Friday, September 18, 2020

Charleston Ice Plant Reopens

More than seven months after a devastating fire, the Charleston Ice Plant in Coos Bay has reopened for business on a limited basis before the facility is fully operational in the coming weeks. The ice plant, which had been vital resource to commercial fishermen along the West Coast, had been closed since December 2019 when a fire ravaged the facility.

In rebuilding the plant, the Port of Coos Bay saw that having available flake ice in the Charleston Marina was crucial to keeping the region’s commercial fishing industry viable. Bolstering ice making and storage capacity at the new facility would help meet fishermen’s needs during the high seasons.

“Service will be limited initially to commercial fishing vessels as crews are awaiting the arrival of additional components for the service delivery system to accommodate smaller vessels,” the port said. “There will be no on dock truck service until the dock structure is fully completed.”

With the new plant, storage capacity will go from 115 to 158 tons, and production from 2 to 5 tons per hour, which will improve service delivery times during the high season, the port said.

Rebuilding the facility was critical to the Port of Coos Bay, Oregon’s third biggest fishing hub. The Charleston Ice Plant is among the few public ice docks in the state to provide enough ice necessary for commercial fishermen to preserve their catch.

Wildfires Prompt State to Delay Bridge Replacement Project

To keep the highway system open for wildfire evacuees, the Oregon Department of Transportation is delaying the I-5 Interstate Bridge Trunnion Replacement Project and is asking the U.S. Coast Guard to move the timeline by two weeks to finish repairs.

The state wants to make repairs from 12 a.m. Sept 22 to 11:59 p.m. Oct. 6. The state will immediately alert the Coast Guard and the maritime community if the state finishes repairs sooner than expected.

Meanwhile, mariners can pass under the bridge by using the high span between Pier 5 and Pier 6 (three white lights over one green light) with a clearance of 72 feet to the zero water level mark, according to the agency.

While trunnions and other bridge parts are being replaced, the northbound bridge’s life span can’t be raised. Recreational vessels can’t transit while a safety zone is in place near the construction area. Sailboat operators must be mindful of their vertical clearance when moving under the high span.

Visit https://www.interstatebridge.org/ for more updates.

COVID-19 Affects TWIC Operations

While the U.S. Coast Guard and the Transportation Security Administration expect mariners to comply with 33 and 46 Code of Federal Regulations, the agencies recently announced that they will “exercise flexibility” if COVID-19 makes compliance with the Transportation Worker Identification Credential unreasonably difficult to meet.

This flexibility helps to “prevent undue delays” and keep the Marine Transportation System and the flow of commerce moving amid the pandemic.

For Maritime Facilities and Vessels:

On TWIC Readers: Vessels certified to carry more than 1,000 passengers and the maritime facilities that receive those vessels must comply with the TWIC Reader Rule enacted June 7, but the Coast Guard won’t enforce the rule until Dec. 31. Facilities and vessels don’t have to update facility security plans/vessel security plans or put in readers until Dec. 31.

On the TWIC exemption: TWICs that expired between March 1, 2020, and July 31, 2020, have an exemption extension that is valid 180 days from the card’s expiration date. Email TWIC.Issue@tsa.dhs.gov for more.

On escort ratios: Escort ratios for secure and restricted areas of a facility may change to meet employee shortages or other demands due to COVID-19, constituting an adjustment to the facility security plan or approval from the Captain of the Port.

On new hires: – Generally, a new hire with proper identification can access secure or restricted areas as long as another person with a TWIC can monitor the new hire. During the pandemic, the side-by-side escorting for restricted areas mandated in 33 CFR 101.105 won’t be enforced. More new hire compliance options are available in 33 CFR 104.267 and 105.257.

On the Alternative Security Program: Those unable to comply may seek temporary relief via noncompliance or an amendment to cover the entire ASP can be submitted to CG-FAC.

Operators need to consider the safety risks of noncompliance. “This request to continue operations should include new measures or safeguards the facility or vessel plans to employ to mitigate any risk from the non-compliance with 33 CFR part 104 or 105,” according to the agency.

