordinating agency and the owner of the Midway Island on disposing of the vessel and cleaning up the grounding site.

According to the agency, reportedly 1,585 gallons of petroleum products, including marine diesel, lube, and hydraulic oil, and oily waste, were safely removed along with the batteries and household cleaners prior to refloating and towing operations began.

Long Beach Harbor Commissioner Leaves Board

By Karen Robes Meeks

Retired education administrator Lou Anne Bynum recently stepped down from the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners to focus on her new role as interim superintendent-president of the Long Beach Community College District.

Before retiring in 2017, Bynum was former executive vice president of college advancement and economic development at the Long Beach Community College District. In her role as commissioner, Bynum applied her expertise in education to port matters, helping to expand the port’s workforce development programs, which involved partnering with local colleges and high schools in reaching students interested in the field of goods movement.

“It has been a genuine honor for me to serve on this board,” Bynum said. “I’m looking forward to this new challenge at an institution I love, but a piece of my heart will always be at the port. These past six years on the Board have been some of the most interesting and satisfying in my career.”

Friday, March 20, 2020

Port of Everett Administration and Marina Offices Closed Until March 31

By Karen Robes Meeks

To curb the spread of COVID-19, the Port of Everett’s CEO Lisa Lefeber this week issued an emergency declaration and placed the port on Emergency Operations status until the end of March.

The move closes public access to the port’s administration and marina offices until March 31 and enacts modified workplace policies for port staff members, including working from home.

“The port will continue to serve the needs of our maritime customers at the seaport,” she said. “It is important to us that we maintain reliability and predictability at these critical facilities to keep our economy moving, especially in support of the aerospace community.”

The office closures will not impact port-wide security, marina fuel dock and haul out services, and slip holders will still be able to access their boats, she noted, adding that the public boat launch and waterfront public areas will remain open.

Also, public and private construction projects happening at the port – including cleanup at the former Kimberly-Clark site – will continue, Lefeber said.

Port of Long Beach Marine Terminals Stay Open, Offices Close

By Karen Robes Meeks

In the midst of COVID-19, marine terminals at the Port of Long Beach will stay open to keep goods flowing, the port announced this week.

Workers – the port added – will be moving goods to and from ships “under the health-protective directives established by the U.S. Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection, with guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

“While the port’s primary focus is to protect the well-being of the port and industry workforce, all stakeholders are working diligently to ensure that cargo operations continue, maintaining a vital link in the supply chain to ensure everyday goods continue to be available to Americans,” the port said.

And while the port has closed its administration building, Joint Security Command and Control Center and maintenance facility to the public until March 31 or further notice, port staff will still be available via phone or online.

Port of Oakland Terminals will Remain Open, Offices Close to Public

By Karen Robes Meeks

Marine terminals at the Port of Oakland will keep moving cargo on and off vessels amid regional COVID-19 concerns. “Our operations are critical to the health, safety, infrastructure and economy of our region,” said Port Executive Director Danny Wan. “We will continue to function as a vital gateway for global trade and transportation while doing everything possible to protect our employees, customers and business partners.”

While the port is exempt from an Alameda County shelter-in-place order (it’s considered an essential service), the port intends to have a resilience plan to staff its operations to limit the risk of exposure to employees. The port also said it was expected to meet with labor about staffing levels on the docks.

Coast Guard Cutter Returns to Astoria

By Karen Robes Meeks

After 69 days on a counterdrug deployment in the Eastern Pacific, the crew of the US Coast Guard Cutter Alert came back to Astoria this week.

Crewmembers conducted drug patrols off the Mexican coast and took part in the North American Maritime Security Initiative, a three-day exercise aimed at improving data sharing and integrating with Canadian, US and Mexican maritime forces on counterdrug operations.

"I’m proud of the hard work that our crew put into our Eastern Pacific patrol,” said Cdr. Tyson Scofield, Alert’s commanding officer. “I am especially proud of the professionalism that the crew showed during our joint exercises with the Canadian and Mexican navies. They displayed a high level of skill while demonstrating counter narcotics interdiction techniques and during the shipboard launch and recovering of a Mexican helicopter for the first time. Most importantly, our crew created personal and professional relationships with their North American peers, which will help to counter the flow of illegal narcotics into all of our countries.”

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Port of Seattle Cancels April 1 and April 5 Cruise Sailings

By Karen Robes Meeks

Caution over COVID-19 has prompted the Port of Seattle to cancel cruise sailings planned for April 1 and April 5.

The canceled sailings were "port of call” sailings in which ships do one-day stop in Seattle before heading to a different destination, while the majority of sailings are homeport. The port announced that it will coordinate with “first responders, cruise lines, and local leaders, and consider current public health guidance, as well as enhanced actions that the cruise lines are undertaking, to determine future sailings.”

“This region is in a public health emergency and we will cancel the first two sailings of our cruise season,” said Port of Seattle Commission President Peter Steinbrueck. “The health, safety, and wellbeing of our residents is our top priority.”

Meanwhile, Canada’s Transport Minister on Friday said cruise across Canada will be suspended until July 1, a move that may affect Seattle-based cruises since Seattle to Alaska trips visit Victoria.

The cruise industry is a massive one for Seattle, generating close to $900 million in business and supports 5,500 jobs.

Cook Inlet Tug and Barge Adds to Fleet

By Karen Robes Meeks

In mid-April, Cook Inlet Tug & Barge will add a shallow draft tugboat, the Bristol Wind, to its fleet. She will join sister vessel, the Capt. Frank Moody, in helping to transport cargo along the Arctic for the construction and oil and gas industries.

"Drawing just 3.2 feet, the Bristol Wind is uniquely designed to operate efficiently as a coastal tug,” said Michael O'Shea, senior director of Business Development and Planning at Cook Inlet Tug & Barge. “She has the unique ability to lighten the draft when water depths are extremely shallow – allowing her to safely service river and coastal locations that would otherwise be unreachable by conventional tugs.”

The Bristol Wind – which will be homeported in Anchorage, Alaska – will help meet growing opportunities in the Alaskan region, said Jeff Johnson, president of Cook Inlet Tug & Barge.

Port of Stockton Welcomes Two New Commissioners

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Stockton Port District Commission has two new members. Earlier this month, William R. Trezza was appointed to his first four-year term and Dr. Elizabeth Blanchard to another two-year term by the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors.

Trezza was CEO of BAC Community Bank from 1984 to Jan. 1, 2019, when he retired. He still serves as Director of the Bank.

A commissioner since 2008, Blanchard was on the Stockton City Planning Commission for eight years and on the San Joaquin County Planning Commission for two years. She also served as past president of the Association of Pacific Ports.

The seven-member commission is made up of four City of Stockton appointees and three San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors appointees.

US Coast Guard Cutter Munro Returns Home

By Karen Robes Meeks

After being deployed for 78 days in drug-transit areas in the Eastern Pacific, the 418-feet long US Coast Guard Cutter Munro recently came home to Alameda, California, the agency said.

From late December to mid January, crew members interdicted three suspected drug-smuggling ships with 6,680 pounds of pure cocaine.

“I truly could not have asked for a better crew with whom to share these memories, but we didn't do this alone,” said Capt. Jim Estramonte, Munro’s commanding officer. “Through all our adventures, the friends and family members of Munro’s crew have supported us. It is their hard work at home that allows us to serve. Their sacrifice does not go unnoticed. So, thank you to all those that make our success possible."

Friday, March 13, 2020

Port of Los Angeles, Port Authority of Nagoya

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles and Port Authority of Nagoya, Japan recently inked a memorandum of understanding, further cementing the two port’s relationship with a promise to cooperate and share information on projects aimed at operational efficiency and environmental sustainability.

“International cooperation among ports is essential to assuring that our global supply chain and ports of entry are the most efficient and environmentally sustainable as possible,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “Furthering our collaboration on these priorities with the Port of Nagoya is a natural next step, given our long-term sister port relationship and mutual interest in advancing port innovations and technology.”

Information to be shared includes data-sharing platforms, zero-emission vehicles and equipment and other efforts.

“The Port of Los Angeles is undertaking visionary projects such as the development of the Port Optimizer and testing near-zero and zero-emissions heavy duty trucks,” said Hideaki Ohmura, President, Nagoya Port Authority and Governor of Aichi Prefecture. “This agreement will increase our collaboration and bring further developments in efficiencies and environmental sustainability.”

Coronavirus Causes Cargo Drops at LA, Long Beach Ports

By Karen Robes Meeks

San Pedro Bay ports saw cargo volumes fall last month from February 2019 as coronavirus concerns have prompted canceled sailings and supply chain disruptions, according to new numbers released Tuesday.

The Port of Los Angeles moved 22.9 percent fewer containers with 544,037 TEUs, while the Port of Long Beach handled 538,428 TEUs, down 9.8 percent from February 2019.

In Los Angeles, imports tumbled 22.5 percent to 270,025 TEUs and exports dipped 5.7 percent to 134,468 TEUs last month. Empty containers also fell 35 percent to 139,544 TEUs.

