Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Container Volumes Back to 2017 Numbers

Throughput indices collected by Drewry Shipping Consultants have determined that in April 2020, the global container port throughput index stood at 121.6, precisely the same as in April 2017 – three years back.

The Drewry Container Port Throughput Indices are a series of volume growth/decline indices based on monthly throughput data for a sample of over 220 ports worldwide, representing over 75 percent of global volumes. The base point for the indices is January 2012 = 100.

The index declined by 2.3 points compared to March 2020, registering a month-on-month decline of 1.9 percent and a year-on-year decline of 6.6 percent.

Although the month-on-month deviation remained low at the global level, regional indices had a wide variation in April. The index for North American increased by 7.4 percent while the index for Asia (excluding China) declined by 7.6 percent.

In February 2020 the China index stood at its lowest level since 2015. It increased to 131.3 in March 2020 and has remained stable with a negligible increase of 0.1 point in April 2020. However this is significantly below the April 2019 level, down by 5.7 percent year-on-year, on basis of weaker demand from key North American and European markets which remained in lockdown.

Volume rebound at West Coast ports in the USA and Mexico in April raised the index for North America by 7.4 percent over the previous month. However, the continued adverse impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) did not allow North American throughput to reach the April 2019 level. Hence a decline of 8.2 percent year-on-year was witnessed. The notable feature in 2020 is the declining market share of West Coast ports vis-à-vis the gulf and east coast.

Despite an improvement in March 2020 index, the Asian countries excluding China could not sustain the recovery into April 2020. The index declined by 10 points to reach 121.2 in April 2020, a decline of 7.6 percent month-on-month and 5.6 percent year-on-year. Handling at all major ports including some of the major transhipment hubs in the region declined considerably. Weaker demand from European and North American is tracking back along the intra-Asian supply chains, reducing both deepsea and intra-Asian movements.

According to Drewry, the only region that saw improvements in its port handling is Latin America, where the index value increased by 2.1 percent month-on-month and 4.7 percent year-on-year. On the other hand, the double-digit decline was seen in Africa, although Drewry notes their sample size is small and so the figures should be viewed with caution.

Traffic Mitigation Fee Increasing at Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach

The West Coast MTO Agreement (WCMTOA) has announced that on August 1, 2020, the Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF) at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will increase by 4.2 percent. The adjustment matches the combined 4.2 percent increase in longshore wage and assessment rates that take effect in early July.

Beginning August 1, the TMF will be $33.47 per TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) or $66.94 for all other sizes of container. The TMF is charged on non-exempt containers. Containers exempt from the TMF include empty containers; import cargo or export cargo that transits the Alameda Corridor in a container and is subject to a fee imposed by the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority; and transshipment cargo. Empty chassis and bobtail trucks are also exempt. The OffPeak program provides regularly scheduled night or Saturday shifts to handle trucks delivering and picking up containers at the 12 container terminals in the two adjacent ports. PierPass launched the OffPeak program in 2005 to reduce severe cargo-related congestion and air pollution on local streets and highways around the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports. Nearly half of all port truck trips now take place during the off-peak shifts. The container terminal operators mitigate truck traffic at their gates with appointment systems that spread truck trips out over the hours of operation.

The TMF helps offset the cost of operating extended gate hours. Labor costs are the largest single component of extended gate costs.

According to an analysis by maritime industry consultants SC Analytics, the net costs incurred by the terminals to operate the off-peak shifts in 2019 totaled $262 million. During that year, the terminals received $223 million from the TMF, offsetting about 85 percent of the OffPeak program’s costs.

Hull Optimization Improves Vessel Performance

Elliott Bay Design Group (EBDG) has completed a hull optimization project for Avalon Freight Services (AFS) to improve the directional stability of their landing craft, Catalina Provider.

Multiple keel designs were considered as viable options for the 150-foot landing craft, and EBDG conducted a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis to estimate the effects each keel arrangement would have on directional stability and overall vessel performance as well as the effect the keels would have on the vessel's low-speed maneuverability. After the analysis was concluded and the results studied, EBDG recommended moving forward with 18" deep by 30' long keels located on the vessel's chine.

EBDG developed a fabrication and installation drawing to guide the selected shipyard, Al Larson Boat Shop, with the keel additions, and the Catalina Provider is now back in service.

As reported by the Captain of the Catalina Provider and management at AFS, overall vessel performance has improved with the addition of the new keels. Specifically, while transiting to Catalina, the vessel's tracking has significantly improved, resulting in considerably less required rudder angle. This reduction is creating less vibration and stress on the rudder bearings, thereby extending their life. The vessel has also gained a half-knot of speed with an expected improvement in fuel economy and preferred low-speed maneuverability characteristics.

Wärtsilä Developing Hybrid Boutique Cruise Vessel

Technology group Wärtsilä has signed a partnership agreement with architect and yacht designer Stefano Pastrovich on the design of a new type of sustainable superyachts for the boutique cruise segment to serve the charter and luxury hotel sectors.

The design will feature a fully-integrated combination of hybrid propulsion and solar panels for minimal environmental impact and high energy efficiency.

The concept is built around a 60-meter long catamaran with accommodation for up to 36 passengers. The level of sustainability will be such that it will enjoy access to harbors that would otherwise be closed to large motor yachts.

Wärtsilä has extensive hybrid propulsion and energy recovery experience and has already worked with Pastrovich in other successful projects.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Olvera Joins Long Beach Harbor Commission

Bobby Olvera Jr. participated in his first meeting on Monday, June 22, as the newest member of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners, which oversees the Port of Long Beach and the City’s Harbor Department.

Olvera, a fifth-generation dockworker, serves as International Vice President (Mainland) of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and was appointed to the Board in May by Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia.

The Long Beach City Council unanimously confirmed Olvera to complete the term of Commissioner Lou Anne Bynum, which ends in June 2021. Bynum resigned from the Board in March to serve as interim superintendent-president of the Long Beach City College District. Olvera is eligible to serve two full terms after the expiration of his current partial term.

“I am honored to be part of this Commission. I look forward to serving on this Board during a time filled with challenges.” Olvera said.

A Marine Corps veteran, Olvera has served in a variety of leadership roles within ILWU Local 13 in Southern California, the largest ILWU local on the West Coast that includes the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. He was elected ILWU International Vice President in 2018.

103 Tons of Plastic Removed From the Pacific

Ocean Voyages Institute’s marine plastic recovery vessel S/V Kwai returned to port of Honolulu this month after a 48-day expedition, successfully removing 103 tons (206,000 lbs.) of fishing nets and consumer plastics from the North Pacific Subtropical Convergence Zone, more commonly known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch or Gyre.

“I am so proud of our hard working crew,” says Mary Crowley, founder and executive director of Ocean Voyages Institute. “We exceeded our goal of capturing 100 tons of toxic consumer plastics and derelict ‘ghost’ nets, and in these challenging times, we are continuing to help restore the health of our ocean, which influences our own health and the health of the planet.”

During the expedition, the Kwai’s multinational crew collected marine plastic pollution with the help of GPS satellite trackers designed by Ocean Voyages Institute and Pacific Gyre, Inc. These beacons are placed on nets by volunteer yachts and ships. Drones, as well as lookouts up the mast, enable the ship’s crew to home in on the debris. They then recover the litter, place it in industrial bags, and store it in the ship’s cargo hold for proper recycling and repurposing at the end of the voyage.

One tracker can lead to many nets, as the ocean frequently collects debris in such a way that a tagged fishing net can lead to other nets and a density of debris within a 15-mile radius.

Port of Seattle Police Protocol Changes

The Port of Seattle Executive Director Steve Metruck has announced immediate changes to Port of Seattle Police Department protocols regarding hiring practices, commitment to diversity, and use of force. Executive Director Metruck also endorsed a proposal by the Commission for a comprehensive assessment of police policies and practices and recommendations for reforms.

The Commission proposal would create a new Task Force on Policing and Civil Rights to guide the comprehensive police department assessment and report recommendations to the public. The Task Force will include two Commissioners, representatives from the Port’s Blacks in Government employee resource group, the Office of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, Port Police, Legal, Labor Relations, and other Port corporate and business divisions. External representatives on the task force may include community leaders, including civil rights advocates, and experts on criminal justice and law enforcement.

The immediate actions implemented by the Executive Director include:

• An immediate ban on use of vascular or airway neck restraints, termed by the public as “chokeholds.”

• Police hiring evaluation panels will be diverse in their membership and include at least one person of color.

• Police officer applicants will be disqualified automatically based on a finding of the use of excessive force against a member of the public or racial discrimination against another employee.

• De-escalation training, anti-discrimination training, and “bystander” intervention (where an officer observes another officer acting in violation of the law or Port of Seattle policies), will be required for all officers on a regular basis.

• The Port will review the issue of “qualified immunity’’ as it applies to police officer conduct.

• The Port will also continue its moratorium on police use of facial recognition technology.

The Commission will convene a Public Forum on June 30 from 10:30 a.m.—1:30 p.m. to review its proposal and take public comment.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Joins Zero Carbon Shipping Partnership

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) will participate as a partner in the establishment of The Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping, a research and development institute to promote decarbonization in the shipping industry being created at the suggestion of integrated transport and logistics company A.P. Møller - Mærsk A/S. The Center will be headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark with MHI and six other business corporations and institutions participating in its founding. The Center will mainly target the development of new fuels and technologies for achieving zero carbon in the shipping industry, which currently accounts for roughly 3% of the world’s carbon emissions. MHI Group will cooperate primarily through provision of human resources.

