Friday, March 13, 2020

Port of Los Angeles, Port Authority of Nagoya

By Karen Robes Meeks

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

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

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

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

Coronavirus Causes Cargo Drops at LA, Long Beach Ports

By Karen Robes Meeks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Port of Vancouver USA Postpones Two Events

By Karen Robes Meeks

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

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

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

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

Feasibility Study on Bay Area Ferry System May Move Forward

By Karen Robes Meeks

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Cleanup to Start on Old Everett Mill Site

By Karen Robes Meeks

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

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

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

Two LB Terminals Debut Zero-Emissions Equipment

By Karen Robes Meeks

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

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

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

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

Port of Los Angeles Seeking Partners for Historic Project

By Karen Robes Meeks

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

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

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

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

Port of Vancouver USA Announces First Community Fund Recipients

By Karen Robes Meeks

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

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

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