“While cargo volumes are important, the coronavirus is first and foremost a public health crisis that needs to be brought under control with the collaboration of governments and medical experts from around the world,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “We are more interconnected than ever with our global partners so it’s no surprise that Trans-Pacific maritime trade has been significantly impacted.”

Seroka also expects soft cargo numbers in March as factory production in China remains low.

“Looking ahead to anticipated manufacturing improvements, we will need to return empty containers to Asia and push lingering US export boxes out swiftly,” he said. “We’re actively working with our supply chain partners to be prepared for a cargo surge once production levels ramp up.”

In Long Beach, COVID-19 also affected cargo numbers. Imports dove 17.9 percent to 248,592 TEUs, while empty containers dropped 12.8 percent to 164,277 TEUs. Meanwhile, February exports rose 19.3 percent to 125,559 TEUs.

“With the extended factory closures and slowdown of goods movement in China and other Asian countries in February due to Lunar New Year and COVID-19, we are seeing shipping lines needing to cancel some sailings,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “Once the virus is contained, we may see a surge of cargo, and our terminals, labor and supply chain will be ready to handle it.”

Port of Vancouver USA Postpones Two Events

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Vancouver USA is suspending a pair of public events this month in an effort to limit potential exposure to the COVID-19 virus.

The two postponed public gathering were the lecture set for March 16 at 6:30 p.m. at Warehouse ‘23, and the tour scheduled for 11:30 a.m. on March 19.

“It goes without saying that the safety of our staff and those we come in contact with are of utmost importance to us,” said port CEO Julianna Marler. “Following the advice of health care professionals, we must take steps to minimize exposure to the virus to keep our staff, families and community safe. As much as we regret having to make this decision, one way we can do this is by postponing large group gatherings like our popular tours and lectures.”

The port said it will continue to monitor the situation in the weeks ahead to determine whether to suspend other tours and lectures.

Feasibility Study on Bay Area Ferry System May Move Forward

By Karen Robes Meeks

A study to explore the feasibility of expanding the San Francisco Bay ferry system into the South Bay is one step closer to happening, thanks to a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Redwood City City Council and Port of Redwood City Board of Port Commissioners and the Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA).

If the project moves forward as envisioned, the port would be the first stop south of the City of South San Francisco to be included into the WETA ferry system, with possible connections to San Francisco and Oakland.

The WETA Board of Trustees is expected to vote on the MOU this month.

“We are pleased to have an approved MOU in place and eager to take the next steps toward expanding ferry services to the Port of Redwood City,” said Board of Port Commissioner’s Chair Ralph A. Garcia. “This project will greatly support our region by providing a new transportation choice to and from Silicon Valley as well as reduce traffic congestion on our streets and highways.”

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Cleanup to Start on Old Everett Mill Site

By Karen Robes Meeks

The first phase of cleaning up the former Kimberly-Clark mill site is expected to take place this month, according to the Port of Everett.

The cleanup work at 2600 Federal Ave. in Everett – now owned by the port after it purchased the property for $33 million last October – will be done in two phases by Interwest Construction Inc, who was hired last month by Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc. The first phase involves removing contaminated soil and the second taking out crushed material.

When the work is completed, the port plans to develop the area for maritime operations. “This project represents the first critical step toward restoring jobs to the site and strengthening our economy,” according to the port.

Two LB Terminals Debut Zero-Emissions Equipment

By Karen Robes Meeks

For the next six months, Long Beach Container Terminal and SSA Marine at Pier J will be testing three Taylor battery-electric top handlers.

“At Long Beach Container Terminal, electric vehicles move containers from the ship to the sorting yard, where electric stacking cranes ready them for pick up," LBCT President Anthony Otto said. “Seeing what it takes to add an electric top-handler to make our groundbreaking operations even greener is something we're very interested in, and we're happy to be part of this collaborative project.”

The equipment, which ILWU members will operate, is part of the port’s Commercialization of POLB Off-Road Technology Demonstration Project or (C-PORT), which will help Long Beach toward its 2030 goal of a zero-emissions cargo handling fleet.

“We expect these battery-electric top handlers to be able to make it through the daily two-shift cycle before needing a recharge,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “We're eager to see the advancements in technology that come from this demonstration, and what it means for the commercialization of this equipment.”

Port of Los Angeles Seeking Partners for Historic Project

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles is looking for developers interested in redeveloping Municipal Warehouse No. 1, a historic six-story, 460,000-square-foot building at Berth 60 in the Outer Harbor at the southern part of the Main Channel.

While the port is expected to release a Request for Information and Request for Proposals later this year, its Waterfront Commercial Development Group has put out a prospectus on the opportunity, which is available at

“Commercial interest in the LA Waterfront continues to build, and a redevelopment opportunity like historic Warehouse No. 1 doesn’t come up very often,” said Michael Galvin, the port’s Director of Waterfront and Commercial Real Estate. “Because of its unique location, character and stunning waterfront views, we believe there is tremendous commercial upside for this property, limited only by the imagination of the development partner that we select.”

Interested developers may contact Michael Galvin at 310-732-3836 or

Port of Vancouver USA Announces First Community Fund Recipients

By Karen Robes Meeks

Three recipients will be part of the Port of Vancouver USA first round of Community Fund, which this year totaled $5,000.

Partners in Careers will receive $1,000 to pay for transportation for high school students taking part in worksite tours. Clark College Foundation will also receive $1,000 for its International Day event. Lastly, Vancouver Public Schools, Career and Technical Education will get $3,000 to nurture its Apartment and Maintenance Technicians training program, allowing the program to buy tools, uniforms and gas cards for high school students.

“We are very pleased with all the applications we received for the Community Fund,” said the port’s Chief of External Affairs Ryan Hart. “All of the applicants were deserving of the funds, which made the job of the selection committee all that more difficult. We congratulate all the organizations receiving funds and believe each is a great fit with port priorities.”

Friday, March 6, 2020

New Multi-Modal Facility Opens in Coos Bay

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay announced Monday the opening of the Lost Creek Rock Products Coastal Reload Yard located on the North Spit in Coos County, Ore.

The yard, which will start moving quality aggregates and forest products, will allow for rail to truck and truck to rail terminal movement for the region, the port said.

“This new transportation facility is another important tool for shippers and businesses in Coos, Douglas and Curry Counties to be better connected to the global economy,” said John Burns, CEO of the Port and the Coos Bay Rail Line, Inc (CBRL). “The Port is keenly focused on diversifying and enhancing the economic vitality of the region. Being able to leverage the public investment in infrastructure from our local, state and federal partners to produce new and protect existing living wage jobs as a direct result is (a) huge win-win.”

The Coastal Reload Yard will allow Creswell, Oregon-based Lost Creek Rock Products the ability to offer customers “multi-modal and multi-commodity seamless end to end logistics solutions,” said Lost Creek Rock Products Principal Greg Demers, whose company has been running the Greenhill Reload Yard at the northern terminus of the CBRL in West Eugene, Ore., since 2016.

“We have been partnering with the Port and the CBRL for many years in West Eugene and have invested over $10 million in privately owned rail terminal facilities and infrastructure,” he said. “Moving forward at the Coastal Reload Yard is a logical next step.”

Foss Christens First of Four New Tugs

By Karen Robes Meeks

Foss Maritime recently christened its newest ASD-90 tug, the Jamie Ann, one of four being built by Nichols Brothers Boat Builders in Freeland, Wash.

Upgrades to the new tug features a pair of MTU Tier 4 engines that can generate 6,866 horsepower. It also meets EPA’s highest standards, curbing particulate and nitrogen oxide emissions to near zero through a Selective Catalytic Reduction system.

“We’re building these vessels to the most stringent emissions standards in the world,” said Janic Trepanier, the Foss naval architect managing the project. “These were built to satisfy the requirements of the State of California – requirements we believe will soon be required of the rest of the country and the world.”

The Jamie Ann is expected to be deployed this month to Foss Harbor Services in San Francisco Bay, supporting Foss Maritime’s Oil and Gas customers.

The remaining tugs – the Sarah Averick, the Leisa Florence, and the Rachael Allen – are anticipated for delivery later this year.

Port of Redwood City Releases Mid-Year Results

By Karen Robes Meeks

From July 1, 2019 to Dec. 31, 2019 – the first half of the Port of Redwood City’s fiscal year – the port moved 1.24 million metric tons of cargo that created $4.7 million of revenue, the port announced this week.

The cargo came from Australia, China, Mexico and Canada, while exported departed for Bangladesh, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia.

“We are pleased that the Port of Redwood City has seen tremendous growth over the last few years,” said Port of Redwood City Board Chairman Ralph Garcia. “Our recent cargo numbers continue to validate a strong construction economic sector. Our port supports well-paying jobs in the region, while serving our community with global connections.”

Port of Hueneme Offers Job Opportunities

By Karen Robes Meeks

On March 7, the Port of Hueneme and Oxnard Harbor District will be hosting a free job fair. More than 100 job opportunities will be offered by the port and local employers such as the County of Ventura, Ventura County Fire, City of Port Hueneme, Oxnard College, Glovis International Inc. and Employers Depot Inc.