Besides A.P. Møller – Mærsk and MHI, participants in the Center’s establishment include: the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS); Cargill, Incorporated, a major American producer of grain and other foodstuffs; MAN Energy Solutions, a longstanding manufacturer of large-bore diesel engines; NYK Line; and Siemens Energy. The Center will be operated as a nonprofit organization (NPO) funded by the A.P. Møller Foundation, a charitable foundation commemorating A.P. Møller – Mærsk’s founder, Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller. Bo Cerup-Simonsen, former Vice President and Head of Mærsk Maritime Technology at A.P. Møller – Mærsk, will serve as the Center’s CEO. The Center will undertake development of carbon-neutral fuels and new propulsion technologies in collaboration with global partners gleaned from the industrial and academic sectors and related authorities.

Initially the Center will operate with a staff numbering approximately 100, including employees assigned from the founding partners as well as the Center’s own hires. In addition to experts in energy, fuels and shipping technologies, staff will also include personnel in charge of regulatory issues, marketing, etc. The Center’s activities will focus on achieving the target announced by the shipping industry to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions substantially by 2050.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Stena Bulk to Introduce Low-Carbon Shipping Options

Following up on a successful biofuel trial in April, shipping company Stena Bulk is now introducing low-carbon shipping options for its customers.

The company says biofuel has the potential of putting shipping on the trajectory toward IMO’s greenhouse gas reduction targets, without having to wait for new technology and zero-carbon fuels to emerge as commercially viable options.

Stena Bulk’s recent trial, where a cross-Atlantic voyage was conducted with 100-percent waste-based biofuel, proved the technical and operational feasibility of using biofuels in regular tanker operations, and the company is now introducing a set of low-carbon shipping options for its customers. The options will range from 20 percent to 100 percent biofuels and will be based on an offsetting program where the biofuel is used within the Stena Bulk fleet. This allows customers to make use of low-carbon shipping options regardless of fuel availability on the specific route. It also guarantees that operation is performed without any disturbance to the shipment.

Stena Bulk MR vessel Stena Immortal ran on 100% biofuel during a 10-day sea trial.

World Record Held For 30 Years

Thirty years ago, a ship built in Hobart by Incat Tasmania, Hoverspeed Great Britain, challenged for the coveted Hales Trophy that recognizes the fastest commercial passenger ship to cross the Atlantic Ocean. The 74-meter Hoverspeed Great Britain left New York on her Transatlantic Challenge voyage arriving in at Bishop Rock on England’s south coast on 23rd June 1990. The crossing achieved in 3 days, 7 hours and 54 minutes.

The previous record had held for 38 years, the USS United States having taken it in 1952 after a long list of transatlantic challenges by the great passenger liners over the previous century. Two Incat built ships have since shaved time off the 1990 transatlantic record, the 91-meter Catalonia (Incat 047) in June 1998, and another Incat 91 meter Catlink V (Incat hull 049) in July 1998. The 2 day 20 hours and 9 minute record set by the Danish Catlink V is still held today. It is the first time in the history of Transatlantic records (dating back to the 1860s) that three ships to win the trophy in succession had been built by the same shipyard.

Although the records began in the 1860s the Hales Trophy was created and first awarded in 1935. The original 1-meter high gilded Hales Trophy is on display in Denmark, but a full replica made in 1990 is on display at Incat Tasmania’s shipyard in Hobart.

The Hales Trophy is awarded to "The Ship which shall for the time being, have crossed the Atlantic Ocean at the highest average speed", and the voyage must be without re-fuelling.

The three Incat record-holders are still in service 22 years after breaking the Transatlantic record.

California Pilotage Rate-Setting Reform Proposed

California Assemblymember Rob Bonta has introduced legislation to change the process for setting pilotage rates under the authority of the California Board of Pilot Commissioners.

Assembly Bill 1372 would bring California’s rate-setting process in line with practices from across the state and the country, and allow the California Board of Pilot Commissioners to set rates in a process overseen by an administrative law judge. California’s current rate process is unique in two ways: First, California is the only state in which the legislature must act after its pilot commission has already conducted a comprehensive and lengthy administrative hearing process. Second, of the few states that set rates legislatively, it is the only state that does not adopt new rates on a regular cycle.

Assemblymember Bonta says this cumbersome and sometimes contentious process has resulted in deferred investment in the State’s pilotage system, and the economic crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic has brought the adverse consequences of this deferred investment to light.

The San Francisco Bar Pilots, one of California’s essential transportation partners, is a key supporter of this legislation. The Bar Pilots navigate commercial ships to and from the nine Bay Area ports, and support at least $130 billion in trade and 84,000 Bay Area jobs. The services this organization provides have been crucial in growing maritime trade throughout the region.

Assembly Bill 1372 is scheduled to appear in front of the Senate Governmental Organization in July after the legislature returns from summer recess.

Grounded Airliners Could Provide Hope for COVID-19

A coalition of professionals from the medical, advanced nursing, hyperbarics, military, aviation, and business fields have developed a plan to use large commercial and military aircraft as hyperbaric treatment facilities for use in the mass casualty treatment of those affected by COVID-19 respiratory crisis.

Current therapies are insufficient at overcoming the deadly hypoxemia (low oxygen) caused by the Novel Coronavirus. While many carriers are asymptomatic or only have minor symptoms, severely affected people require hospitalization. Currently, emergency treatment for the profound oxygen deprivation of COVID-19 respiratory crisis includes the use of mechanical ventilators, which has a mortality rate as high as 80 percent.

In response to the difficulties found in treating the virus, the group has suggested Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) as a non-invasive and effective way to help patients maintain their oxygen levels so that the difficult and oftentimes damaging mechanical ventilation is not required. HBOT has already been shown, in US hospitals and elsewhere, to be a successful treatment for the virus. While purpose-built hyperbaric chambers should be used to their maximum capacity for this treatment, they are limited in availability relative to the anticipated number of COVID-19 patients. Fortunately, aircraft can be utilized as hyperbaric chambers and are currently readily available.

The Aviation Industry has seen a 95 percent reduction in air travel leading to the grounding of almost two-thirds of the world’s passenger aircraft. Through the adaptation of aircraft around the world, many of which currently sit idle, into hyperbaric chambers, the coalition says HBOT can be delivered to any community that needs it.

The fuselage of a commercial airplane is designed to sustain the pressures of up to 9 psi in order to compensate for reduced air pressure and oxygen at high flight altitudes. Therapeutic pressures of 1.5 – 1.6 ATA (7.34 or 8.81 added psi) are safe and achievable on the ground and are well within safe structural tolerance.

These passenger aircraft deployed to regional and executive airports would provide easy access for EMS transport to and from local hospitals. Remote hospitals could be established for patient support during HBOT treatment periods. These aircraft could mobilize and treat hundreds if not thousands of patients per day in the regions with greatest need.

Contact aircrafthbot@gmail.com for more information.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Global Slowdown Continues to Affect NWSA Cargo Volumes

The Northwest Seaport Alliance handled 240,671 TEUs in May 2020, a 23.8-percent decrease compared to May 2019. Full imports declined 22.9 percent while full exports decreased 15.5 percent.

Through the first five months of 2020, overall container volumes declined 18.8 percent compared to 2019. The NWSA handled a total of 1,277,227 TEUs year to date, marking the softest five months since 2009 when the gateway moved 1,210,284 TEUs. The economic fallout from the global pandemic continues to disrupt supply chains across the country and around the world. The NWSA gateway experienced a total of 46 blank sailings through May, driven by COVID-19-inspired slowdowns and the lingering trade dispute with China.

The Northwest Seaport Alliance’s total year-to-date domestic container volumes dipped 6.3 percent. Alaska and Hawaii volumes declined 6.6 percent and 4.7 percent, respectively.

Breakbulk cargo volumes were down 1 percent year over year to 118,000 metric tons.

Auto volumes year to date were 60,018 units, down 20.6 percent year over year.

Coos Bay Dredging Scheduled for Early July

American Construction Company has been contracted by the US Army Corps of Engineers to perform maintenance dredging in the Coos Bay harbor from River Miles twelve to fifteen beginning on or around July 1, 2020. Dredging was also conducted in this section of the Federal Navigation Channel throughout the summer of 2019. This section of the Upper Bay spans from the Oregon Chip Terminal to the Georgia Pacific Sawmill site. Prior to the dredging work that took place in 2019, this section of the channel had not been dredged since 2010.

Maintenance dredging work will be performed continuously, 24 hours per day and 7 days per week, and is scheduled to be completed October 31, 2020. It is estimated that approximately 1,000,000 cubic yards of material will be removed from the channel and placed offshore at Ocean Disposal Site H. American Construction Company will utilize the clamshell dredge The Patriot to load two split hull scows, the Liberty and the Freedom. The scows will be towed by Pacific Tug Company to the offshore material placement site.

During the dredging project, mariners are urged to use extreme caution when navigating in the Upper Bay this summer. At the dredge site, mariners are encouraged to transit at their slowest safe speed to minimize wake, and to proceed with caution after passing arrangements have been made.

The Coos Bay Federal Navigation Channel is 15.1 miles long from the mouth of the bay to its furthest reach. The authorized depth of the channel is currently -37 feet Mean Lowest Low Water (MLLW), and its authorized nominal width is 300 feet.

USDOT Announces $906 Million Infrastructure Investment

US Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao has announced the Trump Administration intends to invest $906 million in America’s infrastructure through the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) discretionary grant program. The proposed funding will be awarded to 20 projects in 20 states.

“This Administration is focused on infrastructure improvements and this $906 million in federal funding will improve major highways, bridges, ports, and railroads across the country to better connect our communities, enhance safety, and support economic growth,” said Secretary Chao.

INFRA discretionary grants support the Administration’s commitment to fixing our nation’s infrastructure by creating opportunities for all levels of government and the private sector to fund infrastructure, using innovative approaches to improve the processes for building significant projects, and increasing accountability for the projects that are built. In addition to providing direct federal funding, the INFRA discretionary grant program aims to increase the total investment by state, local, and private partners.

