Friday, November 27, 2020

Thanksgiving Kindness from CMA CGM,
Port of L.A.

Thanks to the Port of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Port Police and the CMA CGM Group, area families were able to receive 2,000 turkeys this past weekend and three homeless shelters were given 300 meals on Thanksgiving Day.

Last week, port police and LoVLA members gave out 18-pound frozen turkeys to folks in San Pedro and Wilmington, while LAPD delivered turkeys in South Los Angeles. On Thanksgiving Day, port police delivered 300 meals to Wilmington A Bridge Home, Salvation Army’s Sunrise Shelter in San Pedro and San Pedro A Bridge Home run by Harbor Interfaith.

“Families across the Los Angeles region—including our local Harbor community—have endured many unforeseen challenges in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “We hope these donations made possible by CMA CGM will bring a bit of joy and comfort to our community.”

CMA CGM donated the food as part of a larger effort to feed over 35,000 people during the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S.

“CMA CGM has a long tradition of giving back to the communities we serve,” said Ed Aldridge, President of CMA CGM America. “There is no doubt that COVID-19 has fundamentally changed how all of us will experience Thanksgiving this year and while it remains an uncertain time, the CMA CGM Group is honored to help Los Angeles families celebrate this important holiday. We are particularly grateful to the Port of Los Angeles and Los Angeles Port Police who are helping make distribution and delivery possible.”

AltaSea at Port of L.A. Celebrates Giving Tuesday

AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles will present a Dec. 1 webinar on the role that incubators such as AltaSea play on ocean economy and sustainability.

Featured guests include Giving Pledge philanthropist Melanie Lundquist, Los Angeles City Councilmember and President Pro Tempore of the Los Angeles City Council Joe Buscaino.

“Having AltaSea in my district is important not only as an economic driver in our local community, but also the entire Southern California region,” said Buscaino. “California has been the birthplace of innovation from the entertainment industry to Silicon Valley, and I am proud that my council district is the home of ocean innovation and the emerging blue economy.”

AltaSea’s CEO Tim McOsker, Founding Executive Director Jenny Krusoe, and Manager of Advancement Robin Aube will also be featured.

“Having Melanie Lundquist and Councilmember Buscaino on our side is an honor, and their contributions are a huge reason that AltaSea continues to exponentially grow,” said McOsker. “Their generosity helps push AltaSea further into the national spotlight as a leader in the fight for a cleaner ocean and a bluer economy.”

The webinar will take place at 10 a.m. PST on Dec. 1. Space is limited so pre-registration is required. Visit AltaSea-Project-Blue.org/webinars/ to sign up.

Imports Up at NWSA

Imports in October rose 4.7 percent from the same time a year ago at the ports of Seattle and Tacoma, according to new numbers released earlier this month by the Northwest Seaport Alliance.

NWSA is attributing the rise to retailers restocking goods in preparation for the holiday shopping season. The alliance expects shipper demand to stay strong through the end of the year.

Overall, the ports moved 296,892 TEUs last month, a 4.2 percent drop from October 2019.

So far, the NWSA has handled more than 2.7 million TEUs this year, down 15.6 percent compared to 2019. Loaded imports and exports fell 13.2 percent and 14.4 percent, respectively.

The ports recently welcomed Ray-Mont Logistics to Seattle Harbor, where the Montreal freight forwarding and logistics firm is opening its first U.S. transload terminal. The company has expertise in agricultural bulk goods.

NOAA Seeks Members

NOAA is looking for as many as four potential members for its Ocean Exploration Advisory Board. The committee consults the NOAA administrator on ocean exploration-related issues, including strategic planning, exploration priorities and competitive grant programs. Committee members will also be able to weigh in on the development of a national program of ocean exploration.

Applicants should be experts in “scientific research relevant to ocean exploration, including marine archaeology, or ocean-science education and communication,” according to NOAA.

Dec. 9 is the deadline to submit applications to serve a three-year term that is renewable one time. There will be three to four meetings annually, besides subcommittee, task force and working group meetings.

For more, visit https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/11/09/2020-24045/solicitation-of-applications-for-the-ocean-exploration-advisory-board-oeab.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

USCG Suspends Search for Missing Officer

The search for a Tulalip Tribal Police Department Officer who went missing in the waters near Naval Station Everett on the Snohomish River has been suspended, the U.S. Coast Guard announced Thursday.

“The Coast Guard and our Navy, state, local and Tribal partners saturated the waters of the Snohomish River to locate the missing police officer, but unfortunately we were not able to find him after an extensive search,” said Lt. Zachary Kearney, the Sector Puget Sound command duty officer. “The decision to suspend a search is one of the most difficult decisions the Coast Guard has to make. We search as if one of our own is missing. Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the missing Tulalip Tribal officer.”

The officer was one of two men whose 26-foot work skiff had capsized Tuesday. The crew were encountering rough seas and were taking water over the bow, the agency said.

Navy Whidbey Island Search and Rescue found the vessel submerged about 2 feet below the water line, the USCG said. The survivor, who was found near Hat Island and sent for medical care, said he last saw his partner a half hour before being recovered.

If anyone has information about the missing officer, contact Sector Puget Sound at 206-217-6001.

Cargo Volumes Up at Port of Los Angeles

The Port of Los Angeles saw its busiest month in history last month, when the nation’s busiest seaport handled 980,729 TEUs, according to the latest numbers released last week.

That’s 27.3 percent more than October 2019, an increase port officials are attributing to retailers stocking up for the holiday shopping season. The previous record took place in August with 961,833 TEUs.

Los Angeles moved 506,613 TEUs in loaded imports and 143,936 TEUs of loaded exports last month.

“Overall volume has been strong yet the trade imbalance remains a concern,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “For every three and a half containers that are imported into Los Angeles from abroad, only one container leaves filled with U.S. exports. One-way trade will not put Americans back to work and it adds logistical challenges to the supply chain.”

But with COVID-19 cases trending upward, significant swings in the supply chain are likely to continue, Seroka said. “With COVID-19 cases on the rise nationwide, the U.S. economic outlook remains uncertain,” Seroka said. “Volume swings like the one we are seeing are an outgrowth of this uncertainty. We are using Port Optimizer™ data and the expertise of our supply chain partners to prepare for a range of scenarios to respond to market demands in the months ahead.”

Port of Seattle Passes 2021 Budget

The Port of Seattle Commission recently passed its 2021 budget and a five-year, $3.7 billion capital improvement plan focused on economic recovery and investment in the face of COVID-19 and the uncertainty it brings.

“Sticking to our core mission is the best way the Port can respond to the COVID-19 crisis and build an equitable recovery,” said Port of Seattle Commission President Peter Steinbrueck. “This budget invests in the most fundamental lines of business at the Port, work that no other government in the region is set up to do, to help our community survive this crisis and thrive in the coming recovery.”

About 35 percent of the port’s funding is dedicated to capital projects. The five-year plan includes installing COVID-19 safety measures for cruise terminals, bringing shore power to the Pier 66 cruise terminal, enhancing commercial fishing berths 6 & 8 at Terminal 91, developing a new Maritime Innovation Center at Fishermen’s Terminal and designing the upland maritime industrial development at Terminal 91, according to the port.

In 2021, the Northwest Seaport Alliance will start the first phase of efforts to prepare Terminal 5 in West Seattle for the arrival of bigger ships.

“Even as we manage the uncertainty of COVID, we are steering our way towards a positive and transformative year,” said Executive Director Steve Metruck. “Tough economic times forced us to focus our investments to deliver the greatest impact. We will come out of this pandemic stronger, more resilient, and more aware of how we can address inequity in our region.”

Monday, November 23, 2020

Port of Camas-Washougal Nets Grant

The Port of Camas-Washougal recently garnered a $3 million Economic Development Administration grant, which will allow the port to build a new 50,000-square foot industrial building for area manufacturing companies that will be divided into 15 separate 3,300-square-foot bays.

The port was able to obtain this funding with the help of Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell.

The project is expected to generate 130 jobs and $10.6 million in private investment. It will also help bolster economic activity in the area and draw more business to the port’s industrial park in Washougal.

There’s been a demand for more industrial space in recent years, prompting the port to double its industrial space to over 340,000 square feet. This translated into the construction of four industrial buildings totaling 145,000 square feet and the acquisition of two industrial buildings totaling 41,344 square feet. Visit https://portcw.com/available-real-estate/ for more.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Port of Olympia Makes Operational Changes

As COVID-19 cases rise, the Port of Olympia is quickly making some operational changes in alignment with Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s coronavirus restrictions.

The port’s administrative office will stay closed to the public and commission meetings will continue to happen remotely. Meeting information can be found at http://portolympia.com/89/Commission.

While Swantown Marina is operational, its offices will be closed and services will be contactless (phone/email/website). Onsite Maintenance and Harbor Operations workers will be social distancing. The marine fueling station will continue operating, while Harbor Patrol operations have been halted until further notice. For more, call 360-528-8049.

Swantown Boatworks office and work yard is open with onsite workers who will be social distancing. Services can be conducted through office service window, telephone, email, or website. For more, call 360-528-8059.

The Marine Terminal will stay open but terminal access is limited. Ship visits and public tours have been canceled, the port said.

Port of Hueneme to Begin One-Year Pilot

The Port of Hueneme has started a one-year pilot program to demonstrate the ability to complete the cold-treatment process of blueberries, the port announced earlier this month.

The Southern California port is known for receiving refrigerated produce but by handling the cold-treatment process on-port, the service lowers the cost of moving the blueberries, curbs a significant amount of greenhouse gases and 2.2 million vehicle miles traveled cross-country and helps California and Peruvian farmers, the port said.