For Merchant Mariner Credentials:

The NSA and Coast Guard understand that the pandemic, the closure of enrollment centers and potential processing delays may affect those seeking a merchant mariner credential. During the pandemic, the Coast Guard will not suspend or revoke a merchant mariner credential for those having an expired TWIC. The Coast Guard will notify the industry before it resumes enforcement of this requirement. However, this doesn’t apply to mariners whose TWICs have been suspended or revoked because they posed a security threat.

Mariners applying for an original credential need to show that they have enrolled for a TWIC. They can pre-enroll and set up an appointment at https://universalenroll.dhs.gov or by calling 855-DHS-UES1 (855-347-8371). TWIC enrollments must be completed in-person at an enrollment center. While this is enough to start the MMC process, applicants for an original credential won’t be able to get a MMC until their biographic and biometric data is given to the Coast Guard by TSA.

For Mariners who already have a MMC, no action is needed if their TWIC expires and their credential remains valid. Mariners seeking a renewal, raise of grade, new endorsement or duplicate merchant mariner credential may apply without a valid TWIC if they can show that they have enrolled for a TWIC renewal.

Nearly all TSA Enrollment Centers are open processing new and renewing TWIC enrollments without delays. Visit https://universalenroll.dhs.gov/locator to see if a nearby center is open.

Port of Los Angeles Reports 12 Percent Increase in Cargo Volumes

The Port of Los Angeles moved nearly a million TEUs in August, a 12 percent jump from the same time in 2019, according to new numbers released Tuesday.

Imports drove much of 961,833 TEUs handled at the nation’s busiest seaport last month, surpassing the half-million TEU mark for the first time with 516,286 TEUs. That’s 18 percent more imports moved at the L.A. port than August 2019.

“In May we saw our lowest container volumes in more than a decade,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “Since then, there has been a significant replenishment of warehouse inventories. Coupled with retailers planning for consumer holiday spending, it has created a surge of imports.”

Meanwhile, exports for August fell 10.2 percent to 131,429 TEUs. Empty containers rose 13.3 percent to 314,118 TEUs. Eight months into 2020, cargo is down 11.7 percent compared to the same time period in 2019.

The port saw one canceled sailing last month and none scheduled for this month.

In August, Los Angeles had 89 vessel calls, including eight megaships.

Among them was APL Merlion, which moved close to 29,600 TEUs during its visit last month, marking “the second highest all-time record for TEUs handled in a single ship visit,” according to the port.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Regional Examination Center Seattle Reopens

The National Maritime Center’s Regional Examination Center Seattle is the latest to reopen to offer exam services on a limited basis.

REC Seattle, which opens Sept. 14, joins RECs Boston, Honolulu, Houston, Juneau, Long Beach, Memphis, Miami, and Toledo, and Monitoring Units Ketchikan and San Juan now open to mariners who need to obtain or recertify their credentials.

To make an appointment, contact the following:

REC Boston – recboston@uscg.mil
REC Honolulu – rechonolulu@uscg.mil
REC Houston – rechoustonexam@uscg.mil
REC Juneau – recjun@uscg.mil
REC Long Beach – reclb@uscg.mil
REC Memphis – recmemphis@uscg.mil
REC Miami – recmia@uscg.mil or (305) 536-4331
REC Seattle – recseattle@uscg.mil
REC Toledo – rectol@uscg.mil
MU Ketchikan – (907) 225-4496 (extension #3)
MU San Juan – (787) 729-2368

Emails seeking an appointment should have the person’s name, mariner reference number, requested testing date(s), phone number, and a copy of their Approved to Test letter(s), according to the USCG.

Exams are only by appointment. Walk-ins will not be allowed and customer service will be conducted remotely. Test-takers will be checked for COVID-19 and those with symptoms will not be allowed to enter the center and will have to reschedule their exams. Mariners must wear masks and those who refuse or remove theirs will be asked to leave and could receive a fail.

Exams fees must be paid before coming to a center for an exam and a payment proof will be needed before taking a test. Mariners should come with pencils, photo identification, a non-programmable calculator, and plotting instruments. Other personal items won’t be allowed in the center.

The Customer Service Center is available from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST weekdays.

Contact 1-888-IASKNMC (427-5662) and IASKNMC@uscg.mil for more information.

Matson Christens Matsonia Over the Summer

Over the summer, Honolulu-based carrier Matson, Inc. christened Matsonia, one of a pair of Kanaloa Class vessels, at General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in San Diego.