Available positions at the port include custodian, community outreach coordinator, groundskeeper, I.T. services manager, harbormaster and receptionist. Other employers taking part in the fair are looking to fill various jobs such as operations supervisor, operations customer service analyst, pre-delivery inspectors, shuttle drivers/peelers, cooks, facility maintenance technicians and student worker.

“It is important that we continue offering employment opportunities for local residents who count on their port for economic growth and vitality,” said Oxnard Harbor District President Jess Ramirez.

Bring a resume. There will also be a kids’ activity area.

For more information visit

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

San Pedro Bay Ports to Consider Clean Truck Fund Rate

By Karen Robes Meeks

Harbor leaders from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will decide on a Clean Truck Fund Rate proposal on March 9.

The ports are proposing a rate of $10 per TEU that would be charged to beneficial cargo owners for loaded cargo to be moved by non-zero emission or low-nitrogen oxides (NOx) trucks.

“On average, $18 per container will be collected, which is anticipated to generate $90 million in the first year,” according to the ports. “The money collected from the Clean Truck Fund Rate each year will be used to incentivize the turnover of the existing drayage trucking fleet to the cleaner trucks.”

If approved, a few steps will need to be taken before the ports can collect the fees. The California Air Resources Board will need to establish its low-NOx engine emission standard, and the ports will need to set up a mechanism to collect the rate at the gates. Both actions are expected to take place in the spring. Collecting the rate would start shortly after.

The joint meeting will take place at 9 a.m. in the Bob Foster Civic Chambers at Long Beach City Hall, 411 W. Ocean Blvd. in Long Beach, Calif. It will also be available on livestream at

Startups Sought for Maritime Object Tracking Technology

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate Silicon Valley Innovation Program is seeking start-ups for the development of Maritime Object Tracking Technology that could aid US Coast Guard missions.

“During the course of normal operations, Coast Guard aircraft and vessels come across numerous types of jettisoned objects, and navigation hazards that need to be recovered from the seas and waterways,” said Wendy Chaves, US Coast Guard Chief of Research, Development, Test and Evaluation and Innovation. “The USCG is interested in tracking solutions that are interoperable with current USCG maritime and aviation assets.”

A Homeland Security Day hosted by the program and USCG is scheduled for March 4 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Menlo Park, Calif.

Visit to register for the event.

Port of Grays Harbor Caps 2019 in a Solid Financial Position

By Karen Robes Meeks

At nearly $34 million, the Port of Grays Harbor posted its second highest overall operating revenue and highest revenue by the Marine Terminals.

Although vessels calls fell in 2019, the port moved almost three million metric tons of cargo at its four terminal, a historic tonnage record.

Following two years of record cargo growth, the port is looking at growth opportunities in the coming years.

“We hope to increase the diversity of cargoes we handle here at the Port with progress on a potential new project and private investment at Terminal 3,” said port Executive Director Gary Nelson. “We will also move forward with preparing the former pontoon site for future development to support cargo operations at adjacent Terminal 4. As you will hear from us throughout the year, the Future is Here, in Grays Harbor.”

Port of Long Beach Debuts New Logo and Website

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach has unveiled a new logo and user-friendly website that officials hope will better communicate the port’s approach to operational excellence.

The port’s new graphic features a cargo container that doubles as a check mark which links to Long Beach’s new tagline “The Port of Choice”. The redesigned website,, is mobile-friendly and optimized for tablets and smartphones. It also showcases an interactive map of cargo facilities, port projects and other highlights as well as photo galleries, improved calendar and additional enhanced functionality.

“Replacing the old website with an up-to-date, mobile-friendly platform is a huge step forward for sharing the Port’s story with our diverse groups of stakeholders,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “The new logo and tagline, ‘The Port of Choice,’ are a clear declaration of our focus on innovation and visionary leadership that we share with our industry.”

Friday, February 28, 2020

San Pedro Bay Ports to Collaborate

By Karen Robes Meeks

Harbor leaders for the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach signed a memorandum of understanding that would allow the twin ports to work together on issues related to cargo movement efficiency, connectivity, workforce development, cybersecurity and metrics.

“Our two ports are the fastest way to move goods between Asia and US markets and manufacturers,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “The kind of cooperation that will flow from this agreement ensures we will continue to be the most efficient gateway for shippers.”

The twin ports will collaborate with those in the supply chain to address operational issues that could help them become more efficient and realize more savings while boosting business flow, security and sustainability.

“America’s two largest and most competitive ports have a long and successful history of collaborating on key issues,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “This agreement significantly expands these efforts and underscores our shared commitment to lead and succeed.”

Port of Vancouver USA Launches Lecture Series

By Karen Robes Meeks

Next month, the Port of Vancouver USA will launch its annual Lecture Series with Port Chief Commercial Officer Alex Strogen ”Doing Business with the World” address.

Strogen will discuss the port’s marine division, efforts to diversify its cargo business and the importance of the Columbia River for trade. He will also talk about the significance of the port’s relationship abroad and forecast the future of relations between the U.S. and China.

The free public event will take place on March 16 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Warehouse ’23 Event Space, 100 Columbia Street in Vancouver, Wash. Pre-registration is required since space is limited. To register, call 360-693-3611 or email with your name and the number of attendees.

Port of Oakland Nets A Ratings on Bonds

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Oakland recently received A ratings from Fitch Ratings on its bonds, including an A+ rating for $622 million in senior lien revenue bonds, an A rating for $181.9 million in intermediate lien revenue bonds, and an A rating for underlying bank bonds for the Port's commercial paper (CP) notes.

According to the port, the ratings were given based “on the strength of the port’s sizable origin and destination enplanement base and financial stability provided by long-term seaport contracts supporting cargo operations within a large, economically diverse and wealthy San Francisco Bay Area market.” A strong balance sheet, high debt service coverage ratios, and diverse revenue streams were also taken into account.

Port of Long Beach Presents Pulse of the Ports

By Karen Robes Meeks

A panel of experts from the maritime industry are expected to share their thoughts and present their forecasts at the Port of Long Beach’s 2020 Pulse of the Ports – Peak Season Forecast next month.

The port has not yet released the list of speakers for the annual gathering that will take place on March 25 at The Westin’s Centennial Ballroom, 333 E. Ocean Blvd. in Long Beach, Calif. The event will include free breakfast and parking and an opportunity for networking starting at 7:30 a.m. The official program will start at 8:15 a.m.

Those who can’t attend in person can join the meeting online through the live webcast by going to Reservations are required for the event. Contact the Port's Business Development Division at 562-283-7750 or email to reserve your spot. Visit for more information.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Port of Grays Harbor Commission Approves Nine Lease Assignments

By Karen Robes Meeks

Nine leases held by Masco Petroleum, Inc. will go to PetroCard, Inc. The Port of Grays Harbor Commission approved the assignment at a special commission meeting Feb. 18.

Masco has been a tenant at the port providing card lock facilities, bulk fuel delivery, lubricant distribution and marine fueling services in the peninsula since 1999. Kent-based PetroCard anticipates closing on its acquisition of Masco assets by the end of this month, according to the port.

“We entertained this acquisition offer from PetroCard because they run a business the way a business should be run, not like a [typical] corporation,” Masco Founder and President Jim Mason told the port. “Employment in Grays Harbor is important to them, just like it is important to us.”

PetroCard runs over 60 card lock facilities in Washington and Oregon.

“We see Masco’s operation as a great fit for our network and look forward to maintaining the local knowledge and relationships they have established throughout the Olympic Peninsula,” said PetroCard President and CEO Laura Yellig.

Revised Canada-US Marine Pollution Contingency Plan Signed

By Karen Robes Meeks

On Feb. 19, US and Canadian Coast Guard officials signed an updated version of the Dixon Entrance Annex to the Canada-United States Joint Marine Pollution Contingency Plan in Juneau, Alaska.

The refreshed annex signed by US Coast Guard 17th District Commander Rear Adm. Matthew T. Bell, Jr., and the Canadian Coast Guard Western Region Assistant Commissioner Roger Girouard includes basic content and format changes in accordance with new national guidelines. It also provides clearer pollution notification and response protocols as well as refreshed references to US Customs Service procedures for transboundary movement of personnel and resources.

Since 1983, both countries have abided by the CAN-US Joint Marine Pollution Contingency Plan, which encompasses five geographic annexes and spells out the scope and terms for planning and coordinating responses to transboundary pollution in the maritime domain. Coast Guard 17th District and its Canadian counterpart collaborate to keep up with two of the annexes: Annex 4 (Beaufort Sea) and Annex 5 (Dixon Entrance).

Port of Los Angeles Christens New Patrol Vessel

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles Police recently welcomed the arrival of its new 43-foot patrol and dive vessel. It will aid the specialized dive team operations and overall patrol around the port.

“Policing and ensuring the flow of commerce in America’s busiest port is a daunting task,” Port Police Chief Thomas Gazsi said at the boat’s christening. “It requires the best personnel, exceptional training programs, exceptional allied partners… and the best possible equipment to accomplish those missions and support our personnel in those endeavors.”

“This new vessel accomplishes that,” Gazsi said. The 28-ton vessel features night vision, wireless communications, advanced navigation as well as nuclear, chemical and biological detection equipment.