INFRA advances a grant program established in the 2015 Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. Project applications were evaluated by a team of more than two-dozen career staff in the Department and selected based on established criteria to align them with national and regional economic vitality goals. The program increases the impact of projects by leveraging federal grant funding and incentivizing project sponsors to pursue innovative strategies, including public-private partnerships.

As required under the FAST Act, Congress will have 60 days to review the Department’s proposed project awardees. After the 60-day review period, the Department is free to begin obligating funding.

Maritime project awards include Port Tampa Bay in Florida, which will be awarded more than $19.8 million to improve capacity at Port Tampa Bay’s Hooker’s Point container facility to accommodate an additional 150,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) annually.

The Port of Houston Authority in Texas will be awarded more than $79.4 million to restore and strengthen approximately 2,700 linear feet of wharf and upgrade approximately 84 acres of yard space at the Barbours Cut Container Terminal.

Aqueos Corporation Completes Virginia Wind Farm Project

California-based Aqueos Corporation has completed a diving contract for support of the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) Generation Project development on the US East Coast.

The project required extensive upfront planning and detailed project development. Aqueos deployed an IMCA compliant diving system and personnel onto a 175-foot class lift boat to support the work. The work consisted of trenching the HDD pull in conduit, installation of sealing flanges, pull-in monitoring operations and protecting the HDD exit site by installing 45-tons of washed local gravel.

This project provided Aqueos with an opportunity to present our capabilities to leaders of the Offshore Wind Energy Sector: specifically, these include managing and meeting their expectations in performing work to international wind farm industry diving standards, as well as demonstrating our operational experience on the first offshore wind farm project to be installed in federal waters under the Bureau of Ocean Management (BOEM) program.

Aqueos Corporation, with offices in Broussard, LA, and Ventura, CA, provides marine construction and specialty subsea services including a complete range of commercial diving, remotely operated vehicles (ROV) and vessel-related services to the offshore oil and gas markets as well as municipalities, ocean outfalls and government projects.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Port Of Oakland Picks Longtime Shipping Vet as Maritime Director

Longtime shipping industry executive Bryan Brandes has been named Maritime Director at the Port of Oakland. The Port said today he was selected following a nationwide search. Mr. Brandes, a 25-year maritime veteran, replaces John Driscoll who left to manage the Alabama State Port Authority.

Mr. Brandes will lead a staff of 20 responsible for one of the nation’s 10 largest container seaports. Oakland’s Maritime Director oversees everything from facilities management to real estate negotiations.

“Bryan is coming in at a crucial time for us and we’re eager to put his skill and industry experience to work,” said Port of Oakland Executive Director Danny Wan. “He knows the players, knows the business and knows what it takes for us to succeed.”

The new Maritime Director arrives in Oakland with executive experience gained at shipping lines and marine terminals. He worked with ocean carriers Maersk Line and CMA-CGM as well as APM Terminals. Most recently, Mr. Brandes was Vice President, Pacific Southwest Region Operations for FlexiVan Leasing, an intermodal chassis leasing company.

As one of the leading gateways to Asia for US exports – especially farm goods – Oakland annually handles the equivalent of 2.5 million 20-foot cargo containers. Cargo volume has declined 7.8 percent in 2020 due to the economic fallout from coronavirus.

The Port said Mr. Brandes faces two challenges: recovery from the economic wallop and shaping Oakland’s maritime future. The Port and business partners have invested millions this decade in new logistics capabilities. Oakland is now upgrading to handle the latest class of ultra large container vessels.

“The Port has operated smoothly throughout the pandemic so we’re confident about recovery,” said Mr. Brandes. “And with the foundation we’ve got in place, I’m excited about our future. I can’t wait to get started.”

Port of Prince Rupert Volumes Remain Strong

The Port of Prince Rupert reports May cargo volumes are up 9 percent with 12,615,661 tons of cargo handled year-to-date, led by strong dry bulk volumes both for the month and year-to-date.

Ridley Terminals is experiencing the biggest growth in volume, up 68 percent from May 2019 volumes and up 39 percent year-to-date. The addition of propane volume from the AltaGas Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal, which has been operating for just over a year, has also contributed to the steady overall performance of the Port. As well, with strong demand for wood pellets, Westview Terminal is experiencing growth of 24 percent year-to-date.

The intermodal sector has been the most affected by the COVID-19 crisis, with a decrease in the movement of cargo on the entire trans-Pacific trade route. Volume at Fairview Terminal reveals a 12 percent decline year-to-date, though laden volumes have only decreased 6 percent. Throughput at Fairview Terminal declined 37 percent from May 2019, a significant decrease in volumes and employment hours that reflects the impact of containment measures in North America as a result of COVID-19.

Los Angeles Port, Department of Water and Power Swap Property

City of Los Angeles officials have announced an innovative land exchange transaction between the Port of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) that will enable the Port to proceed with development of the Avalon Promenade and Gateway, a key component of its Wilmington Waterfront Development Program. The land exchange will also provide LADWP with land required to move forward with the redevelopment of its Harbor Generation Station in Wilmington.

“Today marks the first step in the construction of the long-anticipated Wilmington Waterfront, said Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino. “This new Waterfront will attract and incentivize further investment into Wilmington and improve the value of the entire community while creating new opportunities. With the expansion of the waterfront, Wilmington continues to be an up-and-coming neighborhood in LA.”

For more than a decade, the Port and LADWP have been working on a way to connect Avalon Boulevard to the Wilmington Waterfront through land controlled by LADWP, a four-acre parcel that currently houses a 500,000-barrel petroleum storage tank and other buildings. The land swap now gives the Port control of the parcel at Avalon Boulevard and Harry Bridges Boulevard, allowing the Port to move ahead with the next phase of Wilmington Waterfront development – the Avalon Promenade and Gateway.

Port of Vancouver, BC Recognizes Blue Circle Recipients

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority has recognized 28 marine carriers and two terminal operators for a combined total of 30 Blue Circle Awards for their voluntary efforts to conserve energy and reduce emissions in the Port of Vancouver, British Columbia.

Eighteen shipping lines, six cruise lines, four coastal marine operators and two terminal operators were the recipients of the 11th annual Blue Circle Awards. The awards recognize industry partners that excel in environmental stewardship and attain the highest level of participation in the port authority’s EcoAction Program and Energy Action Initiative.

“We are proud of the environmental leadership demonstrated by our terminal, shipping, and industry partners,” said Robin Silvester, president and chief executive officer at the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. “We are delighted to recognize 30 recipients with a Blue Circle Award this year for their efforts above and beyond regulatory requirements to conserve energy and reduce air emissions. Congratulations to the 2019 award recipients.”

Since 2007, the port authority’s EcoAction Program has recognized a variety of fuel, technology and environmental management options that make ship operators eligible to receive discounted harbor dues rates. In 2018, the port authority expanded its industry-leading EcoAction Program to increase the number of underwater noise-reducing options and updated the air emissions reduction options eligible for discounted harbor dues.

The Energy Action Initiative is a joint program with BC Hydro that helps terminal operators and other port tenants enhance their energy-conservation practices and save costs. The goal of this program is to protect the energy security of our growing port by reducing energy waste.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Carnival Vessels to be Fitted With Bubbles

A “carpet of micro-bubbles”, developed by UK tech firm Silverstream Technologies, improves fuel efficiency in the shipping industry and has landed the business a £1 million deal with US shipping giant, Carnival Cruises.

The Silverstream System, a type of Air Lubrication System (ALS), pumps tiny bubbles through vents on the hull to reduce friction between the vessel and the water, helping it glide through the ocean. The technology has been independently proven to reduce fuel consumption by 5 to 12 percent, which in turn cuts running costs.

Silverstream Technologies Founder & CEO Noah Silberschmidt, said: "Shipping is one of the 'hard to decarbonize' global industries so we have spent the last few years independently testing our system to support our claims. We want to become a standard on newbuild vessels in the industry and to be the ‘new normal’ for sustainable shipping.

Silberschmidt said, “By working with the best partners to help shipping improve its efficiency standards, Silverstream wants to have a positive and progressive impact on the industry and in doing so, the wider world.” The business has been operating at full capacity in line with Government guidelines throughout the Coronavirus pandemic and is finalizing deals to supply an additional 15 ships in Europe and Asia by the end of the year.

RINA Performs Class Surveys Via Remote Live Streaming

Italian classification society RINA has successfully carried out the world first statutory and associated class intermediate surveys with the use of remote technologies on the bulk carrier Cielo di Gaspesie, owned by the d’Amico Group. On completion, the Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry (LISCR), who attended the survey remotely, authorized RINA to certify the Cielo di Gaspesie.

The survey included an inspection of the hull and machinery. The ship is subject to the enhanced program of inspections set by the international ESP Code; close-up surveys of ballast tanks and cargo holds were carried out accordingly, through drones.

The recent approval of RINA’s remote inspection technology for Liberian flagged vessels is expected to be followed soon by other Flag Administrations.

Following the completion of the survey, the Cielo di Gaspesie was assigned the new class notation “REMOTE” by RINA. This new notation identifies the ships deemed by the Society to be eligible to be surveyed remotely for the largest scope of class surveys as well as periodical ones.

Port of Los Angeles Cargo Down

The Port of Los Angeles moved 581,665 TEUs in May, a 29.8 percent decrease compared to last year’s record-setting May. Five months into 2020, overall cargo volumes have decreased 18.6 percent compared to 2019. Port Executive Director Gene Seroka announced the May volumes in a news briefing today.

“Compared to last May’s historic volumes, the surge in canceled sailings due to COVID-19 and the trade war, along with shifts in liner services, all contributed to significantly softer volumes,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “As the US economy begins to recover, we expect fewer canceled sailings and an uptick in cargo compared to previous months. We continue to invest through this global economic downturn in the infrastructure and technology that will assist us in driving our competitive advantage now and in the future.”