The 870-foot-long, 114-foot-wide vessel is a combination container/roll-on, roll-off ship and among the biggest constructed in the country, according to the company. With a top speed of 23 knots, the 50,000-metric-ton ship will also be one of the fastest in Matson’s fleet.

It will be able to accommodate 500 vehicles and have enough room for rolling stock and breakbulk cargo. It will also be environmentally-forward and features a “fuel-efficient hull design, environmentally safe double hull fuel tanks, fresh water ballast systems and the first Tier 3 dual fuel engines to be deployed in containerships regularly serving West Coast ports,” according to Matson.

"The construction of Matsonia represents over a year's work for about 2,000 professionals here at NASSCO…engineers, tradesmen and lots of support people and countless others who produced the materials used to build this ship that are sourced here in the U.S,” Matson Chairman and CEO Matt Cox said after the shipyard ceremony. “Over its expected lifespan, this ship will generate approximately 4.5 million man-hours of work opportunity for the U.S. mariners who will operate it and decades of steady work for all of the dockworkers and terminal personnel that move the cargo on and off our ships.”

The vessel is expected to be delivered to Matson in the fourth quarter of this year.

For more, visit https://www.matson.com/kanaloa-class.html.

Port of Long Beach Posts Best August Cargo Volumes

Despite looming uncertainty over the economic impact of COVID-19, the Port of Long Beach kicks off peak season strong with its best ever August cargo numbers, according to statistics released Wednesday.

About 725,610 TEUs moved through the nation’s second busiest seaport last month, 9.3 percent more than it did the same time a year ago. Long Beach handled 364,792 TEUs in imports last month, a 13 percent jump, and moved 126,177 TEUs in exports, a 1 percent uptick. Empty containers also rose 8.5percent to 234,642 TEUs.

“Despite the recent surge in cargo, uncertainty remains in international trade and the national economy, given the ongoing COVID-19 impacts,” said Port Executive Director Mario Cordero. “August marked another great month for the Port, but we must remain vigilant about the global pandemic’s lasting effects.”

It’s welcome news for Long Beach, which like other ports, saw canceled sailings earlier this year due to the pandemic and lower demand for goods.

In August, port officials saw numbers rise as demand for home improvement items and home exercise equipment and other goods grew at the beginning of peak shipping season, which generally takes place from August to October in preparation for the holiday season.

Visit polb.com/statistics for more.

Coast Guard Halts Illegal Charters

Over Labor Day weekend, Puget Sound-area U.S. Coast Guard crew members stopped three illegally chartered pleasure vessels operating in Lake Washington and Lake Union.

Coast Guard Station Seattle, Coast Guard Cutters Sea Lion and Bailey T. Barco, and Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound, were out in force, patrolling the lakes and San Juan Islands. They were there to conduct safety inspections, enforce boating-under-the-influence rules and check for illegal charter operations.

One of the vessels approached that week possessed a series of violations, including “not having a credentialed mariner in control while operating a small passenger vessel” and failing to have a “Certificate of Documentation while in Coastwise trade” for a vessel larger than 5 gross tons, according to the agency.

Violators could face up to $59,000 for illegal passenger-for-hire operations and charters that violate a captain of the port order could pay over $94,000 in fines.

“Illegal charters pose a danger to everyone aboard the vessel. Terminating these dangerous operations and educating the boating public is a top priority for the Coast Guard,” said Master Chief Petty Officer Kevinn Smith. “If you suspect an illegal charter, reach out to the Coast Guard on channel 16.”

Friday, September 11, 2020

Port of Los Angeles Unveils New Data Tool

Port of Los Angeles officials recently debuted a new tool that they hope will make data more accessible to its supply chain partners so they can better prepare for incoming cargo.

Through “The Port of Los Angeles Signal,” a port service powered by Wabtec’s Port Optimizer, the seaport will begin sending out and publishing key dashboard data, such as the number of shipments coming to L.A. over a three-week period. The data — sent to stakeholders and updated every week on www.portoflosangeles.org and the port’s Twitter and LinkedIn accounts — is categorized by type of container and includes details on whether those containers will be moved by rail or truck once it arrives in Los Angeles.