Port of Long Beach Seeks Community Sponsorship Applicants

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach is inviting nonprofit groups to apply for its Community Sponsorship Program, which aims to fund local activities that raise awareness about the port.

Applicants can start submitting their funding requests on March 1. All applications must be turned in by no later than 5 p.m. on March 31. Recommendations will be forwarded to the Board of Harbor Commissioners for consideration within 45 days. Results will be announced in May for events set to take place June 1 or later.

According to the port, applications are judged on how the proposed events and activities can help the port inform the community of its critical role as an economic engine and job creator.”

For more information, visit

Friday, February 21, 2020

California Ports Day “Call to Action”

By Karen Robes Meeks

This week, leaders from nearly a dozen California ports met with state officials for California Ports Day and urged them to help ports stay competitive in a challenging global market.

“Despite the headwinds we face, including market share loss, the US-China stand-off on trade, and the uncertainty that the coronavirus has brought to global trade, California ports are well-positioned to meet these challenges because we are innovators,” said Gene Seroka, president of the California Association of Port Authorities (CAPA) and executive director of the Port of Los Angeles. “Today was a call to action for port stakeholders to align with our state leadership to make certain that our ports remain at the center of Western Hemisphere trade.”

CAPA State Director Martha Miller said the port was “about raising awareness of the economic and environmental leadership ports bring to our state.”

“The goal is to get legislators and our fellow Californians thinking about where their food, clothing, automobiles, smartphones, and maritime services come from,” she said. “The more we trade, the more we need to invest in strong and efficient ports in our state.”

Polar Star Departs Antarctica

By Karen Robes Meeks

After supporting Operation Deep Freeze in Antarctica, US Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star (WAGB 10) has left McMurdo Station and is on its way back to its Seattle, Wash., homeport.

On its 23rd journey to Antarctica, the 399-foot, 13,000-ton cutter carved out ice to open a 23-mile channel to McMurdo Sound, allowing three logistics vessels to unload more than 19.5 million pounds of dry cargo and 7.6 million gallons of fuel. These supplies will keep National Science Foundation operations going until Polar Star returns in 2021, according to USCG.

“I am immensely proud of all the hard work and dedication the men and women of the Polar Star demonstrate each and every day,” said Greg Stanclik, commanding officer of the Polar Star. “Maintaining and operating a 44-year-old ship in the harshest of environments takes months of planning and preparation, long workdays and missed holidays, birthdays and anniversaries with loved ones. The Polar Star crew truly embodies the ethos of the Antarctic explorers who came before us – courage, sacrifice and devotion.”

Major Solar Manufacturer to Expand at Bellingham Waterfront

By Karen Robes Meeks

This week, the Washington State Department of Commerce and Port of Bellingham announced that Silfab Solar will invest at least $4 million to augment its operations with new manufacturing equipment, a move that will add 20 to 40 new jobs later this year when the next round of production starts.

"Silfab remains committed to ongoing investments to improve product innovation and increase our footprint of quality manufacturing within the US," said Paolo Maccario, CEO Silfab Solar. "Silfab supplies some of the best solar companies in the United States. This support from the state of Washington and Port of Bellingham will further increase Silfab’s solar production to deliver premium US-made solar modules to meet our partners’ growing demand.”

The port will receive a $250,000 economic development grant from the Commerce Department toward the expansion.

“Clean electricity is the foundation of Washington’s clean energy economy,” said Gov. Jay Inslee. “Silfab’s leadership will help us build the cleanest energy grid in the nation and realize our goal of 100% clean electricity by 2045.”

Oxnard Harbor District Welcomes New Commissioner

By Karen Robes Meeks

Celina Zacarias, senior director of Community and Government Relations for California State University, Channel Islands and chair of the Oxnard Chamber of Commerce, is the Oxnard Harbor District Board of Commissioners’ newest member. The board appointed Zacarias earlier this month to fill the position left vacant by the late Dr. Manuel Lopez.

“I would like to thank the Oxnard Harbor Board of Commissioners for appointing me to the recent vacancy left by the passing of the Honorable Dr. Manuel Lopez,” she said. “It is an honor to be selected to serve with such a hardworking and distinguished Board of Commissioners. I have always respected the Harbor District for the vital role they play in our local economy, and I consider it a privilege to serve and work alongside them. Finally, I hope to serve the remaining term with the same honor and dignity as Dr. Lopez.”

Zacarias will serve a 10-month term expiring on Jan. 4, 2021.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Local Coast Guard Crew Offloads Drugs in Drug Interdiction

By Karen Robes Meeks

Crew members of US Coast Guard Cutter Munro (WMSL 755) recently participated in a series of interdictions that seized almost 20,000 pounds of cocaine worth about $338 million from the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

During these interdictions that took place between mid-November and mid-January, the Munro , a 418-foot national security cutter homeported in Alameda, California, seized 6,680 pounds in three separate cases, according to the agency.

"By disrupting the profits of these cartels, we are reducing their effectiveness and helping our partner nations maintain their stability," said Rear Adm. Peter Gautier, the 11th Coast Guard District commander. "These efforts also provide invaluable information to us that we can then use to stop these drugs further up the supply chain before they begin these dangerous routes at sea."

Port of Oakland Unveils Sculpture Honoring Mariners

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Oakland and the International Maritime Center recently commemorated mariners lost at sea with a new abstract sculpture called “Sea Remembrance” located next to the IMC facility at Port View Park.

Artist James Allen King - a member of the Sailor's Union of the Pacific - donated his time to create the metal sculpture. The sculpture’s foundation was constructed by volunteers from California State University Maritime Academy and the Clean Living Learning Center.

Donations are being gathered to pay for final expenses.

“Seafarers make costly sacrifices being away from home at sea for months at a time,” said Captain Margaret Reasoner with the local IMC chapter. “The sculpture honors them for their hard work and perseverance, and serves as a memorial for the mariners who gave their life at sea.”

Port of Seattle Adds Environmental Prerequisite for New Cruise Terminal Partners

By Karen Robes Meeks

In its updated Request for Proposal for partners of a new cruise terminal, the Port of Seattle is asking for cruise vessels to have shore power capabilities and zero-emissions cargo handling equipment, among other environmental requirements.

“A key element of the port’s clean air and climate change strategy is to ultimately have all vessels utilizing shore power at berth,” said Stephanie Jones Stebbins, Managing Director of the Maritime Division at the port. “The port intends to require 100 percent of homeport cruise vessel calls at the new terminal to be shore-power capable and plug-in starting the first year of operation. We are striving to be the cleanest and greenest homeport in the nation.”

The port said it expects to announce a cruise terminal partner by the second quarter of this year.

Alaska Marine Lines Supports New Hydropower Facility Project

By Karen Robes Meeks

Alaska Marine Lines is doing some heavy lifting on the new hydropower facility in Kake, Alaska.

The company is moving penstock pipe and other materials for local electrical utility Inside Passage Electric Cooperative (IPEC), which is constructing the plant at an old hatchery.

The $10 million project - which is expected to be finished this year - will allow the community to switch from diesel and generators to a cleaner, less expensive power source that could also mean an annual reduction of 2 million pounds of CO2, according to Lynden.

"We started working on the project in 2018 with contractor Rock N Road," Arrowhead Transfer Operations Manager Adam Davis told Lynden. "We've already handled 60 loads of concrete and aggregate weighing between 20,000 to 66,000 pounds each to build pillars, thrust block and other features.”

Friday, February 14, 2020

Port of Long Beach Cargo Down in January

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach saw cargo movement fall 4.6 percent last month compared to January 2019 according to numbers released Wednesday. The port handled 626,829 TEUs, including 309,961 imported TEUs and 108,624 exported TEUs. When compared to the same period last year, imports were down 4.3 percent and exports fell 7.4 percent. Empty containers also dropped 3.7 percent to 208,244 TEUs.

“The new year is starting with a new set of challenges that are impacting importers and exporters, but we remain optimistic and expect to see modest growth in 2020,” said Port Executive Director Mario Cordero. “We are collaborating with our industry partners to focus on long-term growth, sustainability and the reliable movement of goods through the Port of Long Beach.”

The port is confident that it will grow cargo volume and market share by working together with industry stakeholders, said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Bonnie Lowenthal.

“We remain focused on our new bridge opening later this year, a $1 billion investment in rail projects over the next decade and other projects that will deliver cargo quickly and efficiently,” she said.

Imports and Exports Up at Port of Oakland

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Oakland saw a 7.3 percent increase in loaded imports and handled 3.3 percent more loaded exports in January than it did a year ago, according to the latest figures released Tuesday.

After three consecutive months of decline, Oakland showed an increase in imports, while exports have been up for the fourth straight month. The port also posted a 17.7 percent decrease in empty containers year over year.

Port officials are crediting the increases in loaded imports and exports to strong domestic and Asia consumer demand, but the coronavirus could dampen trade growth.

“It’s possible,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “The uptick in January was encouraging but we’re hearing from shipping lines that cargo volume could moderate over the next few months.”

Port of Los Angeles Official Reappointed to State Commission

By Karen Robes Meeks

California Governor Gavin Newsom recently reappointed Port of Los Angeles General Counsel Janna Sidley to the “Little Hoover” Commission, whose purpose is to investigate state government operations and policy, and through reports and legislative proposals, make recommendations to the Governor and Legislature to promote economy, efficiency and improved service in state operations.