“This new opportunity is not only a game changer for our blueberry partners, but also will help reduce air emissions across the U.S. and spur local job creation, a win-win-win,” said Oxnard Harbor District Board President Jess J. Ramirez. The blueberries will come from Peru’s Callao and Paita Ports through the port for West Coast consumers. “I would like to thank our partners at USDA, CDFA, and Ventura County Agricultural Commissioner Ed Williams for their collaboration and faith in our Port to bring this program to fruition,” said Kristin Decas, CEO & Port Director. “This new pilot program will enable blueberries to come directly to the West Coast from Peru during the growing off-season in the United States, benefiting consumers and local blueberry companies alike.”

USS Wayne E. Meyer was Successfully Undocked

Earlier this month, Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer was successfully undocked by Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility, thanks to the shipyard and ship crew members, it was announced.

Wayne E. Meyer, which is home-ported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, will finish the final stages of its DSRA pier-side, according to the Navy.

“I could not be more proud of the fantastic teamwork executed by the shipyard, the crew and our partners at Vigor Marine,” said Capt. Greg Burton, PHNSY & IMF Commanding Officer. “I’m looking forward to seeing the team finish the availability strong and get Wayne E. Meyer back to the fleet ready for tasking.”

This is the first time PHNSY & IMF has partnered with West Coast-based Vigor Marine as the prime contractor.

“Vigor has been able to successfully execute Wayne E. Meyer’s availability through early planning, constant communication, and teamwork, partnering with our government project management team as well as successful management of the same subcontractors who've worked at PHNSY & IMF for many years," said Tom Freeman, deputy project manager for Vigor.

October Imports Were Up at Port of Oakland

Cargo volumes at the Port of Oakland were up 5.8 percent last month, the port announced Wednesday.

The Northern California seaport handled 216,686 TEUs last month, a 5.8 percent increase from October 2019’s 204,880 TEUs. Imports for October rose 10.4 percent while exports dipped 0.5 percent year over year.

Port officials are attributing its growing import numbers to changing consumer spending habits driven by the pandemic, with much of those imports coming from Asia. Retailers are bracing for another wave of potential factory closures and are stocking up goods.

“We’re cautiously optimistic because our industry partners are pointing to continued strong import demand heading into 2021,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director Bryan Brandes. “Peak season is here, and we’re seeing retailers stocking up on as much product as possible.”

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Port of Everett Commission Passes 2021 Fiscal Plan

The Port of Everett Commission recently passed a $61 million budget for 2021 that accounts for the pandemic and focuses on a series of projects that enhances the waterfront.

The port expects a reduction of revenue due to economic impacts stemming from COVID-19, including the slowing of cargo movement and aerospace production. Despite the setback, the port will remain bullish in its capital improvement projects, including 74 projects that push the port’s Strategic Initiatives. They include ongoing plans to modernize the seaport, bringing jobs back to the former Kimberly-Clark mill site and developing a new mixed-use waterfront community at Waterfront Place.

The plan calls for $93.6 million in investment through 2025.

Port of Portland Working to Bring Jobs to Gresham

The Port of Portland Commission recently agreed to engage with Specht Development Inc. and Colas Development Group on a Master Development Agreement that would market, develop and attract businesses and more jobs to Gresham, with an eye toward diversity.

“We want this development project to not just bring more quality jobs to East Multnomah County, but to attract businesses that provide stability and career growth so people in the region can support themselves and their families,” said Keith Leavitt, chief commercial officer at the port. “We are grateful we found committed partners who have the background and expertise to help us accomplish this.”

The agreement focuses on marketing and developing the 48 acre-Gresham Vista Lot 5, one of the remaining large lots undeveloped among the port’s properties, as a manufacturing-focused business park.

“We are pleased and excited to partner with Colas, the Port of Portland, the City of Gresham, and our extended project team, to pursue development projects on the 48-acre Lot 5 site in the Gresham Vista Business Park,” said Gregory Specht, president and founder of Specht Development. “This unique partnership allows Colas the opportunity to pursue larger-scale industrial real estate developments and another opportunity for Specht to create a significant number of Quality Jobs while also meeting much needed DEI goals.”

AAPA Recognizes Apprenticeships
in Maritime Industry

In honor of National Apprenticeship Week, the American Association of Port Authorities wanted to spotlight the significance of apprentices in the maritime industry and urged stakeholders to expand apprenticeship training.

“Seaport industry employers and their maritime and supply chain industry partners are facing the converging forces of an aging workforce, rapid technology advances, acceleration of rapid ‘on-demand’ distribution of goods, and a decades-long lack of students entering the industry,” said Mary Beth Long, AAPA's marketing and workforce development vice president. “AAPA strongly supports apprenticeships and related training programs. We’re working with ports and multimodal transportation, distribution and logistics employers nationwide to create apprenticeship-based career pathways that meet employers’ critical workforce needs and pay workers a family-supporting wage."

The U.S. Department of Labor recently awarded AAPA a “Closing the Skills Gap” grant of almost $6 million to coordinate apprenticeships throughout the maritime sector.

“This country currently faces a skills gap and overall talent shortage in the number of qualified workers to meet the workforce demand across America’s critical seaport industry,” said Long. “AAPA strongly encourages its members and industry partners to join us in supporting apprenticeship training programs through adoption of, and direct investment and enrollment of their personnel in, workforce and professional development training.”

Port of Long Beach Achieves Single-Month Record

For the first time in its history, the Port of Long Beach handled over 800,000 cargo containers in a single month last month, according to new numbers released by the port.

The 806,603 TEUs processed by the port was 17.2 percent more than October 2019.

From that overall number, 402,408 TEUs were imported last month, a 19.4 percent increase from the same time last year, while 114,679 TEUs were exported, a 12.9 percent decrease.

Meanwhile, empty containers were up 31.8 percent to 289,517 TEUs.

The port is attributing the rise in cargo to retailers getting ready from the holiday season, an increase in e-commerce and higher demand for gardening and pet equipment, as well as musical instruments.

“The peak holiday shipping season is supporting our ongoing recovery and record highs, but we are now facing a new wave of COVID-19 cases spreading across the country and remain locked in a trade dispute with China,” said Port Executive Director Mario Cordero. “We are optimistic about the gradual economic recovery while bracing for any shocks still to come.”

Friday, November 13, 2020

Watch Out for Frost Buildup on Moored Ships

U.S. Coast Guard officials in Alaska are asking mariners to remember to clean off buildup of snow and ice from moored vessels, which could cause stability risk and potential sinking, damage and pollution if left unattended.

While out on the water in the winter, mariners should wear proper personal protective equipment such as a life jacket. Mariners should also conduct regular vessel cheks and update owner information with the harbor or marina.

“Ice and snow can clog cockpit drains causing additional weight loads that can push the waterline over scuppers and through hulls,” said Michael Folkerts, boating safety specialist for the 17th Coast Guard District. “A common cause of harbor sinkings are frozen and subsequently cracked through hulls and failed fittings. Winter conditions can be rough on boats, and boaters need to take extra precautions.”

Dredging is Underway at Charleston
Marina Complex

With the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay launching its dredging work at the Charleston Marina Complex near the Point Adams Facility and the Russell Marine fuel dock, mariners should tread carefully as they move in the inner basin and near the outflow pipe in the Marina Complex and within the Coos Bay Harbor.

Dredging, which is expected to take place through the rest of the year, is being done to improve navigability and accessibility within the area. Within the inner basin, orange pencil buoys mark the outflow pipe, which expands into the bay from the marina, and is marked with four large, white floats, the port said.

Mariners should move carefully near the dredge pipe area and should reach out to port dredging crews for more instruction and help in navigation at 541-294-1555 or 541-294-3234.

Port of Everett Welcomes Return
of Pulp Cargo Business

The Port of Everett Seaport recently saw the return of pulp cargo for the first time in 15 years with Westwood Shipping Lines vessels exporting the product through the deep-water port.

The regular pulp export shipments stems from an agreement to move 8,000 tons of the product monthly through 2021, the port said.

The port credits its recent investments in on-dock rail and cargo handling equipment and its long-term partnerships with Westwood Shipping Lines, Jones Stevedoring, BNSF railroad and an ILWU workforce who conducted test shipments for securing the new business.

The port now receives pulp bales on a weekly basis as it travels by rail from BC, Canada and later loaded onto a vessel headed to China.

Matson Posts Latest Numbers

Honolulu-based Matson Inc. posted a net income of $107.5 million for the nine months ending Sept. 30, and consolidated revenue of more than $1.6 billion.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Matt Cox said Matson's businesses continued to perform well in the third quarter despite ongoing challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic effects.

“Our China service, consisting of the CLX and CLX+ services, was the primary driver of the increase in consolidated operating income year-over-year as a result of strong demand for our expedited ocean services and ongoing challenges in the transpacific air freight markets,” Cox said. “I am confident that we can make the CLX+ a permanent service because of Matson's 15-year track record of operating our industry leading expedited CLX service in the transpacific trade lane, the introduction of our new Alaska-to-Asia Express (AAX) service for Alaska seafood exports to Asia as part of the CLX+ westbound return trip to China, and the likelihood of continued favorable transpacific trade lane supply and demand dynamics going forward."

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

NOAA to Seek Input on AOAs Near SoCal,
Gulf of Mexico

NOAA is asking the public to weigh in on the creation of Aquaculture Opportunity Areas in federal waters near Southern California and the Gulf of Mexico, as well as suggestions for future AOA sites.

The public will have until Dec. 22 to submit comments.

This announcement comes after the May release of an Executive Order on Promoting American Seafood Competitiveness and Economic Growth. NOAA Fisheries Assistant Administrator Chris Oliver last month said that growing the nation’s aquaculture industry is critical to expanding and stabilizing the sustainable seafood supply during uncertain environmental and economic times. It provides quality jobs, economic opportunities and a boost in seasonal tourism and commercial fishing.

For more, visit https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/aquaculture-opportunity-areas.

For questions about the RFI, reach out to Diane Windham, Aquaculture Coordinator, California NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region at diane.windham@noaa.gov.

USCG Cutter Alert Completes Patrol

The 210-foot medium-endurance cutter, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Alert, recently returned to Astoria, Oregon, from a 60-day living marine resources patrol that stretched from Humboldt County to the Southern Maritime Border with Mexico.