May loaded imports decreased 28.4 percent to 306,323 TEUs compared to the previous year. Loaded exports dropped 37.6 percent to 104,382 TEUs. Empty containers declined 26.8 percent to 170,960 TEUs. In total, May volumes totaled 581,665 TEUs.

Port of Long Beach Sees Cargo Increase

Cargo shipments rose at the Port of Long Beach in May as the economic effects of COVID-19 started to subside.

Dockworkers and terminal operators moved 628,205 TEUs of container cargo last month, a 9.5 percent increase from May 2019. Imports grew 7.6 percent to 312,590 TEUs, while exports climbed 11.6 percent to 134,556 TEUs. Empty containers headed back overseas jumped 11.4 percent to 181,060 TEUs.

The Port has moved 2,830,855 TEUs during the first five months of 2020, down 5.9 percent from the same period in 2019.

“Our strong numbers reflect the efforts of our Business Recovery Task Force, which is setting the path for efficient cargo movement and growth,” said Mario Cordero, Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach. “Our focus on operational excellence and world-class customer service will continue as we prioritize our industry-leading infrastructure development projects.”

“We aren’t out of the woods, but this is the gradual growth we have anticipated as the United States starts to rebound from the devastating economic impacts of COVID-19 and the trade war with China,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Bonnie Lowenthal.

As part of its recovery efforts, the Port of Long Beach has activated an internal Business Recovery Task Force that works with customers, industry partners, labor and government agencies to ensure terminal and supply chain operations continue without disruption, along with expediting shipments of crucial personal protective equipment.

May marked the first month in 2020 that cargo shipments rose at the nation’s second-busiest port, and followed seven consecutive months of declines attributed to the U.S.-China trade dispute and the COVID-19 epidemic.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Heavylift Ship Transports 38 Yachts from USA to Europe

Multipurpose and project heavy lift carrier AAL Shipping, in partnership with Peters & May, has successfully transported 38 private yachts – the largest of which was 32 meters long – on deck in a single sailing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Southampton, UK, and Antwerp, Belgium.

The cargo covered an area of 2,500 square meters – about half the size of a football field – and was carried aboard the ‘mega size’ 31,000 dwt AAL Melbourne, with her 39,500-cubic meter intake capacity and weather deck space of 3,000 square meters.

Marc Willim, General Manager of AAL’s Chartering Department, commented: “With 25-years’ experience delivering tramp chartering solutions and operating scheduled liner services on busy trades around the world, we have carried our fair share of pleasure craft.

“Only a few months ago, we transported an 86-meter long aluminum superyacht hull from China to Australia, the largest single floating cargo piece that we have ever carried.

“Similarly, 38 yachts with an average length of 16 meters on deck requires well-planned stowage engineering and lashing, a first-class crew and a very special ship.”

He added: “At a time when the global shipping community is concerned about the ability of multipurpose and project (MPP) carriers to deliver service and schedule integrity, this sailing is an example of AAL’s own increased frequency through the US.

“In a boost to the region’s shippers, in June we have multiple MPP vessels calling US West Coast, Gulf and East Coast Ports and ready to serve market needs.”

Dave Holley, Chief Executive Officer of Peters & May, concluded by saying: “Moving this many yachts in one go is always full of challenges and we are very careful which carrier we choose for such a voyage.

“AAL provided us with a timely solution and the whole operation went extremely smoothly. We are now looking forward to our next transatlantic voyage.”

The AAL Melbourne recently transported two giant jib cranes, each weighing 900 metric tons from Taicang, China, to Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates.

WETA Adopts Safety Plan, Increases Ferry Service

The San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) will resume San Francisco Bay Ferry service on the Richmond route and double service on the Vallejo route beginning on Monday, June 15. WETA has also adopted a six-point Passenger and Crew Safety Plan, formalizing safety measures put into effect to help prevent spread of COVID-19 in the Bay Area.

“As the region gets back to work, San Francisco Bay Ferry provides a safe, clean and comfortable way to cross the Bay,” said Jim Wunderman, chair of the WETA Board of Directors. “WETA’s safety plan is geared toward protecting passengers and crews while helping as many commuters as possible avoid the traffic congestion that's already beginning to return.”

The safety plan includes:

• Enhanced cleaning

• All ferries and terminals are being cleaned thoroughly and frequently using coronavirus-killing products. Social distancing

• Maximum capacity restrictions on ferries are in place to allow plenty of space for passengers. Social distancing is required at terminals.

• Face coverings

• All crews and passengers are required to wear masks or face coverings on the ferry and at terminals.

• Hand sanitizer and clean, stocked bathrooms are available on every ferry.
• Healthy crews

• Vessel crews' temperatures are checked before reporting to work. All ferry and facility staff are provided personal protective equipment.

• Touchless payment

• Clipper, Hopthru and the Vallejo monthly pass are highly recommended for fare payment.

Service on three San Francisco Bay Ferry routes was suspended on March 17 in response to regional shelter-in-place orders. The Richmond ferry service will resume on Monday, June 15. Richmond ferry service is funded under an agreement between WETA and the Contra Costa Transportation Authority using Contra Costa County Measure J transportation sales tax dollars. The Harbor Bay and South San Francisco routes remain suspended. WETA reduced service on the Vallejo and Alameda/Oakland routes on March 17. Due to ridership increases on the Vallejo route, service increases will go into effect on June 15. Decisions on further service enhancements and resumption of suspended routes will be made in the coming months as the economy opens up and travel and ridership demand increases.

Additional details on WETA’s Passenger and Crew Safety Plan, as well as Richmond, Vallejo and Alameda/Oakland ferry schedules, can be found at sfbf.mobi/bestwayback.

LA/LB Ports to Host CAAP Update Meeting June 24

The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles will update the public on progress toward the goals of the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan during a Wednesday, June 24, meeting.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting will be held via WebEx, from 10 a.m. to noon. To participate in the meeting, click here to register and you will receive instructions on participating via computer or phone.

Regular advisory meetings were called for as part of the CAAP Update approved by the Long Beach and Los Angeles boards of Harbor Commissioners in November 2017. Records of prior meetings can be found here. This is the second meeting of 2020 and the ninth under the CAAP 2017 Update.

The CAAP 2017 Update is a comprehensive strategy for accelerating progress toward a zero-emission future while protecting and strengthening the ports’ competitive position in the global economy. Since 2005, port-related air pollution emissions in San Pedro Bay have dropped 87% for diesel particulate matter, 58% for nitrogen oxides, and 97% for sulfur oxides. Targets for reducing greenhouse gases from port-related sources were introduced as part of the 2017 CAAP. The document calls for the ports to reduce GHGs 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 and 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. The Clean Air Action Plan was originally approved in 2006.

The ports will take public comments at the advisory meeting to receive input on CAAP implementation issues. The agenda will be posted on the CAAP website's Stakeholder Advisory Group page prior to the meeting. For more information, visit cleanairactionplan.org.

First Full Crew Change Under COVID-19 Protocols in Singapore

Genco Shipping & Trading Limited, a US-headquartered drybulk shipowner, announced the successful full crew change of the Genco Liberty, a 180,032-DWT Capesize vessel, marking the first full crew change under new COVID-19 protocols in Singapore. A total of 37 seafarers were involved in this crew change, which was completed on June 6, 2020 and executed in accordance with protocols established by Genco, Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) and the Synergy Group.

John C. Wobensmith, Chief Executive Officer, commented, “Amid the outbreak of COVID-19, many individuals have been onboard oceangoing vessels in excess of the duration of their contracts, keeping them away from their families. Port restrictions, difficulty arranging travel and ensuring the health of the on-signing crew members have all posed unique challenges that have prevented many shipowners from being able to undertake crew rotations in a safe and effective manner. For the Genco Liberty, we identified an opportunity to undertake a crew rotation in Singapore, as many of the dedicated 21 crewmembers have been onboard this vessel for longer than their original contract timeline due to COVID-19.”

The protocols developed by Genco, the MPA and the Synergy Group established quarantine and repatriation procedures for seafarers to protect health and safety, taking into account factors such as testing, the availability of personal protective equipment, travel and logistical issues, and the safety of the local community.

These protocols included a quarantine of all arriving crewmembers for 14 days prior to boarding the vessel, the distribution of personal protective equipment kits, and the administration of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests prior to travel. Genco continues to work on conducting crew changes where permissible by regulations of the ports and origin of the mariners, in addition to strict protocols to safeguard their crews against COVID-19 exposure.

Captain Rajesh Unni, Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Synergy Group, the Singapore-based ship manager appointed to the Genco Liberty, commented, “At Synergy Group, we have been working diligently to conduct crew changes since the outbreak of COVID-19 and we are grateful to Genco for taking the lead together with the MPA and the Singaporean government. We would like to continue to see more crew rotations occur globally as other countries can now look to the successful Genco Liberty crew rotation as the blueprint to help return these seafarers to their families.”

Friday, June 5, 2020

Jones Act Turns 100

On June 5th the US Maritime Industry is celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Jones Act. The Jones Act is the foundation of the US domestic maritime industry and requires all waterborne cargo or "merchandise" moving from one American port to another be carried on a vessel that is crewed by American citizens (up to 25 percent of the unlicensed crew may be holders of a permanent resident document), built in the US, managed and owned by American citizens.

Senator Wesley L. Jones, who served as Washington's 8th U.S. Senator from 1909-1932, is the author of the Jones Act. The Act has served the Nation over the past 100 years by helping to ensure our domestic commerce moves freely, maintaining a maritime industrial base of shipyards and marine suppliers to serve industry and the military, and providing a cadre of skilled and experienced mariners and officers who are employed in times of peace along our rivers, waterways, and oceans and relied upon to support our military in times of conflict or distress.

Long Beach City College Offers Certificate In International Shipping & Customs Procedures

The Port of Long Beach Maritime Center of Excellence at Long Beach City College is now offering the live, on-line version of its six-week training program entitled, "International Transportation & US Customs Clearance Procedures."