Sidley, who oversees all litigation involving the Harbor Division of the City Attorney’s office, will continue to serve on the independent state oversight panel, which she has been a part of since 2016.

“It’s been an honor to serve on this prestigious panel for the last four years. This reappointment will allow me to continue working on initiatives that are improving and enhancing the effectiveness of government operations in California,” said Sidley. “I am grateful to Gov. Newsom for his confidence in me to continue in this role on the Commission.”

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Vessel Operator Pleads Guilty in Bilge Waste Discharge Matter

By Karen Robes Meeks

Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (Singapore) PTE LTD. (Bernhard), has pleaded guilty in federal court to keeping “false and incomplete records” about how bilge waste was discharged from the tank vessel Topaz Express. This is considered a felony violation.

The plea agreement calls for the company to serve a four-year probation, enact a comprehensive Environmental Compliance Plan that will apply to all of its 38 vessels that call on US ports, and pay a $1.75 million fine, the largest imposed by the District of Hawaii for this kind of offense.

“This case was built on the hard work of Coast Guard inspectors and investigators and we appreciate the strong partnership with the Department of Justice to hold polluters accountable,” said Capt. Arex Avanni, commander of the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu. “All vessel owners and operators are responsible for maintaining their vessels and preventing illegal discharges of oily wastes into the ocean. We are committed to the people of Hawaii to protect our waters and the Pacific Ocean from the damage caused by pollution from illegal dumping.”

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Cargo Volumes Dip at Port of Los Angeles

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles saw a 5.4 percent drop in cargo movement last month when compared to January 2019, according to new numbers released Thursday.

The port handled 806,144 TEUs, including 414,731 TEUs in imports, a 3.5 percent decrease from the same period last year. Following 14 straight months of declines due to tariffs on US products, exports rose 2.2 percent to 148,206 TEUs. Meanwhile, empty containers fell 12.4 percent to 243,207 TEUs.

“We anticipated that tariffs would continue to impact cargo volumes as we moved into 2020, and our January volumes reflect that ongoing trend,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “The coronavirus, which prompted China’s Central Government to extend the Lunar New Year holiday, adds a new layer of uncertainty to global trade. The Port of Los Angeles is committed to ongoing collaboration with our customers and supply chain partners to innovate and adapt to new trade patterns.”

Port of Oakland Names New COO

By Karen Robes Meeks

Oakland International Airport Assistant Director of Aviation Kristi McKenney is the new Port of Oakland Chief Operating Officer, a newly created role.

McKenney, who came to the port in 1994 as an environmental planner before becoming assistant director of aviation in 2014, will now be tasked to oversee port operations, including engineering services, environmental programs and planning, utilities and IT, as well as ensuring the port is complying with board policies and government regulations.

“I’m grateful to the Board for establishing the COO position and pleased that Kristi is joining our executive team,” said Port Executive Director Danny Wan. “We’re developing an ambitious growth strategy for the port and she’ll be instrumental in advancing it.”

McKenney lives in Oakland, Calif. She has a bachelor of science degree in aeronautics from San Jose State University and a master of science degree in civil engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

US Coast Guard Working on Vessel Aground in Hawaii

By Karen Robes Meeks

The US Coast Guard, the Department of Land and Natural Resources and contractor personnel are teaming up to respond to the removal of potential pollutants that may stem from a 63-foot fishing vessel that ran aground on Monday on rocks northwest of Hilo Harbor, Hawaii.

There are two marine batteries as well as up to 1,800 gallons of diesel aboard the Midway Island, a US-flagged vessel that was grounded after traveling from Los Angeles, Calif. Authorities are still investigating the cause of the incident.

Meanwhile, a safety zone that extends 100-yards in all directions from the source has been established. The agency is asking the public to steer clear.

Los Angeles and Long Beach Ports to Consider Clean Truck Rate

By Karen Robes Meeks

A proposed Clean Truck Rate resolution will be considered by the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach harbor boards later this month. If approved, the proposed rate, which is said to help speed up the introduction of cleaner drayage trucks at the twin ports, could be collected as early as the latter half of 2020.

The Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners will consider the Clean Truck Rate proposal at a meeting schedule for 9 a.m. on Feb. 20 at the Port of Los Angeles Administration Building, 425 S. Palos Verdes St., San Pedro, Calif., 90731. The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners will decide on the Clean Truck Rate proposal on Feb. 24, The meeting will be held at 1:30 p.m. at the Bob Foster Civic Chambers at Long Beach City Hall, 411 W. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, Calif., 90802.

Both meetings will be on livestream.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Port of Los Angeles to Rename Street After Late Union Leader, Commissioner

By Karen Robes Meeks

On Saturday morning, Feb. 8, Los Angeles port, union and community representatives will unveil a new street name honoring the former Los Angeles Harbor Commission Vice President and International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) leader Dave Arian. Arian died in January 2019 after battling thyroid cancer.

A part of Miner Street south of 22nd Street in San Pedro, Calif., will be renamed “Dave Arian Way,” after the lifelong San Pedro resident who began working on the Wilmington waterfront when he was 18. He served three terms as president of ILWU Local 13 before becoming, in 1991, international president of the ILWU at age 44. Following his retirement in 2009, he was appointed to the harbor commission in 2010.

Several people are expected to speak at the event, including Port Executive Director Gene Seroka, Los Angeles Harbor Commissioner Diane Middleton, ILWU International President William Adams, ILWU Local 13 President Ray Familathe and Dave Arian’s daughter Justine Arian-Edwards.

Port of Everett Closes on LTGO Bond Sale

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Everett in late January closed on the $26.3 million sale of Limited Tax General Obligation (LTGO) bonds that will go toward newly acquired properties such as the Norton property in north Waterfront Place and the old Kimberly-Clark mill site, the port announced.

The port was able to secure a low 3.08 percent interest rate over the bonds’ 30 years in part because of its strong Aa2 LTGO bond rating. The rating reflects “the port’s sizeable and rapidly growing tax base, its participation in the broad and diverse Puget Sound economy, and adequate financial position to finance its five-year, $103 million Capital Improvement Program,” the port said.

“As committed financial stewards of public funds, this bond sale proved to be an excellent step to support financing for the acquisition of key community and regional assets,” Port of Everett CEO Lisa Lefeber said. “I commend the work of the port’s finance team for their consistent due diligence and monitoring of the market for financial opportunities like these, which are critical elements to responsibly grow our operations and remain competitive.”

Port of Hueneme Earns Business Honors

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Hueneme recently netted the California Green Business Network Certification and the 2020 Outstanding Business Catalyst Award.

The green certification is issued by the EPA-funded and CARB-assisted nonprofit California Green Business Network, which is designed to help public agencies and utilities team up with businesses to exceed environmental standards.

The 2020 Outstanding Business Catalyst Award was bestowed by the Oxnard Chamber of Commerce to honor the port’s impact on the local economy.

“What a great way to begin the New Year! Having both the business and environmental communities recognize the work the port is doing affirms that we truly are leading our community in green job growth.” Jess Ramirez, Oxnard Harbor District President stated,” Our community knows that if the port is involved, the job gets done right and in the greenest way possible.”

Port of Camas-Washougal Receives Funds for Community

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Camas-Washougal recently secured a $216,131 grant and $1.22 million loan from the Washington State Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) to augment construction at the Steigerwald Commerce Center.

The money will go toward the creation of the center’s 50,000-square-foot Building 20. With an estimated $1 million in private investment, the project is expected to create as many as 80 permanent jobs over the next five years.

"We are grateful and very excited for the opportunity CERB has provided,” said Port Chief Executive Officer Ripp. “The employment opportunities this project creates for the community is what the Port is all about."

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

NWSA Co-Chair Addresses US Senators on Port Infrastructure Funding

By Karen Robes Meeks

Port of Tacoma commission president and Northwest Seaport Alliance co-chair John McCarthy recently came before the Transportation and Safety Subcommittee of the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. He urged senators to support more funding for the Port Intermodal Improvement Program, freight formula funds, INFRA and doing away with the multimodal funding cap.

McCarthy’ spoke of the NWSA’s significant role in cargo movement and employment, adding that “nearly 60% of our imports move beyond the region and our exports originate from all 50 states. As the number-two U.S. agricultural port, we are an essential partner to our nation’s farmers.”

“Rapid advancements in freight are driving ports to make significant changes,” he added. “For example, a tripling of the container capacity of ships in the last decade requires billions of dollars in new investment. And improving our port system requires that we also focus outside seaport gates across the U.S. freight networks. Bottlenecks and the cost of fixing them is often beyond the means of the communities where projects are located.”

Port of Oakland Chief Wants Industrial Sanctuary for Port

By Karen Robes Meeks

At his first State of the Port address as Port of Oakland Executive Director, Danny Wan called for the consideration of an industrial sanctuary policy that would preserve industrial land use, transportation and infrastructure in and around the port, and accommodate the transportation, commerce, business and job needs of the region.