“We’re giving all of our partners — railroads, chassis providers, truckers, warehouse operators and others in the supply chain — a three-week look at cargo coming into Los Angeles,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “This planning tool will help make our partners more nimble and efficient, especially during volume surges like we are currently experiencing. This is the forward visibility our stakeholders have requested and we are proud to deliver it.”

Harbor Trucking Association CEO Weston LaBar said HTA applauds the port’s ongoing efforts to bring visibility and transparency to the supply-chain.

“The HTA has been a vocal advocate for using data as an advanced planning and forecasting tool,” he said.” These efforts will help further that cause by providing advanced notification and visibility through the Port Optimizer, which will help facilitate much needed efficiencies we all desire.”

Nine of the port’s top 10 carriers currently add data into the Optimizer.

Proprietary information won’t be shared, the port said.

For more, visit http://volumes.portoptimizer.com and https://track.portoptimizer.com.

USCG Cutter Munro Returns
from Three-month Duty

After three months and 15,000 miles, crew members of the 418-foot Legend-class national security cutter U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Munro came back to its Alameda homeport Monday.

During that time, the crew was in the Bering Sea for 37 days, making sure that mandates for fisheries were being followed between Alaska and the U.S. and Russia maritime border.

They boarded 11 commercial fishing vessels as part of U.S. fishery and safety enforcement, patrolled the Aleutian Islands and the maritime border to ensure that foreign fishing vessels did not enter U.S. waters and participated in a joint border patrol with a Russian Border Guard vessel.

Munro also took part in an at-sea-only version of the Rim of the Pacific 2020 exercise from Aug. 17-31 near the Hawaiian Islands, where the cutter performed “formation steaming exercises, communications drills, maritime intercept operations and live-fire training alongside partner nations,” according to the agency.

"This has been an extremely rewarding patrol," said Munro's Commanding Officer Capt. Blake Novak, adding that this was Munro's first Alaskan patrol. “It was an incredible opportunity to patrol as far north as the Arctic Circle to protect our borders and natural resources, and then transition to leveraging our DOD partnership with RIMPAC exercises. Conducting two distinctly different missions within the same deployment is what makes the Coast Guard unique and why I chose this service.”

Novak said that while COVID-19 has posed a challenge, the cutter was able to establish processes to maintain readiness and operate safely.

Munro's success is attributed to the young women and men that make up our diverse crew,” Novak said. “While we have enjoyed our time at sea, and are proud of our accomplishments, we are excited to return home to our loved ones."

YM Triumph visits Tacoma Terminal

One of Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation's newest vessels, the YM Triumph, recently made its first visit to a North American seaport when it arrived at Husky Terminal in Tacoma.

The Aug. 27 arrival of the 1,090-foot-long and 158-foot-wide vessel signals a big moment for the Northwest Seaport Alliance and Husky Terminal, which welcomed YM Triumph – its largest to date – to the terminal’s newly expanded pier. Husky Terminal recently completed a $266 million reconfiguration project that expands its footprint into Blair Waterway with a 2,960-foot-long pier that could accommodate two mega container ships at the same time. The terminal also has eight super-post-Panamax cranes with an outreach of 24 containers and a lift height of 165 feet, according to NWSA.

With its 12,690-TEU capacity and 1,000 plugs for accommodating refrigerated containers, YM Triumph joins its sister YM Truth as part of THE Alliance’s trans-Pacific PN2 service that began in July. The rotation encompasses ports in Singapore, Laem Chabang in Thailand, Cai Mep and Haiphong in Vietnam, Yantian in China, Tacoma, Vancouver, British Columbia, and Tokyo and Kobe in Japan.

Port of Everett, Everett Ship Repair Commit to Five-year Lease

Everett Ship Repair is committing to five more years at the Port of Everett.

Port leaders recently authorized its chief executive officer to enter into a five-year lease agreement with the maritime service company, which is an Ice Cap Holding, LLC subsidiary and sister company to Nichols Brothers Boat Builders.

The agreement allows Everett Ship to stay at its current space at the port, which encompasses the north side of Pier 3 and the 3.5-acre site nearby. The agreement also features a pair of five-year options and requires Everett Ship to extend its services to support DDG-class military ships, according to the port.

Everett Ship’s arrival at the port in October 2019 brought the largest submersible barge to service at the waterfront since World War II, signaling the return of major commercial and military shipyard services to Everett.