The crew members, who were there to support the Coast Guard’s Ocean Steward and Ocean Guardian strategic guidance, boarded 38 vessels and reported compliance that resulted in 47 violations. Cutter Alert found 30 safety violations and canceled three commercial fishing vessels that were deemed unsafe. The crew also issued 17 living marine resources violations.

“I’m extremely proud of the Alert crew for their dedication and devotion to duty during our living marine resources patrol off the coast of California,” said Cmdr. Tyson Scofield, the Alert’s commanding officer. “The fishing industry is a vital component of the West Coast economy, and the Coast Guard is ready to keep the industry safe and sustainable. Alert’s first District 11 Living Marine Resources patrol in several years was a resounding success, paving the way for future major cutter operations in the region.”

Area Groups Net Port of Los Angeles Grants

Four organizations were recently awarded grants totaling $209,169 from the Port of Los Angeles’ Harbor Community Benefit Foundation grants program, which funds programs serving Wilmington and San Pedro communities.

“The grants awarded this year are going to an impressive group of organizations with a strong commitment to making an immediate and real impact on the health and sustainability of our port communities,” said Harbor Commission President Jaime Lee. “We look forward to seeing the results of these programs in the months ahead.” Grants include $75,000 to Los Angeles Walks for the Safe Streets Community Promotora Education Program, which seeks to improve air quality and make neighborhoods safer for walkers and those who don’t use vehicles.

They also include $34,169 to Wilmington Community Clinic’s asthma program, $60,000 to South Bay Center for Counseling to turn a vacant lot to an urban community greenspace and $40,000 to Sharefest Community Development, Inc., according to the port.

Port of Everett to Relocate Cranes

Later this month, the Port of Everett plans to move a pair of 100-foot gauge cargo cranes from the upland yard storage to its new home at the newly upgraded South Terminal Wharf.

Crane relocation is expected to happen between Nov. 18 and Nov. 25.

The two 214-foot-tall electric cranes - which the port purchased from Everport Terminal for $1 each and spent about nearly $6 million to transport - were in upland storage to undergo system upgrades before the move to the wharf.

After they are relocated, workers will install the cranes, as well as conduct electrical work and operational testing so the equipment will be ready for service. The cranes should be operational at the terminal by the end of the year, the port said.

“These cranes are a game changer for the Port and our region,” port Chief Operating Officer Carl Wollebek, told PMM back in May. “Putting them into use at our upgraded terminal keeps us nimble and competitive as the industry continues to send larger ships and heavier cargo to our docks.”

Friday, November 6, 2020

Auction of Former Evergreen State Ferry
Set for Nov. 17

The M/V Dream, also known as the former 310-foot Evergreen State ferry, will be auctioned to the highest bidder on Nov. 17.

The U.S. Marshal arrested the vessel Sept. 15 at the behest of the Port of Olympia because of almost $67,000 in unpaid dockage and fees.

The decommissioned ferry came to the port in April 2018. The port, which had not received payment from the owner since January, placed a lien against the vessel ferry. In June, the port tried to work with the owner who was seeking potential buyers, but the owner came up short.

The port had the vessel arrested. Marine Lender Services LLC is the substitute custodian.

Bidding will begin at $50,000. Cash will not be accepted. Payment must be made by certified check to U.S. Marshals Service by 4 p.m. on the sale day.

Those attending the auction must wear masks and practice social distancing. The vessel will be auctioned “as is where is.” Marine Lenders Services, LLC can arrange live previews for potential buyers on Nov. 9-10 at the Port of Olympia by calling 206-284-9930 and buck@marinelendersservices.com. The buyer needs to move the vessel within 48 hours of purchase or up to two weeks of temporary moorage for qualified buyers.

For more, visit http://www.portolympia.com/487/Vessel-Auction---November-17-2020.

CMTS to Host Webinar, Publish Catalogs on Handling COVID-19 in Maritime Industry

The Committee on Marine Transportation System will host a webinar on COVID-19 Testing Strategies for U.S. Merchant Mariners from 2 to 3:30 p.m. EST on Nov. 18. The remote event will feature speakers such as Maritime Administration Administrator RADM Mark Buzby and Marine Transportation Systems Director Mike Emerson, as well as Samantha Case, an epidemiologist from the CDC/NIOSH Center for Maritime Safety and Health Studies, and Dr. Kara Tardivel, a medical officer for the CDC/Maritime Unit, Division of Global Migration and Quarantine.

The webinar will touch on various topics, such as background data on the pandemic, types of COVID-19 testing for US Merchant Mariners and how reliable and available the testing is and CDC recommendations for US Merchant Mariners.

To check out the webinar, go to https://usdot.webex.com/join/nuns.jain or call 404-443-2170; with Access Code:60061206. Make sure to log in 30 minutes before the webinar starts to download any plug-ins and ensure Webex compatibility.

The webinar comes at the heels of three reference catalogs published in late October by the CMTS to help U.S. merchant mariners and the Marine Transportation System. They include "Catalog of COVID-19 Federal Guidance and References for the U.S. Maritime Industry," "Catalog of COVID-19 Best Management Practices for the U.S. Maritime Industry," and "Catalog of Mental Health Resources for U.S. Merchant Mariners and Critical Workforce in the Marine Transportation System."

Email C19WG@cmts.gov to provide feedback on the catalogs. Visit https://www.cmts.gov/topics/working_group for more on the webinar and catalogs.

Los Angeles Seeking Clean Tech Proposals for Port

To advance efforts to make trucks serving the San Pedro Bay seaport complex a zero-emissions fleet by 2035, Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti is putting out a new Request for Information seeking proposals to expand clean technology at the Port of Los Angeles. “We can only turn the tide on the climate crisis if we work across every sector to reduce dangerous emissions, protect vulnerable neighborhoods from the perils of pollution, and rev up our investments in clean energy,” said Garcetti. “Our RFI sends a strong signal: Los Angeles is a laboratory for new technology, a pioneering destination for sustainability, and a place where we deploy the power of innovation to strengthen lives, secure livelihoods, preserve public health, and lead a just transition toward a greener economy and a more equitable future.”

This effort is driven by the Clean Air Action Plan, a landmark blueprint to aggressively clean up the air pollution generated by port operations and developing clean technology for the trucks that move cargo in and out of the nation’s busiest seaport complex is a major part of those efforts.

Currently, the port is engaged in 16 different zero-emission demonstration projects designed to bring feasible technology to the marketplace, said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka.

”Conversion of the Port drayage fleet to zero-emission technology involves tremendous financial investment and will take the collaboration and commitment of many stakeholders - both public and private - to create a viable market for zero-emissions drayage technology,” he said. “This RFI is designed to recruit the best ideas available to help us serve as a catalyst and make a meaningful impact on climate change."

Applicants have until 4 p.m. on Jan. 7 to submit responses to Tricia Carey at tcarey@portla.org For more, visit https://kentico.portoflosangeles.org/getmedia/9e977a0c-74e1-4afa-b99f-38da05d32955/20201030-POLA-CTP-RFI-(final)

REC Juneau Relocated

Mariners taking their tests in Alaska should be mindful of the Regional Exam Center Juneau’s new location. The center, which is offering limited testing services, has moved from the Mendenhall Mall to the Hurff A. Saunders Federal Building at 709 W. 9th Street, Suite 322, Juneau, AK 99801.

The center’s other contact information stays the same, whether mariners call 907-463-2458, fax at 907-463-2482 or email recjun@uscg.mil. Mariners who want to set up an examination time at REC Juneau should send an email request to recjun@uscg.mil.

For more on REC and Monitoring Unit location, visit the REC page of the National Maritime Center (NMC) website.

The Customer Service Center is open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST. Contact 1-888-IASKNMC (427-5662) or IASKNMC@uscg.mil for more.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Hope is Not a Strategy

By Dave Abrams, Publisher

You all have probably heard that classic interview question, “If you were an animal, what kind of animal would you be?” I’d like to modify that slightly to “If you were a ship, what kind of ship would you be?” According to my wife, I’m a supertanker. And no, it’s not because I’ve packed on a few extra pounds this year. It’s because nothing seems to push me off course. A supertanker is an incredible machine – super calm on top, doesn’t put out a big wake, but the energy to keep it going is incredible. It takes a pretty big sea to get a super tanker rocking around. A big ship like that doesn’t change course easily, and once it is moving in a certain direction, it takes a lot to stop it. Yep, that’s me. OK, so what’s the point?

There are a lot of issues I guess we are supposed to worry about these days. Election results, COVID 19, the economy, climate change, regional conflicts, polar ice caps melting, etc etc. Seems like a never ending string of bad news. (Of course, good news doesn’t sell newspapers!) However, none of that stuff really occupies much of my time. Why you ask? Am I some sort of insensitive, apathetic fool? I don’t think so. I just choose to focus on the things I can control, and not worry about the things I can’t. It’s pretty much that simple. Yes, I am going to do my part to be a good citizen. I vote and I reach out to my elected officials to voice my opinion. But I am not going to let the negative things around me dominate the little amount of extra brain time I have left at the end of every day.

On the flip side of that coin, hope is a great thing. I love sunsets – my daily reminder that tomorrow is another day, and I get a “do over” on all the things I failed to accomplish today. That hope of tomorrow keeps me going. But one of my maxims in life is “Hope is not a strategy.” I can’t simply hope that COVID goes away next year, or that somehow Congress figures out how to actually work together. I can only plan for what I know and can control and try to mitigate the risks that I can’t control. It’s true in business and it’s true in life. November kicks off my annual ritual of budgeting and planning for next year. Many of you are probably doing the same thing. The crystal ball is especially cloudy this time around, so my decisions are based on the data I have available, mixed in with a little bit of “gut feel” and a touch of both hope and skepticism. Shake well and see what comes out! The point is, we can’t wait for things to improve around us, we have to take action to deal with the present and plan for the future based on what we know and believe right now.