“Our leaders recognize the Port of Oakland is an indispensable jobs and economic engine,” said Wan, who took over the top job in November. “Indeed, we are everyone’s port, but being indispensable means, we have to preserve the port.”

Oakland is experiencing unprecedented growth, with downtown development moving at an all-time high and port businesses nearing record levels, the port said.

“Let’s all declare and explain the need for an industrial sanctuary policy and explore the ways that such a policy will be compatible with local and regional planning efforts,” Wan said to the 350 people in attendance. “Let your customers and partners, your neighbors and your community know that the port is for everyone and here to stay for the benefit of all.”

Port of Everett Commissioner Commences Second Term

By Karen Robes Meeks

Port of Everett Board Commissioner Glen Bachman was recently sworn into his second six-year term in office.

Bachman, who was first appointed in August 2013, represents Port District 3, which includes the waterfront between north and south Everett, parts of the north Mukilteo waterfront to east to the Snohomish River.

“I am honored and humbled that you have placed your trust in me,” Bachman said. “With your trust, I will work tirelessly on your behalf to carry out the Port’s Strategic Plan that develops a balanced waterfront. This is an action that includes public access, public use, economic opportunities, international maritime expansion and environmental stewardship. I will address challenges, and secure lasting and meaningful improvements to your quality of life.”

New General Counsel for Northwest Seaport Alliance

By Karen Robes Meeks

Law veteran Dana Henderson is the Northwest Seaport Alliance’s new general counsel, the organization announced in January.

Henderson will be tasked with advising the port on legal matters and will report to NWSA co-chairs and CEO John Wolfe. Henderson has more than 20 years of experience in public and private practice, including work as a litigator and maritime law practitioner. She earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Washington and graduated from Tulane University School of Law.

Since 2013, Henderson served as general counsel for Pierce Transit, which is considered the second largest public transit agency in the state of Washington.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Port of Los Angeles Breaks Ground on LA Waterfront Project

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles on Monday celebrated the start of construction of the $33 million LA Waterfront town square and promenade. Once completed, it will link the downtown harbor to the future San Pedro Public Market.

“Today’s groundbreaking represents an important step toward realizing our vision of a thriving LA Waterfront,” said Jaime Lee, president of the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners. “This new modern and public space will provide residents and visitors exciting ways to enjoy the waterfront, while also offering a front row view at the nation’s busiest port.”

Port staff and James Corner Field Operations, which designed New York’s High Line urban park, worked together to design the waterfront project, which is slated for completion by summer 2021.

“Projects like these continue to improve the quality of life in our local communities, while also building tourism and stimulating further economic development in the region,” said Executive Director at the Port of Los Angeles, Gene Seroka. “The town square and promenade are among several improvements underway this year, making 2020 a big year for our visitor-serving waterfront.”

Matson Promotes Three Executives

By Karen Robes Meeks

Matson, Inc. has promoted three executives to its senior leadership team, the company announced Monday.

Branton "Bal" Dreyfus, Vice President, Alaska, is elevated to Senior Vice President, Alaska, a move that reflects the company’s “growing scope of operations, continuing investment in and long-term commitment to serving Alaska,” according to Matson.

Capt. John "Jack" Sullivan, Vice President, Vessel Operations and Engineering, has been given the new title of Senior Vice President, Vessel Operations and Engineering.

Richard "Rich" Kinney, Vice President, West Coast Terminals and Purchasing, is now Senior Vice President, Network Operations.

"Matson's management team has a strong bench, and we are proud to be elevating three of our most experienced leaders who have been integral to the strategic development of our business in recent years to larger roles in managing our continued growth into the future," said Matt Cox, chairman and chief executive officer.

2020 Smart Ports Conference to Take Place in San Pedro

By Karen Robes Meeks

Artificial intelligence, automation, cybersecurity and workforce development are among the topics that will be discussed at the American Association of Port Authorities’ 2020 Smart Ports event on Feb. 5-6 in San Pedro, Calif.

Centered around the theme “Envisioning the New Decade,” the event will feature talks on digital technology, advice on how to protect from cyber threats and ways to improve cargo flow.

“AAPA’s 2020 Smart Ports seminar will provide a comprehensive drill-down into how seaports are adapting to information, mechanization, security and workforce development changes as they embrace the digitized world,” said AAPA CEO Chris Connor. “Speed-of-light electronic data exchanges and robotics are fast becoming the norm in cargo transportation and supply chain logistics. Presenters at this seminar will detail many of the changes, challenges and charges that seaports face to compete in an increasingly technological marketplace.”

“The maritime industry’s digital transformation is at our doorstep,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “The AAPA ‘Smarts Ports’ seminar is important because digital transformation is the future of seaborne trade. Pushing it off puts ports and maritime stakeholders at risk of competitive loss.”

The event will take place at the DoubleTree by Hilton – San Pedro – Port of Los Angeles, 2800 Via Cabrillo-Marina, San Pedro, Calif., 90731.

Port of Stockton Saw First Wood Pellet Shipment

By Karen Robes Meeks

The head of the Port of Stockton said the port reached an important milestone in December when it saw the first wood pellet shipment loaded into the M/V Global Serenity by Metro Ports.

The trial shipment of an estimated 2,000 metric tons of torrefied wood pellets came from Michigan. They were shipped by National Carbon Technologies and heading to Japan, according to the port.

“This shipment is an important milestone for the Port of Stockton,” said Port Director Richard Aschieris. “The port has been actively working with renewable fuels producers for several years now, and this shipment of National Carbon Technologies torrefied pellets advances the Port’s goal of diversifying our cargo base. This market sector is very important to the port for many reasons, and we will continue to support customer interest in achieving their supply chain needs in order to reach both their international and domestic customers.”

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Seattle-based US Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star Arrives in Antarctica

By Karen Robes Meeks

After 58 days at sea, the US Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star and its crew of 159 members made it to Antarctica to support Operation Deep Freeze. It represents the icebreaker’s 23rd journey to the region to support the National Science Foundation.

The 399-foot, 13,000-ton icebreaker – which arrived at McMurdo Station on Jan. 22 – left its Seattle, Wash., homeport on Nov. 26 to carve a 23-mile channel through the ice to McMurdo Sound. This opening allowed more than 19.5 million pounds of dry cargo and 7.6 million gallons of fuel to be offloaded from three logistic vessels, according to the USCG. The three ships combined hold enough fuel and vital supplies to keep NSF operations going in the area throughout the year until Polar Star’s 2021 return.

“I am immensely proud of all the hard work and dedication the men and women of the Polar Star demonstrate each and every day,” said Greg Stanclik, commanding officer of the Polar Star. “Maintaining and operating a 44-year-old ship in the harshest of environments takes months of planning and preparation, long workdays and missed holidays, birthdays and anniversaries with loved ones. The Polar Star crew truly embodies the ethos of the Antarctic explorers who came before us – courage, sacrifice and devotion.”

Public Tours Return to Port of Vancouver USA

By Karen Robes Meeks

This spring, the public will once again have the opportunity to take a closer look at Washington state’s third-oldest public port with the return of the Port of Vancouver USA’s public tour program.

The port will host 10 free outings from March through September that will feature information about navigating the Columbia River, international trade, environmental stewardship, waterfront redevelopment and more. Each excursion will offer refreshments, a slide presentation and a bus ride tour of the marine terminals and industrial centers.

The two-hour tours are expected to take place:

• Thursday, March 19, 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
• Saturday, April 25, 10 a.m. –12 noon
• Tuesday, May 12, 5:30–7:30 p.m.
• Wednesday, May 27, 11:30 a.m–1:30 p.m.
• Thursday, June 11, 5:30–7:30 p.m.
• Saturday, June 27, 10 a.m. –12 noon
• Wednesday, July 8, 11:30 a.m. –1:30 p.m.
• Saturday, July 25, 10 a.m. –12 noon
• Tuesday, August 11, 5:30–7:30 p.m.
• Wednesday, September 9, 5:30–7:30 p.m.

Reservations are required and can be made by calling 360-693-3611 or sending an email to Early RSVPs are encouraged. Government-issued photo ID is required. Cameras aren’t allowed on the terminals.

For more, go to

Matson Announces Quarterly Dividend

By Karen Robes Meeks

Honolulu-based carrier Matson, Inc’s Board of Directors this week announced a first quarter dividend of $0.22 per common share. The dividend is expected to be paid to shareholders of record on March 5, according to the company.

The company operates in Hawaii, Alaska, Guam and Micronesia, and offers a fast, premium service from China to Southern California and services to Okinawa, Japan and other South Pacific islands. Matson’s fleet encompasses containerships, combination container and roll-on/roll-off ships and custom-made barges. Meanwhile, Matson Logistics offers “rail intermodal, highway brokerage, warehousing, freight consolidation, Asia supply chain services, and forwarding to Alaska,” according to the company.

For more on the company, visit

Blue Technology Center of Expertise Launches in San Diego

By Karen Robes Meeks

Earlier this month, the US Coast Guard and Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, celebrated their partnership with the kickoff of the Blue Technology Center of Expertise on the Scripps Oceanography campus.

The center - which brings together experts from various disciplines related to the ocean - will allow data-sharing among the public and private sector, including other federal agencies, academia and nonprofit groups, according to the USCG.