Everett Ship had a temporary lease with the port while the company worked to build its presence and workforce and acquire the regulatory permits and certifications needed to operate.

“We are pleased at the opportunity to continue to build on our strong partnership with Everett Ship Repair, and to work collaboratively in providing a range of key maritime services and repair options, all aimed at supporting a strong economy, keeping our region competitive, growing maritime jobs and furthering our support of national defense,” said Port COO Carl Wollebek.

Everett Ship Repair CEO Gavin Higgins said the company appreciates the port’s help and support in getting the new operation started.

“Locating at the port brings additional services and jobs to the area,” Higgins said. “We are working with the technical schools and colleges to integrate the apprenticeship program we have developed at Nichols Brothers Boat Builders to support the job growth.”

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Alaska Marine Lines Widens Hawaiian Footprint

Alaska Marine Lines has widened its footprint in Hawaii with the recent expansion of its fleet and barge service and a location move, the company announced.

Over the summer, the marine transportation company (doing business as Aloha Marine Lines in Hawaii) acquired a pair of Gunderson Marine-built cargo barges - the Kamakani built in 2008 and the Namakani built in 2016 – from Oregon-based Sause Bros., which ended its Oregon-to-Hawaii barge service in March. To take over that service, Alaska Marine Lines secured the two cargo barges, now Alaska Marine’s biggest vessels with an overall length of 438 feet, a width of 105 feet and a payload of 16,869 tons, according to the company. The barges are also equipped with 22-foot-tall cargo bin-walls and an internal ballast system.

Aloha Marine Lines also moved out of Pier 29 in Honolulu and took over the former Sause Bros.’ Pier 5 location at Kalaeloa Barbers Point Harbor in Kapolei.

“Our new location is much closer to our high-volume customers in the industrial park area of Kapolei which will offer more delivery efficiencies to our Hawaii customers,” Jake Maenpa, the company’s vice president of sales, said in a statement.

Port of Redwood City Cargo Tonnage Falls 21 Percent from a Year Ago

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors have dented cargo numbers at the Port of Redwood City, which saw cargo tonnage drop by 21 percent from 2.65 metric tons in Fiscal Year 2018-2019 to 2.1 metric tons in Fiscal Year 2019-2020, the port announced Aug. 31.

The port has taken a financial hit of about 6 percent as a result of the lowered cargo volume, seeing gross revenues drop from $9.3 million to $8.7 million from the previous fiscal year.

Like other seaports, Redwood City is not immune to the impact of COVID-19, which has resulted in canceled sailings and lowered demand for consumer goods. Government mandates are also affecting the numbers, according to the port.

“Most of this decline took place in the fourth quarter of our fiscal year, which tells us it is a direct result of the statewide mandates impacting the construction industry due to COVID-19,” said Port Board Chairman Ralph A. Garcia. “Prior to that, we were on track for our third record-breaking year in a row with cargo movement.”

Port officials remain positive that the drop in numbers will be temporary, adding that cargo is back up to about 80 percent of pre-pandemic volumes.

“Despite the market’s reaction to this pandemic, the port is in an enviable position in that we’re not having to tap our reserves or reduce operational levels,” said Port Executive Director Kristine A. Zortman. “Still, we are keeping a close eye on global conditions and will be adjusting things as needed as we continue to monitor this turbulent time.”

Foss Maritime Announces Website Update

This week, Foss Maritime unveiled a new and improved website that it hopes will help customers and vendors better navigate www.foss.com and give them a better understanding of the marine services they offer.

The newly enhanced site done in collaboration with Aukema & Associates of Seattle features more resources for customers, more information of Foss’ offerings and the markets and regions it serves and a new look at its Tow Bitts News blog.

“Foss has evolved in the past many years, as have our service offerings,” said Jeff Horst, the company’s vice president of sales and marketing. “The new site is a reflection of our growth and the changes at Foss. The updated website is part of a larger effort to tell the Foss story; not just our nearly 135-year history, but who we are now, and how we continue to expand and improve.”

The website offers a deeper look at Foss’ various services, including harbor services and shipyard building, repair and maintenance and marine transportation and logistics.

It also highlights the company’s marine engineering and naval architecture services, which encompass project management, consulting, inspection and feasibility studies.