This 24-hour program takes a deep dive approach into three subjects related to importing into the United States: Ocean transportation, air freight and US Customs & Border Protection import procedures. Designed for people new to the logistics business, as well as industry veterans that need a brush-up, the college says this is the most comprehensive program of its kind in the entire country.

Topics to be covered during this fast-paced and real-world oriented program include:

-Full Container Load & Less-than-Container-Load ocean shipping

-Import Operating Models: Buyer's Consolidation vs. Trans-Load

-Pricing structure of the U.S. import maritime industry -Consolidated air freight shipping

-Pricing structure of the U.S. air import industry

-Classification & Valuation of goods for entry into the U.S.

-How to interpret U.S. Customs & Border Protection Regulations (19 CFR)

-How to use the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States

USACE Issues Chittenden Locks Scour Repair Notice of Preparation

The US Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District, issued today notice of plans to prepare, pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act, an environmental assessment (EA) for proposed urgent interim repairs to the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks (Locks) stilling basin apron, spillway ogee, and the fish ladder, located in the Lake Washington Ship Canal (LWSC) in the City of Seattle, King County, Washington. The purpose of this Public Notice is to solicit comments from interested persons, groups and agencies on the environmental impact of the proposal and issues for consideration in the EA.

The Corps has posted the above referenced NOP for your review and comment at:

http://www.nws.usace.army.mil/Missions/Environmental/Environmental-Documents/ under “Hiram M. Chittenden Locks Urgent Interim Scour Repair Notice of Preparation of Environmental Assessment."

Written comments may be submitted to ATTN: CENWS-PMP, P.O. Box 3755, Seattle, WA, 98124-3755, or at Kaitlin.e.whitlock@usace.army.mil. The Corps will consider all submissions received in the public comment period through June 25, 2020.

US Sanctions Companies Transporting Venezuelan Oil

On June 2nd, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated four companies for operating in the oil sector of the Venezuelan economy. Additionally, OFAC identified four vessels as blocked property. The United States reiterates that the exploitation of Venezuela’s oil assets for the benefit of the illegitimate regime of President Nicolas Maduro is unacceptable, and those that facilitate such activity risk losing access to the US financial system.

“The illegitimate Maduro regime has enlisted the help of maritime companies and their vessels to continue the exploitation of Venezuela’s natural resources for the regime’s profit,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “The United States will continue to target those who support this corrupt regime and contribute to the suffering of the Venezuelan people.”

Today’s action, pursuant to E.O. 13850, as amended, further targets Venezuela’s oil sector, which continues to provide financial resources to the illegitimate regime of President Maduro:

AFRANAV MARITIME LTD is based in the Marshall Islands and is the registered owner of the vessel Athens Voyager, a Panamanian flagged crude oil tanker that has continued to lift oil cargoes from Venezuelan ports as recently as mid-February 2020.

SEACOMBER LTD is based in Greece and is the registered owner of the vessel Chios I, a Maltese flagged crude oil tanker that has continued to lift oil cargoes from Venezuelan ports as recently as mid to late February 2020.

ADAMANT MARITIME LTD is based in the Marshall Islands and is the registered owner of the vessel Seahero, a Bahamian flagged crude oil tanker that has continued to lift oil cargoes from Venezuelan ports as recently as late February 2020.

SANIBEL SHIPTRADE LTD is based in the Marshall Islands and is the registered owner of the vessel Voyager I, a Marshall Islands flagged crude oil tanker that has continued to lift oil cargoes from Venezuelan ports as recently as late April 2020.

As a result of this week’s action, all property and interests in property of these entities that are in the United States or in the possession or control of US persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by the designated entities are also blocked. OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all dealings by US persons or those within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of blocked or designated persons.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Foss Tugs Assist Hospital Ship

Foss Maritime and sister company Amnav assisted the Military Sealift Command Hospital Ship USNS Mercy this morning as she departed the Port of Los Angeles for her home port of San Diego.

The Naval hospital ship arrived at the Port of Los Angeles on March 27 to serve as a referral hospital for non-coronavirus patients, and to offer relief to overburdened hospitals and ERs. Having bolstered the areas preparedness, she now returns to San Diego.

The new ASD-90 tug Jamie Ann, along with sister tugs Alta June, Bo Brusco, and Amnav tug Michele Sloan assisted the massive former San Clemente-class oil tanker in her departure. This was the Jamie Ann’s first job since arriving at her new homeport in late April.

On May 15th, the tugs assisted the USNS Mercy out of her berth at the port, and to the “Angels Gate”, where she would continue on to San Diego.

“Foss is proud of the opportunity to assist this important vessel,” said Paul Hendriks, General Manager of the Foss Southern California Office, “and for the cooperative partnerships of local and federal leaders who have been diligently working together to guide us through this crisis.”

As the USNS Mercy departed, City of Los Angeles officials praised her crew and frontline staff for their part in combating the COVID-19 pandemic over the last seven weeks.

“Foss Maritime has a long history of service in time of national crises, and in working hand-in-hand with the United States Coast Guard, FEMA and other local and federal governments,” said Hendriks. “We’re honored by these strong partnerships and are glad to have played our small part in helping curb the impact of COVID-19 on our communities.”

USACE Approves Nome Port Expansion

By Margaret Bauman

A multi- million project to expand the Port of Nome into a deep water facility for private and military needs has been approved by the US Army Corps of Engineers and sent to Congress for consideration of inclusion in the upcoming Water Resources Development Act.

The Corps’ Alaska District, in partnership with the city of Nome, produced the Port of Nome Modification Feasibility Study under the authority of Section 2006 of the Water Resources Development Act of 2007: Remote and Subsistence Harbors.

The Corps’ plan became official on May 29 with the signing event in Washington DC.

According to the Corps, the report has broad support from local, state, tribal and federal entities. Kawarek Inc., the regional tribal consortium of 20 federally recognized tribes in the Bering Straits region of Alaska, had earlier expressed in a letter to the Corps, concerned about the potential impact of that expansion plan on several issues, ranging from cultural and archaeological resources to access to subsistence resources.

After seeing the Corps’ plan headed for Congress, Alaska’s congressional delegation rounded applauded the project, which is already recognized in the authorizing legislation, S.3591, the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2020, which was passed out of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in May.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said the proposed expansion is vital as traffic through the Bering Strait increases and that this will provide deepwater port access for both civilian and military vessels.

US Army Awards Crowley as Third Party Logistics Provider in Europe

Crowley Solutions has received a multi-year award from the US Army 409th Contracting Support Brigade-Theater Contracting Command to provide transportation of personnel and cargo and procurement of material handling equipment (MHE) under the Third Party Logistics Europe Wide Movement (3PLEWM) contract.

Under terms of the May 4 award, Crowley will provide third party logistics (3PL) services to the US government, NATO and non-NATO partners throughout the European Command area of responsibility, supporting the 21st Theater Sustainment Command (21st TSC) and Theater Movements Center (TMC), headquartered in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

“As a global leader in 3PL services, particularly to the US Department of Defense (DoD), this contract award will expand our proven and mission-driven support for defense and federal government services from the continental U.S. (CONUS) to Europe,” said Crowley’s Chris Goss, vice president, business development and expeditionary logistics. “Crowley is dedicated to serving customers with cost-effective and technology-driven solutions that the Department of Defense and our deployed men and women in uniform can depend on.”

The contract period is May 2020 until May 2023, with an estimated value of $49 million on a task-order basis.

Currently, Crowley manages transportation and related services for US military activity under the Defense Freight Transportation Services (DFTS) contract that requires successful management and execution of 1,800 moves daily, or more than 350,000 moves annually, in North America. Building on its network of commercial logistics providers and carriers, the company expanded in 2019 in Europe to provide the federal government solutions outside the continental US.

Port of Oakland Looks to Lead East Bay Rebound from COVID-19

California’s East Bay Area’s economic rebound from coronavirus would most likely start at the Port of Oakland. That’s what the Port’s Executive Director told East Bay business and civic leaders this week while seeking their support.

Danny Wan assured the East Bay Economic Development Alliance that his Port would be “poised on the forefront of recovery.” During a Zoom conference, the Executive Director asked Alliance members to help promote the Port as Oakland’s economic engine.

“Millions fly through our Airport, billions of dollars of goods move through our Seaport and 84,000 jobs in Northern California depend on all of that activity,” Mr. Wan told an online audience of 300 corporate and government officials. “Through cross-promotion and business partnerships, we can lead the way back for Oakland and the East Bay.”

Mr. Wan spoke as the Port and businesses worldwide labor under the economic drag of COVID-19. Oakland International Airport passenger traffic declined 96 percent last month, the Executive Director said. Seaport cargo volume dipped 6.5 percent. Recovery will come, but there’s no telling when, he cautioned.

Mr. Wan said the Port would lead recovery because it has historically been the region’s economic driver. Not only that, he said, but the Port has inherent advantages to build on, including the fact that California farmers, among the nation’s most successful exporters in 2020, ship their goods overseas through Oakland.

Friday, May 29, 2020

NavalX Tech Bridge to House Ventura Location at Port of Hueneme

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Department of Navy’s workforce connector NavalX is coming to Ventura County and it will base its operation at the Port of Hueneme. The port is among five new Tech Bridge locations being established around the country. NavalX will join FATHOMWERX and the port’s Maritime Advanced Systems & Technology Lab at the port’s 319 warehouse.

“Our partnership with FATHOMWERX at the Port of Hueneme and the alignment of the NavalX Tech Bridge network will further accelerate our ability to engage innovators across the region and country in order to provide world class In-Service Engineering support to our Fleet and Warfighter,” said Ventura Tech Bridge Director and Office of Research and Technology Applications Manager Alan Jaegar.