“The Blue Technology Center of Expertise will better connect the Coast Guard with the tremendous government, academic and industry innovation ecosystem in the San Diego area,” said Coast Guard Deputy Commandant for Mission Support Vice Adm. Michael F. McAllister. “It will create a unique pipeline for the rapid identification and implementation of new maritime technologies into critical Coast Guard operations around the globe.”

Friday, January 24, 2020

California Independent Truckers Get Brief Reprieve from AB-5

By Karen Robes Meeks

California’s independent truckers scored a win last week when US Southern District Court Judge Roger T. Benitez granted a preliminary injunction to halt the state’s enforcement of a new employment classification test against motor carriers until a final judgment is rendered, the California Trucking Association (CTA) announced.

“This ruling is a significant win for California’s more than 70,000 independent owner-operators and CTA members who have worked as independent truckers for decades, and who have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars to own their own vehicle and comply with California’s strict environmental guidelines and regulations over the years,” said CTA CEO Shawn Yadon.

The association filed the preliminary injunction motion as part of its lawsuit challenging Assembly Bill 5, which was to take effect Jan. 1.

In his 23-page Jan. 16 decision, Benitez said “There is little question that the state of California has encroached on Congress’ territory by eliminating motor carriers’ choice to use independent contractor drivers, a choice at the very heart of interstate trucking. In so doing, California disregards Congress’ intent to deregulate interstate trucking, instead adopting a law that produces the patchwork of state regulations Congress sought to prevent. With AB-5, California runs off the road and into the preemption ditch of the FAAAA (Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994).”

For more on the decision, visit

Port of Los Angeles Director Appointed to State Workforce Board

By Karen Robes Meeks

California Governor Gavin Newsom has appointed Port of Los Angeles Director of Labor Relations and Workforce Development Avin Sharma to the California Workforce Development Board, which advises the governor in workforce development-related policies.

“Avin brings a wealth of experience in building high road training partnership among management and labor that will be a huge asset to the Board’s work and mission,” said Tim Rainey, Executive Director of the California Workforce Development Board. “We’re honored to have him join the Board and represent the Port of Los Angeles.”

Before coming to the port in 2017, Sharma served in the Obama Administration as White House liaison and counselor to the secretary at the U.S. Department of Labor, economics director for the presidential personnel office at the White House and special assistant to the chairman of the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission at the U.S. Department of Justice.

“I’m extremely honored to be appointed to this prestigious board, which has done so much to advance the workforce needs of California,” said Sharma. “I plan to make the most of this opportunity to help prepare and ready our state’s workforce for success in the decades ahead.”

Port of Everett Seeks Input on Crane Lighting Demo

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Everett would like the community to participate in a crane lighting demonstration happening from Jan. 29 to Feb. 5 at the seaport.

The port is gathering feedback on a pair of Federal Aviation Administration airspace navigation compliance options it is considering related to the installation of container cranes acquired for South Terminal.

The FAA requires that any structure taller than 200 feet located within applicable flight zones must be marked or illuminated per FAA Obstruction Marking and Lighting Requirements.

The South Terminal cranes are 215 feet tall, and the port is near the flight paths for both Naval Station Everett and Providence Hospital. As such the port is considering the following options:

• Keep the cranes as they are and mark the parts that exceed 200 feet with the current white and orange hash markings, or

• Paint the cranes to match the port’s shorter, 197-foot tall cranes at Pacific Terminal, and install red and white pulsating lights, to be continuously lit, on the portion that exceed 200 feet.

To find out more information and to weigh in go to

Port of Hueneme Has a New Board President

By Karen Robes Meeks

Jess Ramirez will serve the next year as president of the Board of Harbor Commissioners for the Oxnard Harbor District, which governs the Port of Hueneme.

Ramirez takes over for Commissioner Jess Herrera, who was honored with a commemorative gavel for his 2019 service as board president. First elected to the board in 1992, Ramirez has served as president five times. Before retiring last year, he worked as a longshoreman for 51 years.

“The Port of Hueneme is the Greenest Port in America,” he said. “During my tenure as Port President, I want to build on this accomplishment and usher in policies that support our economic vibrancy while moving the Port towards carbon neutrality. I am especially excited about an urban tree project that is currently in the idea stage but can grow to become a model for ports around the globe.”

Jason Hodge will serve as Vice President and Mary Anne Rooney as Secretary.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Port of Los Angeles Chief Announces Plans, New Cargo Numbers at State of the Port

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles handled more than 9.3 million TEUs last year, nearly beating a cargo record, Executive Director Gene Seroka announced at last week’s annual State of the Port.

“In the face of lagging exports due to international trade tensions and tariff uncertainties, the Port of Los Angeles has maintained strong momentum and kept cargo flowing,” Seroka said. “This feat was only possible because of the extensive cooperation and continued efficiency improvements by our terminal operators, supply chain partners and longshore workforce.”

At the event hosted by the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, Seroka also spoke of plans to kick off the Port’s new Labor Collaborative, a targeted workforce development effort to address port-related work and training needs, as well as the nation’s first Terminal Efficiency Incentive Program that aligns with the port’s new truck reservation system and rewards improved truck turn times.

“It’s time for the courage and long-range vision to imagine what this port will look like in the years ahead and set a course in that direction,” Seroka said. “It’s going to take collaboration to keep cargo volumes strong and our Port community thriving in the midst of increasing competition, an uncertain trade environment and a world where technology is essential to success.”

Port of Vancouver USA Creates New Community Fund Program

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Vancouver USA has developed a new community fund program to support projects that promote trade, tourism and jobs in the region.

The port has set aside $5,000 for the first year of the program, which will be used to fund projects and programs within the port district.

“Over the years, the port has received requests from school groups and others to help with educational and development programs, but we have never had a mechanism to provide assistance,” said port Chief External Affairs Officer Ryan Hart. “We hope this new program will allow some very deserving projects in our community to move forward and we’re excited to see what kind of applications we receive.” Visit for more information on the program and to download application form. Application must be submitted by Feb. 7. The port is expected to name award recipients by Feb. 28.

Port of San Diego Swears in 2020 Executive Officers

By Karen Robes Meeks

Ann Moore has been sworn in as Chair of the Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners, with Michael Zucchet as Vice Chair and Dan Malcolm as Secretary.

Moore said her theme for this year is “Port of the Future” and added that the focus will be advancing the Port Master Plan Update and continuing the transformation of the Chula Vista Bayfront.

“I’m inspired by ports around the world that continue to reinvest in their waterfronts to keep them new and fresh to meet changing public needs,” Moore said. “Seattle comes to mind with its Pike Place Market and plans for a waterfront aquarium. Sydney is another premier example with its iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. The best waterfronts don’t remain the same and that’s how I see the Port of San Diego’s role for San Diego Bay – planning for the future while also being flexible so we can continue to evolve.

Empties Led to Dip in 2019 Cargo Volume at Port of Oakland

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Oakland moved 1.8 percent fewer containers in 2019 handling 2.5 million TEUs last year compared to 2.55 million TEUs the year before, according to latest numbers released Friday.

A 13 percent decrease in empty containers is part of the reason for the lower overall number. Still, the port posted record import and export numbers.

According to the port, exports rose by 3.7 percent – thanks to new markets demand for US agricultural goods – and imports by 1 percent in 2019, resulting in 1.9 million loaded TEUs, breaking the 2018 record of 1.86 million TEUs.

“We’re encouraged that our loaded imports and exports set annual records,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “We are looking to improve on this cargo performance in the coming year, especially if the US and China can continue to break down trade barriers.”

Friday, January 17, 2020

SM Line Arrives at Port of Portland

By Karen Robes Meeks

This week, SM Line made its first vessel call to the Port of Portland’s Terminal 6. The arrival of the 4,360-TEU Qingdao, marked the start of weekly container shipping service for the company at the Oregon seaport.

The inaugural call – which departed the Port of Ningbo in China on Dec. 22 as part of the South Korea-based container carrier’s Pacific Northwest Service – included nearly 200 containers being imported, more than 70 export containers going to Korea, and 330 empty containers. The company’s service route includes stops in Shanghai, Pusan, Vancouver, BC and Seattle, Wash, the port said.

“We are excited to welcome SM Line’s maiden voyage to Portland,” said Port Executive Director Curtis Robinhold. “Their weekly container service provides an important option for regional shippers and will better connect Oregon businesses to global markets. It is such an encouraging sign to see Terminal 6 busy and productive.”

Oregon Ports Partner on Dredging Efforts

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay and the Port of Siuslaw have teamed up to finish dredging at the Port of Siuslaw inner boat basin, which accumulated so much debris that some slips were unusable, according to the port. The project – the culmination of a year of planning between Business Oregon and both ports – calls for the removal of roughly 12,000 cubic yards of sediment from the marina.

“Dredging is of dire importance to Oregon’s public ports as drivers of economic development,” says David Huntington, Port of Siuslaw manager. “This is a project that benefits our marina customers, the waterfront environment, and our entire community.”

“As the stewards of the state dredge, it is important to us to ensure safe navigation throughout Oregon coast,” said Charleston Marina Harbormaster Brandon Collura.