Beyond global services, the improved site also has a region-specific section for customers based in Washington, Oregon, California, Hawaii, Alaska and the Gulf Coast. Those customers can now conveniently access those pages for information about Foss services in their area and who to contact.

“It’s been an exciting time at Foss,” Horst said. “With more ASD 90 tugs on the horizon, the expansion of our service offerings, and an ever-increasing ability to take on the world’s most complex transportation and marine engineering projects, it was time that our website represented the company’s full capabilities.”

Oakland Marine Terminal Reports Major Air Pollution Reductions

Terminal operator Stevedoring Services of America at the Port of Oakland saw diesel emissions drop 95 percent by upgrading its 1,000-horsepower diesel engines with those that run on 142-horsepower diesel electric hybrid models, the port announced Aug. 24. Upgrading to the hybrid model has resulted in a decrease of 1,200 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually from each crane, as well as a 93 percent reduction of diesel fuel usage.

“Retrofitting our rubber-tire gantry cranes to battery power produced remarkable results,” said Ken Larson, crane manager at SSA Marine’s Oakland International Container Terminal. “We’re impressed with the huge drop in emissions from equipment that we regularly use on the marine terminal.”

This is the first project of its kind at SSA terminals, the Port of Oakland’s biggest terminal operator, the port said.

Richard Sinkoff, the port’s director of Environmental Programs and Planning, said the project fits ideally in the port's Seaport Air Quality 2020 and Beyond Plan and hopes it will serve as a model for other marine terminals to follow.

Friday, September 4, 2020

Underway Again

By Dave Abrams, Managing Editor

“Make All Preparations To Get Underway” was a phrase I heard every time my first ship, the USS Kidd (DDG-993), was about to start its next mission. Everyone knew what the line meant, what their immediate job was, and the ship would spring to life with activity. That’s the phrase that was going through my mind as I concluded the deal with Philips Publishing to take over the on-line newsletters of their iconic publications, Pacific Maritime Magazine and Fishermen’s News.

I’m Dave Abrams, CEO and owner of Training Resources Maritime Institute, a maritime training school headquartered in San Diego. Although I am relatively new to the industry, having taken over the company in 2018, I quickly became a fan of Pacific Maritime and Fishermen’s News, and those publications helped me come up to speed on the industry. So when I learned that Philips Publishing was going to wind down their operations, I reached out to Chris and Peter Philips to thank them for their contributions, and see if there was an opportunity to revive the publications. That was 5 weeks ago.

My core business mission is training and education. Education is the sharing of past knowledge and experiences. News is the sharing of current knowledge and experiences. (Just making a point, not intended to offend any educators who I am sure share current knowledge as well!). So to expand into the news business was really just an extension of the current mission.

I am fortunate to be able to keep the same team that had been putting together both the PMM On Line and FN On Line newsletters, and even more fortunate to have Peter Philips as my advisor and educator. I feel privileged and honored to be able to carry on part of the legacy that the Philips family built over decades and will do my best to execute our new mission and make them proud.

So we are underway. I’ve not driven this ship before so please bear with me as I figure out how she handles. But thank you shipmates, for joining me on this voyage, and please feel free to reach out to me with your thoughts and ideas of how we can make Pacific Maritime OnLine and Fishermen’s News OnLine better for you. Be safe out there.

You can reach Dave Abrams at dave@maritimepublishing.com

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Drive-up COVID-19 Testing Now Open to L.B. Waterfront Workers

Truck drivers, longshoremen and those working at the Port of Long Beach now have convenient access to free drive-up COVID-19 testing within the Harbor District.

Testing is now available from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 4 to 7 p.m. weekdays at a vacant lot at 2100 W. Anaheim St. Thanks to funding from the port, Long Beach’s Department of Health and Human Services is able to provide as many as 200 free COVID-19 tests a day. This site is in addition to five other testing locations throughout Long Beach, as well as mobile tests for those who can not leave their homes.

The port is focused on the health and well-being of its entire workforce, said Port Executive Director Mario Cordero.

“These are the men and women who keep cargo moving and ensure the safe delivery of goods and healthcare supplies to the rest of the country,” Cordero said. “We hope this free COVID-19 testing site will provide another layer of assurance for our labor and industry partners.”