I do see a lot of things to be hopeful for. I’ve talked before about my faith in human ingenuity to deal with whatever problems we encounter. I think most people are good people, and at the end of the day I think people agree on more things about life than they disagree on. The media folks certainly don’t portray that message, but it’s certainly true in my own experiences in talking with folks from all walks of life in the maritime world. So I believe we’re going to be OK. For now, my orders are “steady as she goes, and keep your eyes on the horizon.”

Be safe out there.

You can reach Dave Abrams at dave@maritimepublishing.com

L.A. Officials Break Ground on Waterfront Project

Harbor, civic and community officials on Thursday celebrated the launch of the long-awaited Wilmington Waterfront Promenade project.

The $70.8 million project will include making Water Street parallel to the current railroad tracks and other infrastructure upgrades such as new utilities, paving, lighting and landscaping, as well as a promenade, public pier and dock, and playground, according to the port.

“Providing more direct public access to Wilmington’s historic waterfront has been a long-time vision for the Port of Los Angeles, but also for me personally,” said Los Angeles Harbor Commissioner Lucia Moreno-Linares. “As a Wilmington resident for more than 50 years, I am grateful to all who have played a role in keeping this project moving forward.”

The project, set for completion in 2023, also includes a new community park near Banning’s Landing Community Center, seating for visitors, bike racks and drinking fountains.

“We have worked diligently over the years to create more open spaces and recreational areas for the residents of Wilmington,” said 15th District Los Angeles City Councilman Buscaino. “It is most important that we are constantly creating buffers between the Wilmington community and heavy industry. This project will deliver a new waterfront that will be a game changer for Wilmington and the L.A. Waterfront.”

USCG Cutter Polar Star to Head to the Arctic

This winter, the crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star will travel to the Arctic to enforce the nation’s maritime governance and security in the area.

“The Arctic is no longer an emerging frontier, but is instead a region of growing national importance,” said Vice Adm. Linda Fagan, commander of U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area. “The Coast Guard is committed to protecting U.S. sovereignty and working with our partners to uphold a safe, secure, and rules-based Arctic.”

The Polar Star usually heads to Antarctica to aid Operation Deep Freeze, an annual mission to replenish U.S. Antarctic stations and help the National Science Foundation.

This year, resupplying McMurdo Station was postponed because of COVID-19 safety. (A delivery of limited supplies will be sent by aircraft.)

The Coast Guard hopes to resume this operation next year.

Kiewit Infrastructure West Chosen for Hawaii Terminal Project

Kiewit Infrastructure West has been selected to work on the Kapalama Container Terminal Phase 2 project set to begin this spring, the Hawaii Department of Transportation has announced.

The $350 million work will include waterside construction at Piers 40-43 in Honolulu Harbor, which will “add 18.5 acres of fast-land, including 1,860 linear feet of new berthing space for two container ships to dock simultaneously and up to six gantry cranes,” as well as dredging and broadening the basin between Piers 40 and 41, according to the agency. This allows for barge berthing space along Pier 41.

“The Kapalama Container Terminal project is especially exciting because it will add much needed docking and cargo space that will increase efficiency for harbor users, help reduce traffic around Honolulu Harbor, and address sea-level concerns for the facility,” said Jade Butay, director of the Hawaii Department of Transportation. “The Kapalama Container Terminal improvements is a project we can all be proud of.”

The project is expected to be done in late 2023.

“This project is proceeding at a critical time when our state needs it most as we continue fighting COVID-19 and its impacts,” said Gov. David Ige. “The work will be performed by local talent and infuse hundreds of millions of dollars into the local economy, in addition to improving our harbor system that will benefit the state for decades to come.”

Go to http://www.kctinfo.com/ for more.

NOAA, Google Agree to Team on AI Exploration

NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service has inked a three-year contract with Google to team up on pilot projects that will look into how Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning could deepen NOAA’s satellite and environmental data uses, including weather forecasting and climate research.

“Strengthening NOAA’s data processing through the use of big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other advanced analytical approaches is critical for maintaining and enhancing the performance of our systems in support of public safety and the economy,” said acting NOAA administrator Neil Jacobs. “I am excited to utilize new authorities granted to NOAA to pursue cutting-edge technologies that will enhance our mission and better protect lives and property.”

NOAA and Google will start with small-scale systems before pursuing full-scale models that could be used throughout the organization. NOAA employees will also have hands-on AI training opportunities.

"By bringing together NOAA and Google’s expertise and talent, we can both resource and jointly explore AI/ML methods to achieve a more effective use of satellite and other environmental data,” said Mike Daniels, vice president of Global Public Sector, Google Cloud. “Our goal is to increase scientific impact and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of environmental and satellite data by leveraging Google Cloud’s infrastructure and AI/ML know-how. All this will help improve weather forecasting, research and unlock innovation.”

Friday, October 30, 2020

Port of Los Angeles Unveils New Online
Permitting Portal

The Port of Los Angeles wants to make its permitting process easier with a new online portal, permits.portoflosangeles.org.

Last year, the port started developing a way to handle permits online. The new portal is in line with Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Aug. 7 Executive Directive for Contactless Government asking all city departments to offer their services digitally.

The port as the Los Angeles Harbor Department oversees the Harbor District for the city and state under the State Tidelands Trust. The public needs permission from the port for various activities, including “leasing, construction, repairs, demolition, environmental testing, operating Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and hosting events on port property,” according to the port.

Email to developmentpermits@portla.org for more.

USCG Seeks Input on Waterway Closure

U.S. Coast Guard officials are considering a contractor’s request to block a waterway for two weeks to allow them to demolish the old West Sammamish River Bridge at Sammamish River at Mile 0.5 near Kenmore, Washington, the USCG said Wednesday.

The contractor wants to block navigation to the waterway from midnight on Jan. 18, 2021, to 11:59 p.m. on Jan. 31, 2021.

Mariners will need to stay at least 100 yards away from the area while demolition takes place to ensure safety. Maritime first responders will be able to pass as long as they give at least 30 minutes of advance notice, though if contractors are in the middle of a lift operation maritime responders won’t be able to pass until the lift operation is complete.

Mariners have until Nov. 27 to weigh in on the request. Email D13-SMB-D13-BRIDGES@uscg.mil to submit input.

NWSA Moved 308,682 TEUs in September

The Northwest Seaport Alliance - the partnership between the ports of Seattle and Tacoma - handled 308,682 TEUs last month, according to new numbers released Oct. 20.

While the ports handled 11.1 percent fewer shipments overall from the same time a year ago (347,278 TEUs in September 2019), the September numbers represent the ports’ best month of the year. Previous months in 2020 don’t surpass 300,000 TEUs, according to the statistics.

And despite imports falling 6.8 percent year over year, the ports saw their biggest monthly volumes for loaded imports since September 2019 with retailers replenishing goods in preparation for the holiday shopping season, according to NWSA.

Like other ports, the NWSA has experienced the economic effects of the pandemic, with 59 canceled sailing this year.

So far, the gateway has moved more than 2.4 million TEUs in overall volumes for 2020, a decrease of about 16.8 percent from the same time period in 2019.

USCG, State Team to Remove Sunken Vessel
in Hawaii

The U.S. Coast Guard, the State of Hawaii and a vessel owner have been working together to remove a recreational vessel that sank Saturday night in Hawaii Kai.

Sector Honolulu watch standers were alerted about the sunken vessel, which was leaking fuel into the canal. An absorbent boom was used by Hawaii Kai Marina Patrol to stop the fuel spill from spreading.

“The Coast Guard is committed to ocean safety and preservation,” said Chief Warrant Officer Russell Strathern, from Coast Guard Sector Honolulu. “Mitigating the pollution threat and assessing impact is our priority and we are working closely with the state and responsible party throughout the process.”

The vessel owner’s insurance company also responded to the incident, working to curb the environmental impact and prepare the vessel for salvage Tuesday, the agency said.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

NOAA, Alaskan Council Partner
on PORTS System

NOAA and the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council have teamed up to develop the third new Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System, or PORTS system, in an effort to boost maritime safety and efficiency off Valdez, Alaska, NOAA announced earlier this month.

The Valdez PORTS, which marks the 36th system in the national network, will encompass a current NOAA National Water Level Observation Network (NWLON) station at Valdez and a pair of new council run-and-maintained meteorological-ocean buoys that size up “tidal currents, wind, air temperature, water temperature and barometric pressure,” according to the agency. One buoy is at the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company’s Valdez Marine Terminal off Jackson Point. The second buoy is close to the Valdez Duck Flats.

“This new system, and the others like them around the country, reduce ship accidents by more than 50 percent, increase the size of ships that can get in and out of seaports, and reduce traffic delays,” said Steven Thur, acting deputy director of NOAA’s National Ocean Service. “They also provide real-time, resilience-ready data as coastal conditions rapidly change, potentially threatening our coastal communities.”

The Port of Valdez anticipates a rise in commercial ship traffic and passenger cruise ships are in the next five to 10 years, according to NOAA.

“While the council’s sole purpose for installing these buoys is to promote the environmentally safe operation of the Valdez Marine Terminal and associated tankers, we believe the integration of this metocean data into NOAA’s PORTS will benefit and improve safety for a variety of other maritime users,” said Donna Schantz, executive director for the council. “This is another excellent example of how collaborative science can have wide-ranging impacts for the betterment of all.”

USCG Helps Alaskan Fishing Vessel in Distress

U.S. Coast Guard crew members aided a disabled fishing vessel, the 55-foot Elise Marie, taking on water about six miles south of Icy Bay, Alaska, the agency said Wednesday.

A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew sent over a dewatering pump to the vessel to help control the flooding before Coast Guard Cutter John McCormick crew members towed the vessel to Yakutat.