According to the port, the Port of Siuslaw Marina project will be the fourth successful dredging project since the Port of Coos Bay assumed maintenance and operational responsibilities in 2016

Port of Seattle Commission Elects its Officers for 2020

By Karen Robes Meeks

Peter Steinbrueck will lead the Port of Seattle Commission for 2020 as its elected President. Commissioner Fred Felleman will serve as Vice-President and newly elected Commissioner Sam Cho will be Secretary.

“The Port of Seattle has a critical mission to foster economic development and living-wage jobs, as we advance social equity and environmental stewardship for the region and state,” said Steinbrueck. “I’m grateful for the support and confidence of my commission colleagues, and for Commissioner Stephanie Bowman’s effective leadership as president last year. Those priorities will shape our work on new waterfront facilities in Elliott Bay and bring improvements to Sea-Tac Airport.”

Port of San Diego Appoints Interim Port Auditor

By Karen Robes Meeks

Former Assistant Port Auditor Mark Yeilding has been appointed as the Port of San Diego’s Acting Port Auditor. Yeilding, who started in his new role earlier this month, takes over for the retiring Robert “Bob” Monson.

Yeilding, who came to the port in 2014 as an auditor, became Assistant Port Auditor in 2018. He earned a master’s degree in public administration from USC and is a Certified Internal Auditor and Certified Government Auditing Professional.

“Mark has done a superior job in his role as Assistant Port Auditor and has demonstrated that he has the ability to lead the Port Auditor’s Office to be a regional model that will enhance the public’s understanding and trust in the port,” said Port Commission Board Chair Ann Moore. “We are grateful to have him lead the Auditor’s Office during this transition and are confident he will serve the port well in his new capacity.”

Meanwhile, the port said it is searching nationwide to fill the post and is expected to choose someone for the permanent position by the end of this month.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Port of Long Beach to Host State of the Port

By Karen Robes Meeks

Long Beach Board of Harbor Commission President Bonnie Lowenthal and Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero will speak at the annual State of the Port address on Jan. 22.

The two leaders will review the port’s accomplishments of the past year and discuss the prospects for 2020.

The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Long Beach Convention Center Grand Ballroom, located at 300 E. Ocean Blvd. in Long Beach, Calif. Free parking can be accessed from Pine Avenue. Lunch and the program will start at noon.

To RSVP, contact Kimberly Sides at (562) 283-7710. The port also plans to broadcast the event live via webcast at starting at 12:25 p.m.

CBP 2020 Trade Symposium to Discuss USMCA, E-Commerce

By Karen Robes Meeks

International trade organizations, interagency collaboration, and the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) are expected to be discussed at the upcoming US Customs and Border Protection’s 2020 Trade Symposium in Anaheim, Calif.

The event will also address topics such as forced labor, e-commerce (specifically Entry Type 86, 321 Data Pilot), the latest on implementing the CTPAT Minimum Security Criteria, the future state of In-bound and Export capabilities, as well as ACE, the Blockchain proof of concept and emerging technologies.

The event will take place on March 10-11 at the Anaheim Hilton in Anaheim, Calif. To register, visit

USCG Honors Fallen Coast Guardsmen, Mariners in Washington

By Karen Robes Meeks

The US Coast Guard on Saturday paid tribute to deceased Coast Guardsmen and mariners with a morning memorial service at the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center in Ilwaco, Wash.

The event, which included words from former shipmates, land and sea wreath ceremonies and the ringing of the bell after each name was read, honored those who lost their lives to help others in trouble along Oregon and Washington coastal waters.

Among those recognized were four Coast Guardsmen aboard Motor Life Boat 36384 who died on Feb. 5, 1946, while searching for two crab boats near Ocean City, Wash., and three Coast Guardsmen aboard Motor Life Boat 44363 who died on Feb. 12, 1997, trying to save two crewmembers aboard the 31-foot sailing vessel Gale Runner near the Quillayute River Bar.

"Memorials provide an important link to the past, and it is important to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice," said Capt. Jeremy Smith, commander, Coast Guard Sector Columbia River. "These memorials allow us to remember the bravery and courage of those who have come before us, while also reminding us of the risks and dangers of our chosen profession."

Port of Everett Signs MOUs with Neighboring Cities

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Everett recently celebrated its new partnership with the cities of Arlington and Marysville with the signing of Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) that pave the way for the Cascade Industrial Center (CIC) to generate more jobs and bolster the region economically.

The MOUs allow the port to leverage its resources and expertise in various areas such as financing, grants, planning and environmental support and regulatory strategy to help the center. The CIC area offers more than 1,700 acres of buildable manufacturing and industrial opportunity close to vital transportation arteries such as I-5, the port, BNSF rail and the Arlington Municipal Airport.

As part of the celebration, the City of Arlington and Arlington Public Schools also launched the new Arlington Career Internships Program for local high school juniors and seniors.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Port of Vancouver USA Launches New Project Website

By Karen Robes Meeks

Stakeholders looking for progress reports on the Port of Vancouver USA’s Terminal 1 project can now visit the new dedicated website,, to find out the latest information.

The site presents background information and status updates and offers details about the terminal’s history, funding sources, key partners and upcoming events.

“We’ve made a lot of headway on Terminal 1 in the past year,” said Jonathan Eder, executive project sponsor. “The AC Hotel by Marriot broke ground, the Vancouver Landing amphitheater planning is complete, and the design has been released for the northern portion of the site. We’re excited to have the website available for the public and our partners to track the project’s ongoing progress.”

Port of Redwood Unveils Long-Term Strategy

By Karen Robes Meeks

This week, the Port of Redwood City Board of Port Commissioners approved a long-term plan to positively bolster the port’s economic and quality-of-life impact to the region.

The 2020 vision consisting of 45 recommendations aims to optimize the land use, enhance infrastructure and operations, protect the environment and strive to expand the maritime and commercial business opportunities at the widely-known dry bulk port. According to the port, the vision also includes diversification opportunities for RO/RO and project cargo.

The three-level vision was developed to guide the port for the next 25 years, starting with short-term plans through 2026.

Recommendations include more public waterfront access as well as commercial and recreational uses for the shoreline, a public or private ferry service to South San Francisco Bay and the development of “cargo velocity standards” to make cargo movement more efficient.

“This comprehensive vision has been a year in the making, and carefully balances economic, environmental and community interests to maximize the value of the Port to the region,” said Port Executive Director Kristine A. Zortman.

For more information, visit

San Pedro Bay Ports to Host Clean Air Workshop

By Karen Robes Meeks

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will host the first stakeholder advisory group meeting of the year on Jan. 15.

The meeting will address the latest information on the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan 2017 Update and focus on gathering input on the recently released Draft Economic Rate Study and the potential Clean Truck Rate.

The public meeting will take place 10 a.m. to noon at the Harbor Administration Building located at 425 Palos Verdes St., San Pedro, Calif., 90731. It will also be webcast live.

For more details, visit

Port of Olympia Welcomes New Senior Harbor Manager

By Karen Robes Meeks

Timothy J. (TJ) Quandt is the Port of Olympia’s new senior harbor manager.

Quandt comes to the port with strong maritime, business operations, and customer service experience. In his previous role at the Port of Port Townsend business manager, Quandt oversaw three marinas, a boatyard, a recreational vehicle park, and a fuel dock. He previously worked as an assistant harbormaster, hoist operator and commercial fisherman.

"The port received many excellent applications for this position, and while the competition was close, we found TJ to be the best fit for the Port of Olympia,” said Executive Director Sam Gibboney. “We are looking forward to having TJ on the port’s leadership team and working with him to move Swantown Marina & Boatworks into the future under his leadership.”

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

New Brusco Tug

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Hueneme recently acknowledged the arrival of Brusco Tug & Barge, Inc.’s new environmentally friendly tug, the Teresa Brusco.

The new vessel – which has a Tier 3 engine and 61-ton bollard pull capability – replaces the Lulapin. It represents a nearly $10 million capital investment by the company. The cleaner tug will mean lower vessel emissions, including an 80 percent decrease in NOx.

“This significant upgrade to Brusco’s fleet keeps with the Port’s commitment to environment – as the Greenest US Port and Green Marine-certified (a third party environmental verification program), we take the health of our water, air and community very seriously,” says Port Director and CEO Kristin Decas. “We value the fact that Brusco is investing in our Port’s green future.”

New Vancouver USA Commissioner

By Karen Robes Meeks

Jack Burkman is the newest Port of Vancouver USA commissioner. He represents District 3. He was sworn in Dec. 30 at the port’s Administrative Office, as he began a five-year term.

Over the last 30 years, Burkman has served the Clark County community as a three-term Vancouver City Councilmember and a 10-year Clark College Trustee. He is also involved in several boards, including the Regional Transportation Council, C-Tran, Portland Metro’s Joint Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation, Fort Vancouver Regional Library, League of United Latin American Citizens, and the YWCA Clark County.

According to the port, Burkman is in favor of developing more family wage jobs in Southwest Washington, making freight mobility more efficient, and creating a skilled workforce in the Greater Vancouver community. He also supports “continued transparency, community involvement, and fiscal responsibility at the port.”