Friday, August 6, 2021

Port of Long Beach Reports Record July Cargo

The Port of Long Beach posted a record July for cargo volumes last month, according to new numbers released this week.

Long Beach handled 784,845 TEUs last month, 4.2% more than July 2020, the port’s previous record holder for its best July, with 753,081 TEUs.

The port also moved 382,940 TEUs in imports, 1.6% more than July 2020. Meanwhile, the port handled 109,951 TEUs in exports, 20.7% less than the same time last year.

Empty containers last month jumped 22.8%, to 291,955 TEUs, according to port data.

In 12 of the past 13 months, the port has surpassed record cargo volumes, data show. So far in 2021, the port has handled more than 5.5 million TEUs, a 32.3% jump from the same time last year. Officials are attributing the record numbers to ongoing consumer demand.

“Ships arrived last month to move these empty containers out of the harbor and clear valuable terminal space as we handle historic amounts of trade,” said port Executive Director Mario Cordero. “These boxes are a valuable commodity in the overstressed global supply chain. Our loaded exports are likely to rebound this month.”

Port of Grays Harbor Announces Restructuring, Promotions

The Port of Grays Harbor recently announced it has gone through an organization restructuring and promoted several employees.

Randy Lewis is becoming the director of health, safety and environment for the port to reflect the port’s “consideration of environmental, economic and social impacts” for projects, according to the port.

Also: Public Affairs Manager Kayla Dunlap has been promoted to director of government and public affairs and Information Technology Manager Chris Hunt to director of information technology. Alissa Shay has been named general manager of the Satsop Business Park, and Molly Bold to general manager of the Westport Marina in an effort to enhance and upgrade the marina floats and how they are configured.

The port has also said that it’s also seeking a port engineer, contract administrator, and a marine terminal security superintendent.

“The business and functions of the port have grown and continue to change as we adapt to today’s business and regulatory environment,” said port Executive Director Gary Nelson. “I am incredibly proud of our team here at the Port of Grays Harbor and confident these organizational changes and promotions will suit us well in serving our community and ensuring future growth.”

Matson Launches New Vessel Service in Oakland

The Port of Oakland recently welcomed Honolulu-based Matson Inc.’s new vessel route, the CCX Service.

The new service, which started July 27 and will leave China every 3 to 5 weeks, is big for the Northern California seaport because it’s the first time Matson is offering the China-to-Oakland route, which will include stops at Ningbo and Shanghai in China and Long Beach and Honolulu. It’s also the third time this year that Oakland is being introduced as a first-call service.

“The new CCX service reflects exploding U.S. demand for imports from China,” the port said in a statement. “First-call status indicates that importers are targeting Oakland.”

Oakland is already on track to move 2.6 million containers this year, port data show.

“Matson is a big part of the port’s business and we’re gratified that they want to expand our relationship by opening a Northern California gateway to China,” said port Maritime Director Bryan Brandes. “The fact that it’s a first call underscores the importance cargo owners place on Oakland.”

Lynden, LTI, AML Lend Hand to City of Anacortes

When the city of Anacortes was not going to have enough chlorine for treating its regional water system, employees from Lynden Logistics, LTI, Inc. and Alaska Marine Lines recently teamed up to bring it to the city, Lynden revealed Aug. 3.

Lynden Logistics, which has corporate offices in Anchorage and Seattle, traveled from Houston with 21 totes of chlorine, while transport and logistics company LTI brought two loads from California, thanks to Alaska Marine Lines' fiberglass-lined ISO tanks.

“It's a great feeling to know that our assistance averted what could have been a very serious situation for the community drinking water supply,” said Lynden Logistics Logistics Manager Becky MacDonald. “It was a great team effort by all three companies with assistance from Lynden Safety Director Jim Maltby on the bulk loads, Al Hartgraves, Anthony Knapp and the LTI, Inc. crew providing the drivers and quick response, and Alaska Marine Lines providing the tanks.”

Anacortes Mayor Laurie Gere said the city is extremely thankful to Lynden for helping Marathon Refineries with the shortage of sodium hypochlorite.

“This is an amazing community, and the protection of the safe drinking water for our region was a priority for all,” she said. “The city has much appreciation and gratitude for the rapid and generous response.”

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

From the Editor: Maritime Piracy

By Mark Nero, Managing Editor

Although it mostly takes place on the other side of the world, maritime piracy can have far-reaching effects for the goods movement industry.

When parts of the supply chain are attacked in regions of the world like Asia and Africa, it can lead to disruptions in the Pacific region in the form of vessel delays, ship reroutings and cargo adjustments.

