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 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

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.