Founded in 2019, NavalX’s Tech Bridge aims at fostering collaboration between startups and local tech community to develop new solution-driven technology faster by bringing together academia, the private business sector and the US Navy.

“Expanding our partnership to include this federal initiative strengthens our collaborative approach to solving the most pressing challenges of the maritime industry, be it security, environmental, supply chain, or infrastructure-based solutions,” said CEO and Port Director Kristin Decas.

Port of Port Angeles Aims to Retain and Grow Jobs Amid Pandemic

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Port Angeles is committed to expanding jobs in Clallam County during the pandemic and is working with employees and customers to make sure social distancing and sanitation practices are adhered to.

“In these uncertain times, the Port recognizes its vital role in creating and sustaining family wage jobs in Clallam County,” said Port Executive Director Karen Goschen. “After implementing new safety protocols, the port is moving forward with several projects and initiatives to retain jobs and to bring new economic growth to our region. We hope these efforts will help ease the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our community and region.”

Projects include maintenance dredging to accommodate larger ships coming to the port’s cargo terminal, starting survey work related to the log yard stormwater control and treatment system, and supporting the domestic forest product sector by permitting and designing improvements to the cofferdam barge facilities.

USCG Cutter Seizes $53.5 Million Worth of Drugs from Vessel

By Karen Robes Meeks

Crew members of the US Coast Guard Cutter James recently confiscated more than 3,100 pounds of cocaine worth $53.5 million after boarding a low-profile go-fast vessel in international waters in the Eastern Pacific Ocean near Central America.

Cutter James was deployed following the initial discovery by a maritime patrol aircraft of a suspicious vessel. Upon boarding, crew members encountered four suspected smugglers and seized a small amount of cocaine. They later found most of the cocaine in a closed off section of the ship, the agency said.

Enforcement of the Eastern Pacific Ocean falls under the jurisdiction of the Alameda-based 11th Coast Guard District and is part of the country’s larger effort against drug smugglers.

CMA CGM Group Donates 200,000 Face Masks to Los Angeles

By Karen Robes Meeks

International shipping and logistics firm The CMA CGM Group announced Thursday that it had donated 200,000 face masks to the city of Los Angeles to help area workers stay safe against COVID-19.

“The CMA CGM Group has nourished a close and sustainable relationship, based on trust and respect, with the United States for many years,” said Rodolphe Saadé, chairman and CEO of the CMA CGM Group. “As a leading company, our partnership reaches far beyond our business activity. In this very difficult period, it means a lot to us that we stand alongside the United States to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.”

This is the latest in an effort by the group to lend its help during the pandemic, including fast-tracking medical production lines from Asia to North America, test-kit and ventilator air and ground transport throughout the US and sending 20 million masks and medical supplies to France in four days.

“CMA CGM is playing a key role in keeping the supply chain running during this pandemic,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka, who also serves as the city’s Chief Logistics Officer. “We are very proud to have CMA CGM as a friend and partner, and look forward to many years of close collaboration on all levels for the benefit of trade and humanity.”

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

USCG Cutter Offloads $37 Million Worth of Confiscated Drugs

By Karen Robes Meeks

This week, US Coast Guard Cutter Active crewmembers unloaded more than 2,000 pounds of cocaine worth approximately $37 million. The drug was confiscated in early May during the Eastern Pacific Ocean patrol.

On April 1, US Southern Command began enhanced counter-narcotics operations in the Western Hemisphere to disrupt the flow of drugs in support of Presidential National Security Objectives. Numerous US agencies from the Departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security cooperated in the effort to combat transnational organized crime. The Coast Guard, Navy, Customs and Border Protection, FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, along with allied and international partner agencies, play a role in counter-drug operations.

The seizure is part of a larger effort in the battle against drug cartels in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, where the Alameda-based 11th Coast Guard District has enforcement jurisdiction.

"This patrol, and this interdiction in particular, highlights the resilience and professionalism of Active's crew," said Cmdr. James O'Mara, commanding officer of Active, which is homeported in Port Angeles, Wash. "We cancelled a port visit, stretched logistics and diverted 500 miles to get on target and do our job. No captain could ask or expect more from a crew, especially given all the adversity overcome during this patrol. Though I know if more were required, this crew would rally and answer the call, the way they always do."

Port of Hueneme Expects Cargo Decrease Due to COVID-19

By Karen Robes Meeks

Earlier this month, the Port of Hueneme said that automakers – the port’s biggest revenue generators – expect an estimated 90 percent drop in cargo over the next two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in a projected $2.68 million loss.

Auto manufacturers in Germany, United Kingdom, Sweden, South Korea, and Japan closed for much of April, and many automakers, including those in the US, have either stopped production or shifted to producing ventilators to meet hospital demand, the port said.

“As it takes several weeks for vessels to travel from Europe and Asia to Hueneme, we will begin seeing a dramatic reduction in autos the second week of May forward,” said Oxnard Harbor District President Jess Ramirez.

Ramirez added that the port usually has three to four auto carriers call the port any given week, but nearly 90 percent of the sailings in May have been cancelled.

Supply and demand is part of this equation, said CEO and Port Director Kristin Decas.

“The past month we have been helping our customers store additional automobiles that were not being sent to dealerships as a result of the stay-at-home orders in several states,” she said. “Now, as the dealerships re-open and consumer demand comes back up gradually, we are still going to see a reduced level of shipments to the port from that segment until the manufacturing plants can resume production and re-establish their supply chains.”

The port said it has been able to dip into its reserves to pay for immediate expenses.

Man Sentenced to Prison in Major Drug Seizure

By Karen Robes Meeks

A man involved in a historic Coast Guard drug seizure off Oregon waters was sentenced to prison Thursday, the agency reported.

John Philip Stirling, a 66-year-old Canadian citizen, received a 40 month-sentence in federal prison and five years of supervised release “for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine under the Maritime Drug Law Enforcement Act.”

This result stemmed from a routine patrol on April 9, 2019, when the Coast Guard Cutter Alert spotted a sailing vessel and tried to communicate with Stirling, who only responded by VHF radio.

Coast Guard crewmembers decided to board the vessel and discovered that Stirling needed medical assistance for a possible drug overdose. Investigators later searched his vessel to find 28 jugs containing more than seven gallons of liquid methamphetamine each and a duffel bag fill with several plastic-wrapped bricks of pentobarbital that were bound for Canada, according to the agency.

“The volume and value makes this the largest known maritime seizure by the Coast Guard off the Oregon coast, and we applaud the men and women of the Coast Guard Cutter Alert for their diligence in making the apprehension,” said Lt. Cmdr. Scott McGrew of the Coast Guard 13th District in Seattle, Wash.

Port of Camas-Washougal Releases Annual Report

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Camas-Washougal recently released its 2020 Annual Report, which highlights its major projects such as the Children’s Natural Play Area, the waterfront development at the newly named Parker’s Landing and the steady growth at the Steigerwald Commerce Center.

“When looking back at 2019, and what’s been accomplished so far, I feel a sense of pride,” said Port Chief Executive Officer David Ripp. “We have miles to go but the journey is exciting in its potential to attract recreation and commerce to Camas and Washougal, and continues to inspire us all.”

Visit https://portcw.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/2020%20Annual%20Report%20Final.pdf for a closer look at the report.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Port of Olympia Cancels 2020 Tours

By Karen Robes Meeks

This week, the Port of Olympia announced the cancelation of its popular public working waterfront tours for 2020 due to COVID-19.

The free tours provide an opportunity for the public to explore and learn more about Thurston County’s shipping terminal, its equipment and its economic role.

“These are challenging times, and we had to make the tough decision to cancel the public tour program in an effort to keep our community and staff safe,” said Executive Director Sam Gibboney. “While we will not be holding the tours this year, we look forward to sharing the behind-the-scenes look of the working waterfront with citizens in 2021.”

Visit https://www.thurstoncountywa.gov/phss/Pages/coronavirus.aspx for more information.

Harbor Freight Tools Donates PPEs to LA Effort

By Karen Robes Meeks

Southern California company and longtime Port of Los Angeles customer Harbor Freight Tools has donated 1,500 nitrile gloves, 500 N95 respirator masks, almost 9,300 deluxe face shields and 60 five-gallon spray bottles toward Los Angeles’ efforts to get personal protective equipment to healthcare workers, the port announced this week.

“We are greatly appreciative to Harbor Freight for this generous donation, as PPE equipment continues to be urgently needed by frontline health care workers throughout the region,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka, who has been tapped by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to lead as Chief Logistics Officer during COVID-19. “Harbor Freight is a great example of what the private sector can do to help during this pandemic.”

The donation is among the several that have been made by companies and organizations, resulting in the procurement of millions of PPE supplies.

“We know how acute the need is for personal protective equipment, especially for the heroic healthcare workers on the front lines caring for COVID-19 patients,” said Eric Smidt, owner and founder of Harbor Freight Tools. “We’re grateful for their work and dedication and proud to partner with the Port of L.A. to deliver our PPE donations to hospitals in our hometown.” Check out https://laprotects.org/ for more details.

Lynden Transport Delivers School Building

By Karen Robes Meeks

Lynden Transport is doing its part to help students get back on track after a school in Kaktovik, Alaska, burned down in February.

Lynden drivers recently moved 12 modular buildings from Edmonton, Alberta and 13 from Wasilla, Alaska to Deadhorse, Alaska. Rolligons – large tire vehicles designed to traverse the sensitive tundra – brought them to Kaktovik. These modular buildings will become classrooms for students in the small Native Alaskan Village.

"The nearest school is 150 miles away so we need to get these buildings delivered as soon as possible," said JD Lavender, Branch Operations Leader for Willscot, Lynden's customer. “I have been impressed with the Lynden team and the drivers' attention to safety” he said.

Prior to the fire, the school and gym was the heart and hub of the area.