"This successful case highlighted the importance of mariner preparedness," said Lt. Joseph Sullivan-Springhetti, commanding officer of the Coast Guard Cutter John McCormick. "The master has good communication equipment and survival gear onboard, which allowed us to find them quickly, tow them safely, and with confidence.We were also really fortunate to have the support of the Yakutat Police Department, who met us late in the evening and helped bring the vessel in to the pier safely."

Port of Long Beach Posted Busiest Month Ever

Cargo volumes at the Port of Long Beach were up 12.5 percent last month with 795,580 TEUs, marking the port’s busiest month in history, according to new statistics released by the port Oct. 21.

The port also moved 14.3 percent more imports with 405,618 TEUs and 8.7 percent fewer exports with 112,556 TEUs last month when compared to the same time last year. The port also handled 277,406 TEUs last month, 21.2 percent more than September 2019. Long Beach surpassed its previously best record, which took place in July with 753,081 TEUs.

The port is attributing the numbers to rising demand for office equipment and home-improvement goods during the pandemic. The port also saw 92 cargo vessels call at the port last month. Nineteen of them were unscheduled calls, making up for the canceled sailings that happened earlier in the year because of COVID-19.

“Large retail stores are reopening, merchants are stocking up for the winter holidays and the increased use of e-commerce appears to be an enduring trend picked up by consumers during the recent stay-at-home orders,” said Port Executive Director Mario Cordero. “Still, we must move ahead with caution during the remaining months of 2020 because the national economy continues to be heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

West Coast Port Projects Net Federal Grants

West Coast ports were among the more than a dozen agencies receiving over $220 million in port-related improvement grants from the Maritime Administration’s (MARAD) Port Infrastructure Development Program, the U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao announced Oct. 15.

The federal grants will improve America’s ports with nearly half the projects in Opportunity Zones, which were created to revitalize economically distressed communities, according to Chao.

Grant will fund:
  • The Bellingham Shipping Terminal Rehabilitation Project, which received more than $6.8 million toward building a bigger heavy load area and taking away rock outcrops in front of Berth 1.
  • The final phase of the Terminal 5 Uplands Modernization and Rehabilitation Project in Seattle, which netted more than $10.6 million toward surfacing, paving, and reinforcement of a terminal-wide stormwater treatment system and other work.
  • Coos Bay Rail Line Phase II Tie and Surfacing Program in Oregon, which received over $9.8 million.
  • The Marine Terminal Freight Dock & Corridor Improvements in Seward, Alaska, which garnered over $19.7 million toward extending the dock by about 375 feet, allowing for more freight cargo and curbing conflicts between freight and cruise movements onshore and in the harbor.
  • The SR 47-Vincent Thomas Bridge & Harbor Boulevard-Front Street Interchange Improvement Project in Los Angeles, which received $9.88 million.
“Support for this federal grant came from all levels of government,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “We are grateful to the U.S. Department of Transportation, including its Maritime Administration, the members of Congress who represent the Port, and state and local leaders for recognizing the urgent need to modernize this critical junction of the National Highway Freight Network.”

Friday, October 23, 2020

USCG Tells Divers, Mariners to Stay Safe During Spiny Lobster Season

Following two diving-related deaths and a rise in diving activity, the U.S. Coast Guard is asking divers and mariners in the greater Los Angeles area to be safe during California spiny lobster season.

“The importance of boating and diving safety cannot be overstated,” said Cmdr. Johna Rossetti from Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach. “Remember to be safe in anything you do. Taking precautions can increase the chance of helping or finding a diver in the event Coast Guard assistance is needed.”

Divers should never dive alone, be medically assessed before diving, make a diving plan, provide a float plan to a person on land in case divers don’t return on schedule and rehearse procedures in the event of an emergency, according to the agency.

When using commercial dive vessels, divers should make sure the mariner is credentialed and inspected by the USCG. Divers should also curb potential fire hazards on the boat and be mindful of emergency exits on vessels and dive flags when moving in certain areas.

Mariners must report diving incidents to Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach on VHF channel 16 or at 310-521-3801.

POLB Chief is the New AAPA Board Chairman

Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero will serve a two-year term as the chairman of the board of the American Association of Port Authorities.

Cordero was installed at AAPA’s virtual 2020 Annual Convention on Sept. 21-23, taking over for Port of Grays Harbor Executive Director Gary G. Nelson.

Newly elected directors include Port of Vancouver USA CEO Julianna Marler for the U.S. North Pacific Ports Region; Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka for the U.S. South Pacific Ports Region; Saint John Port Authority President and CEO James Quinn for the Canada Ports Region; and Northwest Seaport Alliance CEO John G. Wolfe (representing the North Pacific Ports Region), for the At-Large seat.

In addition to new elected leadership, AAPA is enacting changes recently voted by its members.

That includes expanding board member terms to two years, streamlining the number of board members from 45 to 11, doing away with the executive committee, mandating that only port CEOs or their equals serve and limiting to two the number of positions available to any of AAPA’s seven board-represented geographic regions and special representation areas, according to AAPA.

AAPA will also add an Academia membership category and a Supply Chain Partners category to diversify its network. “By restructuring and modernizing AAPA’s Board of Directors, I believe it’ll vastly improve the association’s ability with regard to policymaking and other governance issues, enabling us to be more nimble, efficient and effective as a hemispheric membership association,” said AAPA President and CEO Christopher J. Connor “In reducing the size of our board, we still have a diversity of ports of varying sizes and geographic locations represented. I think we’ve struck just the right balance so all voices of our member ports will be heard in crafting AAPA policy and programs, both now and in the years to come.”

MARAD Encourages Learning Institutions to Apply for CoE Designation

In an effort to further support the next generation of mariners and maritime personnel, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration is asking learning institutions to apply for a Centers of Excellence designation.

The designation allows MARAD to help community or technical colleges and maritime training facilities in various areas, including recruiting and training more students and educators, upgrading facilities, giving student credit for military service, developing career paths in the maritime industry and augmenting employer-led maritime training practices, according to the agency.

“Exciting career opportunities lie ahead for those entering the maritime field, and many of those new entrants will serve our nation directly, advancing both our national security as well as our nation’s continued economic recovery,” said Maritime Administrator Mark H. Buzby.

Eligible institutions may apply via email to CoEDMWTE@dot.gov and may mail a copy to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration, Deputy Associate Administrator for Maritime Education and Training, Attention: CoE Designation Program,1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20590.

“These educational institutions benefit America’s national security and economy by growing and strengthening our maritime workforce,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

Port of Redwood City Celebrates Commissioners

The Port of Redwood City recently celebrated its three reappointed commissioners and new board officers. Incumbent commissioners Richard Claire, Ralph A. Garcia and Lorianna Kastrop will continue to serve the port alongside board members Richard Dodge and R. Simms Duncan.

This year, Kastrop will serve as Chair of the Board, while Duncan and Dodge will serve as Vice Chair and Secretary, respectively.

“Our Board of Port Commissioners is the foundation of the port,” said Port Executive Director Kristine A. Zortman. “It is with their dedicated service and leadership that the port continues to thrive as an economic engine for the region, offering waterfront recreation opportunities and serving the Silicon Valley community and beyond.”

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

NOAA to No Longer Make Tide Tables,
Tide Current Tables Printed Publications

NOAA is no longer producing the annual Tide Tables and Tidal Current Tables publications and is replacing them with online services.

Since 1867, NOAA has produced a series of printed publications to provide annual tide predictions or annual tidal current predictions for locations along the coast. The six annual publications affected are:
  1. Tide Tables, East Coast of North and South America Including Greenland
  2. Tide Tables, Europe and West Coast of Africa Including the Mediterranean Sea
  3. Tide Tables, Central and Western Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean
  4. Tide Tables, West Coast of North and South America Including the Hawaiian Islands
  5. Tidal Current Tables, Atlantic Coast of North America
  6. Tidal Current Tables, Pacific Coast of North America and Asia

They are being replaced by online services: NOAA Tide Predictions https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/tide_predictions.html and NOAA Current Predictions https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/noaacurrents/Regions.

The online services provide users with as much or better predictions than their printed counterparts. For example, online services can calculate predictions on demand with the newest data available for a station. Also, new stations can be added on quarterly, instead of waiting once a year to be added, according to the agency.

The online services also allow for far more space for stations, offering over 1,200 tide stations and nearly 1,000 currents stations at which predictions are created from harmonic constants.

With the online services, NOAA will be able to create predictions for at least two calendar years, while printed versions could predict one year into the future. Online versions can also offer predictions for past dates for research, legal, and other uses.

Users can also customize predictions with the online services to tailor them to their preferences, including time zone, units and datum to which heights are referenced.

Port of Coos Bay Nets Grant for Rail Line

The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay will be awarded a federal transportation grant of almost $10 million to improve the Coos Bay Rail Line, the port announced earlier this month.

The grant, funded through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Port Infrastructure and Development Program, will allow the port to “replace approximately 67,000 crossties and resurface main line, sidings, an industrial lead, rail yard and spur tracks with ballast along the 121 miles of track that stretches from Eugene to Coos Bay, Oregon,” according to the port.

Port CEO John Burns thanked Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and Rep. Peter DeFazio for their efforts, adding that their support was critical in receiving the grant.

“Their continued efforts, support, and advocacy have been paramount to the CBRL’s improvement and success,” he said.

Meanwhile, the port has been working on other improvements to the rail line. At the end of this month, the port is expected to finish the $19.5 million Tunnel Rehabilitation Project, a federal and state-funded project that involved structural and track repairs and drainage work in the real line’s nine tunnels. The port is also planning to fully replace two steel bridges, and significantly repair 13 bridges, including three swing span bridges.

Port of Oakland Posts Best September for Imports

The Port of Oakland saw its best September for fully loaded imported cargo last month with 93,916 TEUs, 10.6 percent more than September 2019, which previously held the best September record with 84,901 TEUs, according to new numbers released Oct. 14.

Meanwhile, the port saw a 5 percent increase in exports from the same time a year ago with 75,674 TEUs.

