Friday, January 31, 2020

Port of Los Angeles Breaks Ground on LA Waterfront Project

By Karen Robes Meeks

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

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

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

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

Matson Promotes Three Executives

By Karen Robes Meeks

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

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

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

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

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

2020 Smart Ports Conference to Take Place in San Pedro

By Karen Robes Meeks

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

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

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

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

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

Port of Stockton Saw First Wood Pellet Shipment

By Karen Robes Meeks

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

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

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

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

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

By Karen Robes Meeks

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

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

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

Public Tours Return to Port of Vancouver USA

By Karen Robes Meeks

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

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

The two-hour tours are expected to take place:

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

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

For more, go to

Matson Announces Quarterly Dividend

By Karen Robes Meeks

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

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

For more on the company, visit

Blue Technology Center of Expertise Launches in San Diego

By Karen Robes Meeks

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

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

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