Port of Redwood City Awards $21,000 in Sponsorships

By Karen Robes Meeks

Six area groups committed to the Silicon Valley community were recently awarded a total of $21,000 in sponsorships by the Port of Redwood City Board of Commissioners.

They include Peninsula Youth Sailing Foundation, the Redwood City Library Foundation, City Trees, Redwood City Parks and Arts Foundation, Sequoia YMCA and San Mateo County Historical Association.

The second annual community sponsorship program funds local events and efforts that highlight community-forward maritime activities, focused on economic growth, environmental stewardship, youth and education, and community benefit.

“The Sponsorship Program is one way the port delivers on our commitment to serve Silicon Valley,” said Board of Port Commissioner Chair Ralph A. Garcia. “We are pleased to support important community programs, while also educating our community on the Port’s varied businesses.”

Events and programs chosen by the port program are expected to take place between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

USNS Mercy Leaves Port of Los Angeles

By Karen Robes Meeks

After spending the last seven weeks taking on non COVID-19 patients to help relieve area hospitals, the USNS Mercy has left the Port of Los Angeles and returned to its San Diego homeport.

Foss Maritime and sister company Amnav used their new tugboats to guide the Military Sealift Command Hospital Ship out of the port. “We owe a debt of gratitude to the sailors and medical staff of the USNS Mercy for their selfless service,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

The government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been a one-of-a-kind mission, said Mission Commander, Capt. Daniel Cobian, commodore Destroyer Squadron 21.

"We provided the framework for the medical treatment facility to meet the mission and be the relief valve, freeing up beds at local hospitals,” he said. “I have continued to be impressed with how the Mercy crew came together and worked toward this goal. I have every confidence that the personnel from Mercy who will continue to work at the skilled nursing facilities as the ship returns to San Diego will continue to provide the high-quality medical care that has been the hallmark of this mission."

Port of Long Beach Announces Environmental, Business Division Leads

By Karen Robes Meeks

Two longtime officials at the Port of Long Beach will lead the port’s environmental planning and business development divisions.

After serving as acting director, Matt Arms will serve as director of environmental planning, which oversees the port’s most significant environmental programs, including the Green Port Policy and the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan. Arms started at the port in 2003 as an assistant environmental specialist.

Roger Wu who has been serving as the port acting director in charge of developing revenue opportunities will now head the business development division.

Wu, who started at the port 2007 as marketing manager in the trade relations division, was previously assistant director of business development.

New Duwamish River Park Moved Forward

By Karen Robes Meeks

A formerly contaminated industrial property will become a new 13.5-acre Duwamish River park with 2,500 linear feet of shoreline, thanks to a recent action by the Port of Seattle Commission.

The Terminal 117 Habitat Restoration and Duwamish Shoreline Access Project will build upland habitat and bring back priority habitat for Chinook salmon and other species. When completed, the public space will feature a pier, public art, walkways, and elevated viewpoints.

“Habitat restoration is a major element of the port’s cleanup efforts along the Duwamish River,” said Commission President Peter Steinbrueck. “Through innovative collaboration with our federal and local partners, we are able to make this project satisfy our triple bottom line approach, providing key economic, ecological, and community benefits to the Duwamish Valley community.”

Blessing of the Fleet Event Canceled

By Karen Robes Meeks

This year’s annual Blessing of the Fleet and Memorial Service in Charleston, Ore., has been canceled to observe public gathering restrictions and social distancing related to COVID-19, the Port of Coos Bay announced.

The service, which would have taken place on Memorial Day at the Charleston Fisherman’s Memorial Garden, commemorates area men and women involved in commercial fishing and the fishing industry who have died since 1941.

Names will be added to plaques in the Charleston Fisherman’s Memorial Garden, including Bill Ainsworth, Jack L. Hutchens and Wayne James Clemens.

Floral arrangements or memorial wreaths are acceptable as long as they are made of biodegradable materials. The port is encouraging the public to practice social distancing at the memorial garden.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Compass Courses Training Deemed Essential Washington Business

By Karen Robes Meeks

Edmonds, Washington-based Compass Courses has been deemed as an essential business, and classes are running as scheduled. “We’re ready to provide mariners with the quality training that seafarers worldwide have come to expect,” says owner Julie Keim. The classes adhere strictly to USCG, CDC, State, and Federal guidelines to comply with current COVID-19 safety protocols and will continue to follow any changes/updates made to these guidelines.

“We’ve reduced class sizes and we’re requiring all students and instructors to wear a face mask or covering, to practice proper hand hygiene, and to observe appropriate social distancing while in our facilities,” Keim says.

All the company’s fire training is now being performed at Clatsop Community College’s Maritime and Environmental Research and Training Station (MERTS) in Astoria, Oregon. Their state-of-the-art facility is designed to provide training for all levels of professional mariners and is one of the most comprehensive training centers in the United States.

“We’ve partnered with Starline Luxury Coaches to provide transportation for up to twelve students on board a 56-passenger bus, configured to allow proper social distancing,” Keim says. She notes that students should come prepared with a mask and be ready to follow social distancing rules. Call 425-778-1923 to enroll or visit compasscourses.com.

Port of Long Beach Moves Fewer Containers In April

By Karen Robes Meeks

The health crisis’ effect on the economy continues to affect the Port of Long Beach, which saw 17.3 percent fewer containers last month than April 2019, the port’s busiest April ever, according to new numbers released this week.

Long Beach handled 519,730 TEUs in April, including 253,540 TEUs of imports and 102,502 TEUs of exports. These fell 20.2 percent and 17.2 percent, respectively, from a year ago.

Empty containers also dropped 12.2 percent to 163,688 TEUs year over year.

For the first four months of this year, the port handled 2,202,650 TEUs, down 9.5 percent from the same time last year.

“We look forward to a recovery stage and rebounding cargo shipments as the nation contemplates relaxing shelter-in-place orders, people return to work and consumer demand rises – however it will not be in the short term,” said Port Executive Director Mario Cordero. “In the meantime, we continue to collaborate with importers, exporters, terminal operators and labor to develop a recovery plan while ensuring the safe and reliable delivery of goods moving through the Port of Long Beach.”

Port of Oakland Portends Downturn

By Karen Robes Meeks

Loaded April cargo was up 1.4 percent year over year at the Port of Oakland, but the port expects decreased cargo volumes in the coming months due to the global economic impact from COVID-19.

Oakland moved 3.2 percent more exported cargo and 0.9 percent fewer imports last month when compared to April 2019, according to new numbers released this week.

Meanwhile, empty containers dropped 29 percent last month, pushing the port’s overall cargo volume down 6.5 percent. The port expects a downturn in the coming months as shipping lines cancel vessel calls in response to COVID-19. About 11 percent of vessel calls bound for Oakland in May and June have been canceled.

“Our April cargo performance was better than expected, but it was most likely a blip resulting from the release of pent-up demand when factories re-opened in China after being quarantined,” the port said. “We’re faring better than some other ports, but our forecast in the coming months is overall volume throughput decline of 5-to-10 percent.”

Lynden Improves Mobile Capabilities

By Karen Robes Meeks

GPS map tracking and shipment details and other functions have been expanded in Lynden’s mobile app.

Improvements include time and date stamps on received and delivered statuses, equipment number(s) are shown in search results, shipment details pages, and on the available Excel export for easier searching and tracking, especially if customers have multiple loads, according to the company.

The app also has improved GPS maps, which now is featured in more in-transit shipment statuses.

“Most notable are shipments on Alaska Marine Lines’ barges which can now be tracked every mile of the journey,” the company said. “Maps are also offered for select truck shipments and show freight scanned into most Service Centers for all modes.”

Visit www.lynden.com/mobile for more on the app.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Port of Seattle Considers Projects to Help Local Economy Amid COVID-19

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Seattle recently updated its 2020 plans for construction to aim its project investment and hiring to help with the local economy recovery.

Some 20 projects worth approximately $1.5 billion will be impacted based on economic considerations.

The port is looking into accelerating the construction of projects such as the North Satellite modernization, the international arrivals facility, airfield pavement work, passenger loading bridges replacement and the replacement of Terminal 46 north berth not related to proposed cruise terminal.

“As one of the largest public sector builders in the region, the port is uniquely positioned to help lead the region’s recovery,” said Port Commission President Peter Steinbrueck. “Our goal is to help keep construction workers employed by providing certainty to large public works construction projects, accelerating some projects where feasible, and by supporting our private sector partners.”

USCG Signs Exchange Program MOU with Australian Agency

By Karen Robes Meeks

Personnel from the US Coast Guard and the Australian Department of Home Affairs will be able to participate in an officer exchange program, thanks to a recent memorandum of agreement (MOU) inked by Rear Adm. Kevin Lunday, commander of Coast Guard 14th District, and Kingsley Woodford-Smith, assistant commissioner of the Australian Border Force.

The MOU allows one Australian Border Force marine unit officer to work a four- to six-week assignment in Honolulu, Hawaii, while a Coast Guard officer will serve with the Australian Border Force fleet.

"The memorandum of agreement solidifies an already incredible relationship with our Australian partners in the Blue Pacific region," said Cmdr. Jason Brand, chief of enforcement, Coast Guard 14th District. "The agreement enhances the interoperability between the U.S. Coast Guard and Australian Department of Home Affairs by creating a personnel exchange system designed to share experience, professional knowledge, and doctrine between the partners. This exchange is another tool for our work to promote and further a free and open Indo-Pacific."

Work Underway on Bike /Walk Path Part of Long Beach Bridge Project

By Karen Robes Meeks

Work on the Mark Bixby Memorial Bicycle Pedestrian Path is underway on the south side of the Gerald Desmond Bridge replacement project.

According to the port, steel platforms are being installed to form the 12-foot-wide path named after the deceased city Bicycle Master Plan creator and Long Beach Bike Festival founder.

The new path – which will include three observation decks – will allow pedestrians and bicyclists to go to and from the intersection of Ocean Boulevard and Pico Avenue on the port’s east side and is expected to end on the new bridge’s west side at State Route 47.