Overall cargo numbers in September were up 9.3 percent to 225,809 year over year, according to the port.

Retailers preparing for the holiday shopping season and demand for consumer goods and pandemic-related products such as PPEs are contributing to a record-shattering month for imports, the port said.

“Several months into this pandemic, we are now seeing positive signs by these cargo volume totals,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director Bryan Brandes. “As retailers make sure shelves are well-stocked, we’re waiting to see if consumers begin shopping early this holiday season.” The port said it is seeing retailers girding themselves for a potential wave of COVID-19 this winter and are stocking up in the event of factory closures and lockdowns.

L.A. Harbor Commissioner Nominated
for Volunteerism

Los Angeles Harbor Commissioner Lucia Moreno-Linares has been nominated for the 2020 Los Angeles Business Journal Volunteer of the Year award, part of the publication’s annual Women’s Leadership Series and Awards.

Moreno-Linares, who was appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti in 2017, is chair of the Wilmington YMCA Council of Managers, and serves on the boards of the L.A. County Small Business Commission and the District Business Commission.

She has volunteered her time with the Wilmington Neighborhood Council, Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, Harbor Watts Economic Development Corporation and Wilmington Senior Citizen Center Task Force. In the early 1990s, she founded Wilmington Business Watch and Vecinos Unidos Neighborhood Watch.

“Whether in business or through volunteerism, Commissioner Moreno-Linares demonstrates every day what true leadership and compassion can be, giving selflessly of her time and talent to so many organizations and causes,” said Los Angeles Harbor Commission President Jaime Lee. “I’m very proud to serve alongside her on the Harbor Commission and have the privilege of calling her my friend and colleague.”

Friday, October 16, 2020

Maritime Admin Warns Mariners of Possible
GPS Interference

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration is alerting mariners that major GPS interference is being reported throughout the world, including possibly unreliable “bridge navigation, GPS-based timing and communication equipment.”

Much of this reporting is coming from the Mediterranean Sea, Persian Gulf, and several ports in China, according to the agency. Vessels reported 37 instances of GPS interference while in the Mediterranean Sea, with 22 reports originating near Egypt.

Before embarking out to sea, mariners are encouraged to visit the U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center or the NATO Shipping Center websites for ways on how to best navigate in the event of GPS interference, including reporting the interference as it’s happening, making note of the latitude/longitude, date, time, how long the outage/disruption lasted and other vital informaiton; and taking pictures or screen shots of equipment failures.

Call 703-313-5900 or go to https://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=gpsUserInput to report any GPS disruptions.

Matson Performed Well in Third Quarter Amid Pandemic

Despite ongoing challenges related to COVID-19, Matson, Inc. performed well in the third quarter, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Matt Cox announced.

"Our China service, consisting of the CLX and CLX+ services, was the primary driver of the increase in consolidated operating income year-over-year as a result of strong demand for our expedited ocean services and ongoing challenges in the transpacific air freight markets,” Cox said in a statement. “I am confident that we can make the CLX+ a permanent service because of Matson's 15-year track record of operating our industry leading expedited CLX service in the transpacific trade lane, the introduction of our new Alaska-to-Asia Express (AAX) service for Alaska seafood exports to Asia as part of the CLX+ westbound return trip to China, and the likelihood of continued favorable transpacific trade lane supply and demand dynamics going forward."

He added that in other core tradelanes, Matson saw an improvement in freight volume in each of the tradelanes from the second quarter amid the height of the pandemic as freight demand got better as local economies reopened.

Although ongoing tourism restrictions and a second shelter-in-place order in the later part of the third quarter affected demand for freight, Hawaii volume reached the level achieved in the previous year quarter, he said. Matson also saw “modestly higher year-over-year volume growth” in Alaska and Guam, while Logistics operating income rose year-over-year.

Port of L.A. Saw Busiest September

The Port of Los Angeles saw its busiest September and quarter ever, according to new cargo numbers released Wednesday.

The nation’s busiest seaport moved 883,625 TEUs last month, 13.3 percent more than September 2019. This past quarter, the port handled more than 2.7 million TEUs.

“Despite unresolved questions about our nation’s health, economy and export strength, imports have improved significantly after a difficult spring,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “I commend our longshore labor force, Los Angeles marine terminal operators, truckers and supply chain stakeholders who continue to rise to the challenge throughout this pandemic.”

The port also moved 17.3 percent more imports last month compared to the same time last year with 471,795 TEUs. Meanwhile, exports dipped 0.3 percent to 130,397 TEUs. Empty containers rose 14 percent to 281,434 TEUs. The 883,625 TEUs in total eclipsed the previous September record of 801,264 set in 2018.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Port of San Diego Plan to Include Cargo-Hauling Traffic Lane

A new version of the Port of San Diego’s Master Plan could include Harbor Drive 2.0, which would redesign the industrial area near Harbor Drive to separate cargo-hauling traffic from regular traffic and move the pollution-spewing trucks away from Barrio Logan and adjacent communities and curb idling.

Harbor Drive 2.0 is being planned for part of Harbor Drive between the north entrance to the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal and the National City Marine Terminal, and span to roads linking Harbor Drive to the highway system.

The concept, which also involves increasing opportunities for more walking, biking and transit use, was approved Oct. 9 by the Board of Port Commissioners in a Memorandum of Understanding with Caltrans and SANDAG.

“The Port Master Plan Update process is all about collaborative planning,” said Port Chair Ann Moore. “Our plans for transportation infrastructure should complement and integrate with broader, regional transportation plans – and Harbor Drive 2.0 is a great example of this approach. I’m very pleased that we are now actively pursuing a concept that came out of our Port Master Plan Update visioning process – the creation of a haul road. This is a smart way to address community concerns about truck traffic while making maritime cargo hauling more efficient.”

The project for Harbor Drive 2.0 could cost roughly between $21 million to $32 million, the port said.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Port of Seattle, Washington Maritime Blue Return to Team on Cohort

Washington Maritime Blue and the Port of Seattle are teaming up for the next cohort of the Maritime Blue Innovation Accelerator and are seeking applicants to join the four-month program, it was announced Thursday.

Founded in 2019, the accelerator allows maritime businesses to grow and find funding by tapping into an international network of mentors and advisors as well as leaders in the state’s maritime industry and ocean economy.

The accelerator is part of a larger effort by the state to become “a thriving, world-class, sustainable maritime industry by 2050,” according to the port. “The Port of Seattle is proud to once again sponsor Washington State’s ongoing effort to spur innovation in the maritime sector,” said Port Commission Vice President Fred Felleman,. “We were inspired by our last cohort of innovators and look forward to seeing how this next round of entrepreneurs will help our region navigate to a more inclusive and sustainable blue economy.”

Businesses may apply for the next cohort through Nov. 20. For more, visit http://maritimeblue.org/blue-accelerator/.

USCG Cutter Steadfast Returns from Eastern Pacific Patrol

Earlier this month, members of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast came back to their homeport of Astoria, Oregon, after 57 days of conducting over 10,000 miles of counter-narcotics patrol, search-and-rescue and protection of marine life in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

While on patrol, the crew approached five suspected smuggling vessels, detained eight drug trafficking suspects and seized roughly $67 million worth of pure cocaine. They unloaded the 3,905 pounds of drugs in San Diego on Oct. 1, according to USCG.

Crew members also dealt with a search and rescue case, untangled a sea turtle entangled from a net and supported tactical law enforcement units from Maritime Security Response Team-West as a training platform.

“The crew put a phenomenal amount of work into readying the cutter for this deployment and sharpening the skill sets required for counter-narcotics operations,” said Cmdr. Craig Allen, commanding officer of Steadfast. “Their efforts paid dividends during the smooth execution of several challenging evolutions throughout the patrol. Our HITRON aircrew and TACLET members were an outstanding addition to the Steadfast team. I’m extremely proud of the crew’s accomplishments, and I’m also grateful to the Steadfast families who held down the home front during a turbulent two months that included ongoing COVID-19 challenges and wildfires.”

New Zero-Emissions Tractors in Use at Port of Long Beach’s Pier G

New zero-emissions cargo-handling tractors are being tested at Pier G at the Port of Long Beach, it was announced earlier this month.

For one year, International Transportation Service will conduct demonstrations on seven BYD battery-electric yard tractors, which are being operated by ILWU members. Southern California Edison has also made $450,000 worth of upgraded infrastructure to support port electrical equipment.

“ITS is proud to participate in this Port of Long Beach demonstration featuring zero-emission technologies and concepts that will play a vital role in our industry’s future,” said ITS Chief Operating Officer Sean Lindsay. “In line with ITS’ company priorities, we’re continuing to take the proper steps in reducing our carbon footprint for the benefit of our waterfront community and goods movement.”

The $13.7 million project is funded in part by a $9.7 million California Energy Commission grant, which will be used to develop 21 new or upgraded electric cargo-handling vehicles. The money will also help toward the port’s larger effort of having a zero-emissions cargo handling fleet by 2030.

“We need equipment that can make it through an entire shift, with recharging during breaks,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “That’s one of the requirements for zero-emissions equipment to demonstrate that it can function in a real-world environment. Alongside partners like ITS, we are leading the industry to a more sustainable future.”

Monday, October 12, 2020

NOAA Fisheries Official Reinforces Nation’s Commitment to Seafood Industry

In a recent message acknowledging October as National Seafood Month, NOAA Fisheries Assistant Administrator Chris Oliver spoke of the U.S. seafood industry’s resiliency in the face of a pandemic and reinforced the country’s commitment to the industry.

Oliver said NOAA Fisheries has been proactive in monitoring and adjusting to the short- and long-term effects the pandemic will have on the industry, which supported 1.2 million jobs and flowed $69.2 billion to the GDP in 2017.

The U.S. intends to augment sustainable production and allow U.S. products to compete in domestic and foreign markets. The president’s Executive Order in May paves the way for various efforts, including the creation of a new Seafood Trade Task Force and 10 Aquaculture Opportunity Areas.