Port workers can register on-site. The general public may also have access to this site but must make an appointment at http://www.longbeach.gov/health/diseases-and-condition/information-on/coronavirus/covid-19-testing or at 562-570-INFO.

Fishermen Required to Alert USCG Before Crossing Bar Restriction

Before approaching a bar restriction, commercial fishermen must alert U.S. Coast Guard watch standers of their arrival or face a stiff penalty.

Fishermen will need to reach the Coast Guard via VHF-FM channel 16 or 22A and give them the name of their vessel, their location, where they are going, how many people are on board and any vessel limitations. They also must notify the agency of whether or not they safely transited after they cross. Life jackets or immersion suits must be worn while crossing a restricted bar.

Lt. Carl Eschler, investigations division of Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Portland, stressed the importance of alerting the agency, adding that five commercial fishing vessels have capsized while crossing a restricted bar along the Oregon Coast since 2016, resulting in ten mariner deaths.

"Had the Coast Guard been aware that these vessels were crossing the bar when these hazardous conditions were present, Coast Guard assets could have been on scene and ready to assist as needed to ensure a safe crossing of the bar,” Eschler said in a statement. “Contacting the Coast Guard prior to crossing a restricted bar between sunset and sunrise is more than just a good idea for commercial fishermen, it is a requirement."

Those who don’t comply could face a maximum civil penalty of $25,000, according to the agency.

Visit https://www.weather.gov/pqr/AllBars for more on restricted bars.

Regional Examination Centers Reopen in Hawaii, Alaska and Long Beach

Mariners needing to get or update their credentials will now be able to book an appointment with the National Maritime Center’s newly reopened Regional Examination Centers in Honolulu and Juneau, and Monitoring Unit Ketchikan. The REC in Long Beach, California will be opening on Tuesday, September 8.

However, mariners will have to remotely book exams by appointment since walk-in appointments and in-person delivery of applications won’t be accepted, according to a letter from U.S. Coast Guard Commanding Officer Captain Kirsten R. Martin.

When mariners come for their appointment, they will be tested for COVID-19 and those with symptoms won’t be allowed in the center or monitoring unit. They must wear a face covering during the appointment and examination, or they will be asked to leave and be subject to a failing grade. When the appointment is being made, the center or monitoring unit must be told if a documented health issue exists that stops the test-taker from wearing a face covering.

Test-takers should come with No. 2 pencils, a non-programmable calculator and plotting equipment. Personal belongings will be prohibited in the testing facility.

The Customer Service Center will operate from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST Monday to Friday and can be reached at 1-888-IASKNMC (427-5662) and IASKNMC@uscg.mil.

Mariners can reach out to REC Honolulu at rechonolulu@uscg.mil, REC Juneau at 907-463-2458 and MU Ketchikan at 907-225-4496, Ext. 3. REC Long Beach can be reached at reclb@uscg.mil.

Port of Bellingham to Expand Emergency Ferry Service

To help Whatcom County residents affected by the recent Canadian border closure, the Port of Bellingham announced Wednesday that it will offer more of its temporary, emergency passenger-only ferry service for free twice a week to and from Point Roberts marina and the Bellingham Cruise Terminal starting Sept. 8.

The move allows the port to offer access to residents who have not been able to get at essential goods and services after the coronavirus pandemic led the Canadian government to close its borders.

While not physically attached to the U.S., Point Roberts is part of Whatcom County and can only be reached via car through Canada, or directly via plane or boat. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last March, however, U.S./Canada border restrictions have been in place and are expected to continue until at least Sept. 21.

Port officials have been working on a border exemption for U.S. residents in Point Roberts by teaming with the county’s Federal Delegation and a cross-border task force. This two-hour ferry service between Point Roberts and Bellingham was a way to quickly address the issue.

San Juan Cruises’ 100-foot vessel Salish Express will provide ferry rides for residents who need to shop for goods, make doctor visits and run essential errands. Rides will take place on Tuesdays and Fridays. Reservations will be required and offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations can be made for rides through the end of the month. From the ferry, residents can connect via WTA near the Bellingham Cruise Terminal at Fairhaven Station. Face masks will be required on the ferry and any transit connection.

Visit www.portofbellingham.com/pointrobertsferry for more.

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.