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

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.”