“Growing our domestic aquaculture industry is critical to expanding and stabilizing the supply of sustainable seafood in the face of environmental and economic uncertainty,” Oliver said. “Aquaculture operations diversify seafood production and provide a year-round source of high-quality jobs and economic opportunities in coastal communities. These jobs augment seasonal tourism and commercial fishing.”

In August, NOAA announced that the sites of the first two Aquaculture Opportunity Areas will be in federal waters off Southern California and in the Gulf of Mexico.

“By tapping into existing regional industry and infrastructure, each of the final 10 areas selected through 2025 will support new commercial marine farm sites.” Oliver said.

Friday, October 9, 2020

USCG Cutter Munro Returns from Patrol

After two months and 12,500 miles, U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Douglas Munro crew members recently came back from patrolling in support of Operation North Pacific Guard, an effort to enforce U.S. fisheries international law and stop illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.

The Cutter Munro crew boarded 11 fishing vessels for inspection and discovered 14 possible violations, including serious instances on three Chinese-flagged squid fishing vessels. “Following these boardings, nearly the entire fleet of 31 vessels stopped fishing and fled hundreds of nautical miles west across the Pacific Ocean, avoiding further inspection,” according to the agency.

“The violations detected and information gathered during this year’s operation highlight the need for robust maritime enforcement presence on the high seas,” said Capt. Jason Brennell, chief of enforcement for the Coast Guard’s Seventeenth District.

For 25 years, countries in the North Pacific Rim such as Japan, China, Russia, South Korea, Canada, and the U.S. have teamed up for Operation North Pacific Guard to maintain international maritime governance and uphold conservation and management rules adopted by Regional Fisheries Management Organizations, the USCG said.

“The westward evasive movement of the fishing fleet indicates and potentially validates suspected illicit activity, and further demonstrates the need for more than a single vessel deployed to compel compliance at sea," Brennell said. "Increased commitment from all partner countries to provide at-sea enforcement capability, particularly those nations whose vessels are engaged in fishing, is absolutely critical to both the health of world fish stocks and the future success of Operation North Pacific Guard.”

Port of Los Angeles Reports Lower Emissions

Since 2005, the Port of Los Angeles has met or surpassed its pollution-reduction goals, including decreases in nitrogen oxides, which are down 62 percent, sulfur oxides, which are down 98 percent, and diesel particulate matter, which are down 87 percent, according to the port’s 2019 Inventory of Air Emissions report released earlier this month.

“Every year, it takes all our pollution reduction strategies, ongoing and new, to maintain and improve the dramatic progress we’ve made in cutting pollution,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “We’re working closely with our industry partners, manufacturers and public agencies to test emerging technologies that will make the next big leap forward.”

Since 2005, the Los Angeles seaport has seen greenhouse gases fall 32 percent for every 10,000 TEUs, according to the port.

“Reducing GHGs to help avoid the worst effects of climate change is critical, and it is going to take worldwide collaboration to do this,” said Port Director of Environmental Management Christopher Cannon. “We are grateful to our private and public sector partners who continue to step up by investing in zero emission technology.”

Getting rid of pollution from trucks and cargo-handling equipment is key to curbing GHG emissions from port operations by 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2030 and by 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050. The port is pursuing or involved in 16 regional projects with various partners to test near-zero and zero emissions engines and fueling or charging infrastructure.

For a copy of the inventory report, go to https://kentico.portoflosangeles.org/getmedia/4696ff1a-a441-4ee8-95ad-abe1d4cddf5e/2019_Air_Emissions_Inventory.

Strategic Initiatives, Upgrade Investments Key to Oakland’s Post-Pandemic Recovery and Future

The Port of Oakland’s key to recovering business post-COVID-19 and in the future will include developing strategic initiatives and investing in operational improvements, Maritime Director Bryan Brandes said at a recent Pacific Transportation Association meeting via Zoom in September.

Brandes said the port anticipates a dip in overall cargo volume this year because of the pandemic, but expects cargo numbers to improve in the future. He also expressed optimism about the port’s maritime business.

Meanwhile, the port is looking into an “only-port-of-call” express service and is focusing on rail within the western states - short-haul and into the U.S. interior opportunities - to move more cargo coming through the port.

“We are determining our strategic initiatives right now,” said Brandes. “We’re continuing to spend and invest a fair amount into port facilities to ensure that we're set up for the future."

That includes the redevelopment of the former Oakland Army Base, occupied in part by the Seaport Logistics Complex. The first project soon to be finished within the complex is CenterPoint Landing, a 466,000-square-foot warehouse.

Currently in the works in Oakland are 15 transportation-related infrastructure and software projects that make up the Freight Intelligence Transportation System.

“It’s a combined effort with the Alameda County Transportation Commission, the port and the City,” said Brandes. “The new system will improve security, safety and the customer experience for those who are involved with the port.”

Downtown San Francisco Ferry Terminal Expansion Project Completed

In August, Bay Area transportation, port and civic officials celebrated the completion of a long-awaited waterfront project: the Downtown San Francisco Ferry Terminal Expansion Project.

The $98 million project, which began in 2016, “triples WETA’s (Water Emergency Transportation Authority) San Francisco Bay Ferry capacity in the city core, creates resilient infrastructure for emergency response activities and provides the public with a grand new open space on the San Francisco waterfront,” according to the Port of San Francisco.

“The completion of this project is a magnificent capstone on a decade of serious and smart investment in WETA’s ferry system,” said Nina Rannells, WETA’s executive director. “In the last decade, we’ve built seven new ferries, opened five new or expanded terminals including this one, built two major operations and maintenance yards and charted the future of ferries in the Bay Area. With this project complete, we are ready to tackle that future and grow ferry service even more.

The project included a pair of new ferry gates (Gate F that opened in December 2018 and Gate G that opened February 2019), the refurbished Gate E that opened in February 2020 and the newly finished work on the public plaza at the ferry terminal.

“The new ferry plaza and ferry terminal expansion are great new additions to our waterfront that improve water transportation while also improving our City’s emergency response efforts,” said Port Executive Director Elaine Forbes. “A testament to strong collaboration and partnership between port and WETA staff, the new facilities are forward thinking and designed to withstand projected sea level rise and ensure that we can all enjoy these facilities for decades to come.”

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

MMC Endorsements, Medical Certificates, Course Approvals Extended Due to COVID-19

In light of delays caused by COVID-19, the U.S. Coast Guard has extended expired Merchant Mariner Credential endorsements, medical certificates and course approvals, but strongly encourages mariners to meet requirements and submit applications as soon as possible to avoid any credential or training approval lapses.

Merchant Mariner Credentials (National Endorsements and STCW only) expiring from March 1, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2020, are extended either to June 30, 2021, or one year after the credential’s initial expiration date, whichever is earlier. Those with outdated credentials who are eligible for the extension need to have the expired credential with this notice.

Until July 1, 2021, the Coast Guard will accept shipboard experience in fire, emergency, and/or abandon ship drills to show continued competence in PSC, PSC-Ltd, FRB, BT, and/or AFF. This applies to mariners renewing MMCs expiring between March 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021, who can satisfy initial competency requirements in “survival craft and rescue boats other than fast rescue boats, PSC-limited, fast rescue boats, basic training, and advanced firefighting.” Mariners must have at least 360 days of relevant service in the last five years. Those without at least one year of relevant service within the last five years can only renew STCW endorsements by showing ongoing competence for PSC, PSC-Ltd, FRB, BT, and/or AFF. Original or ‘refresher’ training for will be needed; anything less won’t be accepted.

National and STCW medical certificates expiring between March 1, 2020, and Sept. 30, 2020, have been extended to Dec. 31, 2020. Working mariners with expired medical certificates must have a copy of this notice. However, this measure does not apply to the actual medical standards; mariners without qualifying medical conditions should not sail.

Until Dec. 31, 2020, the USCG won’t enforce the rule requiring pilots to undergo an annual physical examination while holding a credential. However, this doesn’t apply to the actual medical standards; those without qualifying medical conditions should not sail.

Approval to Test Letters and Course Completion Certificates expiring between March 1, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2020, are extended until Oct. 1, 2021. Visit https://www.uscg.mil/nmc/regardingguidance for more on Additional Information, Qualified Assessor, Designated Examiner letters.

Course and program approvals expiring between Jan. 1, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2020, have been extended for six months from their expiration date. The National Maritime Center won’t send out new course approval letters or certificates and will update its records to show that course completion certificates issued during the extension are accepted.

The NMC is working with trainers on alternate training delivery methods, including distance or hybrid learning, and will consider and approve alternate methods on a case-by-case basis. Email requests to NMCCourses@uscg.mil with “a list of courses, a complete description of the alternative requested, the tools involved, and the business process to be employed.”

For more, go to the NMC website, or reach out to NMC Customer Service Center via NMC online chat system, email IASKNMC@uscg.mil, or call 1-888-IASKNMC (427-5662). ttu

Input Sought for BNSF Bridge Project

U.S. Coast Guard officials are asking the public to weigh in on a bridge replacement project near Everett proposed by Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Co.

BNSF wants to replace an aging 360-foot long north fender made up of 200 creosote treated piles and timbers over the Snohomish River at waterway mile 3.5 with 42, 24-inch diameter steel pipe piles with a composite panel system, according to the agency.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said the project qualifies as a Categorical Exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act, and the project does not pose any significant environmental impact.

The public may send feedback by Oct. 30 to the Coast Guard Bridge Administrator at 206-220-7282, via email at D13-SMB-D13BRIDGES@uscg.mil, or by letter to Commander (dpw), Thirteenth Coast Guard District , 910 2nd Avenue, Suite 3510, Seattle, WA.

For more, visit https://www.navcen.uscg.gov/D13BN.

Amergent Techs Scores San Diego Port
Security Contract

The San Diego Unified Port District recently awarded Amergent Techs Inc. a two-year, $101,500 contract to review, assess and update its Homeland Security Strategic Plan.