Three Cruise Ships Idle in Oakland

By Karen Robes Meeks

Three passenger ships that arrived in Oakland over the weekend will idle with only crewmembers while the US embargoes cruise operations, the Port of Oakland announced Friday.

The vessels, which include two Norwegian Cruise Line ships, contain no passengers and have no reported coronavirus cases. They could stay at berth for two to three months. The ships will be tied up at Oakland’s Outer Harbor Terminal and at Howard Terminal on the Oakland Estuary, both of which are not being used for container operations.

This move to provide berthing space comes as more than 100 cruise vessels are looking for safe harbor all over the world.

“We’re a container port, but we’re still in the shipping business,” said Port Executive Director Danny Wan. “These ships are under federal requirements to report health concerns, and we understand that they haven’t had a history of coronavirus, so we’ll do what we can to help.” Crewmembers aren’t expected to disembark in Oakland, according to the port.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Port of Los Angeles April Cargo Numbers Released

By Karen Robes Meeks

April cargo numbers at the Port of Los Angeles improved 53 percent from March, but were down nearly 7 percent from the same time last year, according to new numbers released Wednesday.

Los Angeles saw 688,999 TEUs flow through its seaport, which is currently operating at about 80 percent of normal capacity. That’s down about 6.45 percent from April 2019.

Imports for April rose 2.6 percent to 370,111 TEUs, while exports fell 16.2 percent to 130,321 TEUs and empty containers were down 14.4 percent to 188,567 TEUs when compared to April 2019.

“Given the unique circumstances of a trade war and pandemic, April volumes are better than expected,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “As we move deeper into the remainder of the second quarter, we’re forecasting significantly lower volumes, particularly on the import side. There are at least 28 voided vessel sailings. Retailer orders are soft as consumer purchasing and confidence has dropped precipitously.”

Port of Oakland Sees New Vessel Service

By Karen Robes Meeks

This week, the Port of Oakland announced a new vessel service that will provide a direct link between Oakland and the Middle East for the first time.

Japan’s ONE line has started operating Far East-Pacific 2, a new weekly service with 18 mega vessels connecting Oakland to Asia and Saudi Arabia.

The ONE Aquila, the first vessel under this new service, was expected to be in Oakland this week at Oakland International Container Terminal.

“Naturally we’re encouraged by this development,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “The size of the ships means extra cargo capacity coming to Oakland and the Port rotation extends Oakland’s reach in global markets.”

The Far East-Pacific 2 service encompasses nine ports in Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Hong Kong, China, the US and Saudi Arabia.

Matson Releases First Quarter Earnings

By Karen Robes Meeks

Honolulu-based Matson, Inc. posted a net income of $3.8 million for the quarter ending on March 31 and a consolidated revenue of $513.9 million, the company announced this week.

That’s compared to the same time last year, when it reported a net income of $12.5 million and a consolidated revenue of $532.4 million for the first quarter 2019.

Matson’s Chairman and CEO Matt Cox said that Matson's businesses performed well in the first quarter, but this was prior to seeing most of the impacts from the evolving COVID-19 situation. “Our China service returned to normal volume levels in March, slightly ahead of our expectation, and we saw relatively steady volume in our Hawaii, Alaska and Guam tradelanes as consumers bought essential goods and home food,” he said. “But we also faced challenges at SSAT and in our Logistics business segment due to the COVID-19 situation."

Cox also said that Matson’s Hawaii, Guam and Alaska tradelanes are facing dramatically reduced tourism, and “each of our business lines is faced with an economic backdrop of increasing uncertainties regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Regardless, we remain focused on safeguarding the health and safety of our employees and maintaining our best-in-class vessel on-time performance to provide a high-quality service to our customers and the communities that count on us during this difficult time,” he said. “We are also focused on ensuring Matson has adequate financial liquidity, and our most recent debt agreement amendments provide the necessary headroom for us to manage through the economic downturn."

Port of Vancouver USA Receives Major Wind Turbine Blade Shipment

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Vancouver USA recently received its biggest wind turbine blade shipment so far with the delivery of 27 blades and other parts for a Canadian wind project that’s expected to open in 2021.

Turbine manufacturer Goldwind and the wind project owner Potentia Renewables teamed up on the delivery effort. The components and blades are expected to be taken to laydown space at Terminal 2 and Terminal 5 before being moved by Totran Transportation Services over 21 weeks to Saskatchewan, Canada.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic the port continues to operate to keep the supply chain and commodities moving,” said Port CEO Julianna Marler. “The port has proven our unique ability to handle these types of large projects. Customers know our heavy lift mobile cranes, acres of laydown space, highly-skilled workforce, and dedication to renewable energy make the Port of Vancouver the perfect port for receiving wind energy components.”

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

New Foss Tug Arrives in Long Beach

By Karen Robes Meeks

This past weekend, Long Beach welcomed Foss Maritime’s new ASD-90 tug, The Jaime Ann.

The new tug, which will be homeported in Long Beach, is the first of four ASD-90s built by Nichols Brothers Boat Builders for the Saltchuk family of companies and strong enough to guide the biggest tankers and container vessels on the West Coast. The new tug features 6,866 horsepower, 90 tons of bollard pull and two MTU Tier 4 engines.

“The Jaime Ann was 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,” said Foss Maritime Project Manager Janic Trepanier. “Her innovative design offers greater operating efficiencies by producing lower emissions resulting in less maintenance down time.”

The Jaime Ann’s sister tugs, the Sarah Averick, the Leisa Florence, and the Rachael Allen are expected to be delivered later this year.

“We are excited to see Jaime Ann arrive in her new homeport,” said Saltchuk Marine CEO Jason Childs. “Her addition to the Foss fleet demonstrates our continued commitment to our mariners, our customers, the environment, and the State of California.”

Port of Olympia to Re-Open Some Facilities May 5

By Karen Robes Meeks

Starting May 5, the Port of Olympia will reopen Billy Frank Jr. Park and Trail, Port Plaza, Swantown Boatworks, Swantown Marina public boat launch, Swantown boat launch parking lot, and the Swantown restrooms near BC docks.

The decision comes after Governor Jay Inslee sanctioned the partial re-opening of some outdoor activities, provided that safety and health practices are honored.

For Billy Frank Jr. Park & Trail, part of the trail will stay closed to curb pedestrian traffic within the Swantown Boatworks operational area.

Those enjoying the Port Plaza should practice social distancing. Swantown Boatworks will be running but the office will stay closed to the public. Those using the boatyard should not bring guests and those in the boatyard need to be 10 feet from the Boatworks staff.

Only one lane of the Swantown Marina boat launch will be open. There will be social distancing and traffic control markers in the land and water side.

Port of Camas-Washougal to Open Two Launch Ramp Lanes

By Karen Robes Meeks

Amid the opening of some recreational fishing and traffic expected to increase as a result, two lanes will be open at Port of Camas-Washougal 's launch ramp for launching and retrieval beginning May 5.

The most eastern and western lanes will be open for boaters as long as social distancing is practiced.

“The Port will continue to monitor launch activity and allow recreational launch ramp usage as long as it complies with social distancing requirements recommended by federal, state and local health officials to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” announced Port CEO David Ripp. “Should distancing become an issue at the ramps the Port may implement additional closures.”

USCG Cutter Returns to Honolulu

By Karen Robes Meeks

After 37 days at sea, crew members of the Coast Guard Cutter Midgett (WMSL 757) returned to Hawaii following patrols that covered 7,118 square nautical miles that supported counter-Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported fishing and regional security operations in Oceania.

"I'm extremely proud of our crew, overcoming the challenges Coronavirus has brought and successfully conducting our first operational patrol," said Capt. Alan McCabe, commanding officer, Midgett. "Now more than ever, ensuring our persistent presence in the region is vital to protecting national interests. We are proactively conducting our missions and appreciate the excellent support from within the Service.”

The presence of a National Security Cutter in this part of the Pacific to enforce Conservation and Management Measures established by the WCPFC and working cooperatively with the FFA represents the US and the Service's commitment to the agency's partnerships in the region, said McCabe.

"The prevention of Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated tuna fishing is vital and will have a direct, positive effect on peace, governance, and continued American presence throughout the region."

Friday, May 1, 2020

Port of Portland to Discuss Budget

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Portland Board of Commissioners, acting as the Port of Portland Budget Committee, will convene for a meeting to discuss the annual budget on May 13.

The meeting will be conducted virtually to adhere to social distancing guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m. and will be broadcasted live on the port’s website and YouTube channel.

The Fiscal Year 2020-21 budget message and budget document to be presented to the committee will be available to the public on May 11. Comments and questions should be submitted by email.

For more information and to review the documents, visit www.portofportland.com/Commission.

Port of Los Angeles Chief Gives Cargo Update

By Karen Robes Meeks

April’s cargo numbers at the nation’s busiest seaport are expected to be higher than the last month, but lower than April 2019.

The Port of Los Angeles continues to operate without disruption and is working with stakeholders to keep goods flowing, said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka in a new video update released Thursday.

“With labor shifts down 17 percent from the average over the past 39 months, we recognize the hardship that many of you are feeling due to our troubled economy,” Seroka said. “Together, we will get through this crisis. In the meantime, our executive team and staff are routinely talking with manufacturing, retail and agricultural interests—both importers and exporters—to stay updated on their recovery plans and ensure that our supply chain is positioned to help them in the coming months.”

Meanwhile, efforts to procure vital medical supplies are underway, said Seroka, who serves as chief logistics officer for the City of Los Angeles since March.

Logistics Victory Los Angeles has investigated more than 700 supplier leads. This week, an agreement was struck with Honeywell to purchase 24 million N95 masks. Harbor Freight donated gloves, spray bottles for disinfectant and 9,500 face shields toward the cause.