“We are proud to have earned the confidence of the port to provide a strategic risk assessment and determine mitigation strategies for the entire port complex,” said Jessica Whipple, Amergent Techs Vice President of Operations.

Amergent Techs will help the port develop a comprehensive strategy that encompasses a multitude of threats that will require technical expertise, such as the use of improvised explosive devices, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive devices, cyber threats, and Unmanned Air Systems. AT will also work with the Port of San Diego Harbor Police and the harbor district’s five cities in the region.

“With their intimate knowledge of the San Diego maritime community and their experience in maritime security, the Port of San Diego is pleased to bring Amergent Techs on board,” said Chief Mark Stainbrook of the port’s Harbor Police, the port’s the leading resource for Preventative Radiological Nuclear Detection. “Their team will work hand in hand with our port stakeholders in developing this critically needed strategic plan.”

New Study Shows Less Emissions
at Port of Long Beach

The Port of Long Beach saw diesel particulates plummet 88 percent in the last 14 years, as well as other pollutants, according to the port’s 2019 annual emissions inventory report presented to harbor leaders Thursday.

Since 2005, greenhouse gases are down by 19 percent, sulfur oxides by 97 percent and nitrogen oxides by 58 percent, the study said. These reductions come as business at the port grew.

“Together with our supply chain partners, we have made significant progress in improving air quality and reducing health risks,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Frank Colonna. “Although we are meeting most of our emissions goals, it is becoming clear we are at the limits of existing technology. That’s why we are investing millions to develop and deploy the cleaner equipment.”

Long Beach, along with neighboring Port of Los Angeles, have plans to go after port-related pollution more aggressively through its newest version of the San Pedro Bay Clean Air Action Plan, which was updated in 2017.

In the update, the port will push for the development and testing of zero-emissions port equipment and other efforts.

“Right now, we have $150 million in projects all across our port, all in the name of cleaner air,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “We are aggressively pursuing the CAAP goals of having a zero-emissions cargo-handling fleet by 2030 and all zero-emissions drayage trucks by 2035.”

Friday, October 2, 2020

The Home Stretch

Welcome to the 4th quarter of 2020. Ok, let’s face it. Everyone is looking forward to putting 2020 in our wake. I always lament the fact that time seems to move faster every year, but in this case, time can’t move fast enough to get this year behind us.

2020 has been an incredibly challenging year for all of us in the maritime industry. Ports saw volumes slashed (then recover); international cruise lines are still effectively shut down; mariners are still stranded on ships with tours extended beyond a year; the only bright spot seems to be that boat sales are up, which hopefully gets more kids interested in working on the water when they grow up! There could not be much more of a perfect storm – I would prefer the hurricane variety any day (I spent a terrifying 2 days at sea going through Hurricane Hugo back in 1989, but at least I knew there was an end in sight).

Now I am the eternal optimist, and I have enduring faith in the capacity of the human spirit to persevere in the face of adversity. Human ingenuity will solve all of the COVID 19 issues. The timeline for those solutions will likely come more slowly than any of us would like, but they will come. The pace at which we are seeing vaccine developments, rapid testing methods and therapeutic treatments is truly impressive given historic norms. We need more government action to help our industry get back to pre-COVID operational levels, and your voices need to be heard by your elected officials with ideas of how government action (or lack thereof) can impact your segment of the maritime industry.

2020 has given us some positives – more time with family, reconnecting with friends, mastering the video call and time to work on projects at work that we never seem to be able to get to. Like I said, I’m an optimist. 2020 gave me the opportunity to communicate with you, our readers of PMM On Line and Fishermen’s News On Line. For that I am very grateful. But my dear 2020, when that clock strikes midnight on December 31st, don’t let the door hit you in the rear on the way out!

Dave

L.A., Long Beach Port Officials to Give CAAP Update

Los Angeles and Long Beach port leaders will give stakeholders a status report on meeting goals outlined in the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan on Oct. 14 via video conference.

Items on the agenda include a review of the San Pedro Bay Ports Annual Emissions Inventory and updates on the progress of current technology demonstrations and the Clean Truck Program.

The meeting is expected to take place from 10 a.m. to noon on Oct. 14 via Zoom. Participants must register in advance by visiting https://portla.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_B8uRt0sJQya92EXPAKpvVg. Questions can sent in advance to caap@cleanairactionplan.org

First approved in 2006, the CAAP is a blueprint for tackling pollution caused by port operations in the San Pedro Bay. Since implementing efforts, the twin ports have seen diesel particulate matter fall 87 percent, nitrogen oxides by 58 percent, sulfur oxides by 97 percent and greenhouse gases by 13 percent, according to the ports. In 2017, the ports updated CAAP to further efforts toward zero-emission operations.

Visit cleanairactionplan.org for more.

UN Chief Urges “Key Worker” Designation
for Mariners

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres recently urged governments to give seafarers and other marine personnel the formal designation of “key workers.”

In a Sept. 24 message honoring World Maritime Day, Guterres said the designation would ensure “safe crew changes and implementing the protocols developed by UN agencies, as well as the International Chamber of Shipping and the International Transport Workers’ Federation, allowing stranded seafarers to be repatriated and others to join ships.”

He also praised the two million active seafarers for their sacrifice and professionalism amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Despite the unprecedented conditions brought about by the pandemic, seafarers have continued to tirelessly support the often invisible global logistics chain,” Guterres said. “Physically and mentally exhausted, away from their families and loved ones, their time at sea has now been extended far beyond the standards stipulated in international conventions, with some tours of duty now stretching more than 17 months.”

He added that tired seafarers “cannot operate indefinitely, and disruptions to international shipping would have devastating consequences.”

Port Of San Diego Fetes Completion of Terminal Modernization Project

This week, San Diego port officials celebrated the completion of its Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal modernization project.

The roughly $24 million project involved the removal of a pair of old warehouses and paved the way for laydown space for project cargo like windmill components, as well as on-dock rail and utility upgrades, new lighting and pavement, according to the port. A stormwater treatment system was created to capture as much stormwater as possible on the marine terminal.

“The completion of the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal Modernization project is foundational to providing modern, open and flexible space for cargo operations,” said Port Vice Chair Michael Zucchet, Board of Port Commissioners. “As the fourth largest port in the state, this project not only improves our cargo handling capacity and creates more jobs, it also bolsters our designation as a Strategic Port in support of our national security efforts.”

The project was the first part of a bigger Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal Redevelopment Plan for three specific cargo hubs at the terminal, including:
● project, roll-on/roll-off, and break-bulk cargo;
● refrigerated containers and
● dry bulk cargo

“Our region is an economic powerhouse for trade and forward-thinking projects like the modernization of the Tenth Avenue Martine Terminal will keep San Diego competitive locally, nationally and globally," said Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer. "Not only will this project be a boost for our local economy, but it also helps toward our goal of creating a cleaner, greener city."

Port of Longview Has New CEO

After serving as interim CEO since February, Dan Stahl is now the Port of Longview’s new Chief Executive Officer, the port announced over the summer.

Stahl, who earned his master’s degree in Ocean Systems Management from MIT, and an undergraduate degree in Marine Transportation from the Maine Maritime Academy, started at the port as Chief Operating Officer in 2017, overseeing contract talks and multiple departments, such as Environmental, Business Development, Engineering and Marine Terminal Operations.

“While serving as Interim CEO the last several months, it became clear that Dan was the right choice to lead the Port of Longview into the future,” said Commission President Allan Erickson. “Dan is well-respected by Port staff and promises to be an even bigger presence in the community. We are thrilled to have Dan lead the Port into its next 100 years as our official CEO.”

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

New Bridge to Open in Long Beach

After seven years of construction, a new cable-stayed bridge in Long Beach – the first of its kind in California – is expected to open to public traffic on Oct. 5.

The new not-yet-named span replacing the aging Gerald Desmond Bridge is taller and wider to accommodate bigger vessels passing through, and is a major link for goods movement, carrying 15 percent of the nation’s imports. It also features six lanes, two 50-story-tall towers and 80 cables, a pedestrian-bike path and color-changing LED lights.

“The new bridge is an engineering marvel and a point of pride for the tens of thousands of workers whose livelihoods are connected to the Port of Long Beach,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “We are both grateful for the years of hard work by the bridge contractor and workers and for the collaboration with Caltrans to deliver our new bridge. We’re very excited by what this bridge to everywhere means to our Port and the national economy.”

The $1.47 billion bridge project was led by the port and Caltrans, with additional funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

To prepare for the new bridge opening, motorists should expect traffic closures in the area from Oct. 2-4 “in order to switch over lanes to connect both ends of the nearly 2-mile-long structure to existing roadways that reach the 710 Freeway, downtown Long Beach and Terminal Island,” according to the port.

Visit www.newgdbridge.com for more.

COVID-19 Affects Merchant Mariner Credential App Processing


With COVID-19-related remote work and limited staff affecting processing times for Merchant Mariner Credential Applications, the National Maritime Center is asking mariners to include the necessary information needed to speed up the process.

When mariners submit their application, they should:
  • Turn them in electronically in a .pdf format;

  • Pay all fees with Pay.gov and include a scanned receipt copy when the application is submitted;

  • Make sure to include all necessary documentation (course completion certificates, drug tests, sea service forms, etc.); and

  • Submit applications as soon as mariners meet the requirements. At any time, MMCs can be renewed and post-dated up to eight months.
“Every effort is being made to maintain our 30-day net processing goal, with a corresponding high level of customer service you’ve come to expect,” Kirsten R. MartinCaptain, U.S. Coast Guard Commanding Officer, said in a release. “The above items will greatly help streamline application processing.”

The center will handle applications on a ‘first in, first out’ basis. It will also consider hasten cases “when an employer verifies it is critical to operations or an applicant’s employment.” Reach out to the Customer Service Center at 1-888-IASKNMC (427-5662) for an expedited service.