But the International Maritime Bureau, which is run by the International Chamber of Commerce, revealed some good news recently: during the first six months of 2021, the Bureau recorded the lowest number of reported piracy incidents for the first half of any year since 1994.

Although reported piracy and armed robbery incidents were at their lowest level in 27 years, risks remain to seafarers and the IMB is cautioning against complacency, since vessels were boarded in 91% of the reported incidents.

Despite the overall decline in reported incidents, violence against crews has continued according to IMB data, with 50 crew kidnapped, three each threatened and taken hostage, two assaulted, one injured and one killed during the first half of this year.

The Gulf of Guinea continues to be particularly dangerous for seafarers with 32% of all reported incidents taking place in the region, according to IMB. The region accounted for all 50 kidnapped crew and the single crew fatality recorded by IMB during the first half of 2021.

And although it’s rare compared to other regions of the world, piracy can happen relatively close to U.S. waters. For example, there’s been a spate of attacks on oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, including a July 19 incident where eight gunmen boarded a platform and ransacked it while holding the crew hostage.

The Mexican government has registered 88 pirate attacks on oil infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico since 2015, including 20 last year. However, the International Transport Workers Federation claims the number is much higher, with its records showing 180 attacks in 2019 alone.

Whatever the number is, there’s no denying that pirate attacks abroad and in North America are a danger to the goods transport industry that needs to be accounted for.

Although the risk of acts of piracy against Neopanamax or ultra-large containerships is not high, the risk against bulk carriers and other smaller goods transport vessels definitely is.

Security experts say that when operating in waters with heightened risk, vessel hardening is a vital part of the ships security defense. A guide to vessel hardening, produced by a collection of oil companies that have been occasional or frequent targets of maritime pirates, can be downloaded for free at

In addition, the IMB has stated that by reporting all incidents to the Maritime Bureau and regional authorities, seafarers can maintain pressure against pirates, strengthen knowledge-sharing channels and reduce risk to seafarers.

“Reporting piracy and armed robbery incidents is the first line of defense against future attacks,” ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO said. “Sustained reporting to IMB will enable governments, maritime response agencies and other stakeholders to establish safer waters for our seafarers and smooth flow of goods throughout global supply chains.”

Managing Editor Mark Nero can be reached at:

New National Ocean Service Director Announced

NOAA veteran Nicole LeBoeuf has been tapped to lead the National Ocean Service as director and will also serve as assistant administrator for Ocean Services and Coastal Zone Management, the agency announced in July.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo appointed LeBoeuf to the role; she had already been serving as acting director since August 2018, and prior to that was named deputy director in December 2016.

“Nicole is well positioned to lead NOAA’s National Ocean Service and to continue its rich history of addressing evolving economic, environmental, and social pressures on our ocean, coasts, and coastal communities,” Raimondo said in a statement.

Before her work in the National Ocean Service, LeBoeuf was chief of Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Conservation Division of NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources, then became its acting deputy director.

Under her tenure, LeBoeuf has led the National Ocean Service in partnership with community, cultural and national conversation leaders on various initiatives, including an effort to designate the Wisconsin Shipwreck Coast National Marine Sanctuary. She also supervised the start of NOAA’s first national rip current forecast model and the formation of a data-sharing agreement with an offshore wind firm, according to NOAA.

“With Nicole at the helm, the Ocean Service established itself at the forefront of technology for disaster preparedness, response and recovery, mapping and charting, hypoxia and harmful algal bloom forecasting, and safeguarding communities from risks such as sea level rise and coastal inundation,” said NOAA administrator Rick Spinrad.

BAE Systems Nets $90.2M U.S. Navy Contract

The U.S. Navy recently awarded BAE Systems a $90.2 million contract to maintain and upgrade the amphibious transport dock USS San Diego.

The work on the 684-foot-long vessel - which is set to start in September at BAE System’s shipyard in San Diego - encompasses the underwater hull, ballast tanks system, amphibious well deck area and upgrades to the living areas for up to 800 mariners and marines. The work is expected to take more than a year to finish.

“The upcoming USS San Diego project is a major event in the service life of the ship, expanding its capability to execute a wide range of naval missions for many years to come,” explained David M. Thomas Jr., vice president and general manager of BAE Systems San Diego Ship Repair. “Our team of employees, subcontractors and Navy personnel look forward to ushering USS San Diego into its next phase of fleet readiness. We also recognize the unique and special opportunity to work aboard a ship named for our hometown.”

Port of Los Angeles Extends Public Comment on SCIG Project

The public will now have more time to weigh in on the Southern California International Gateway Project (SCIG) in the Port of Los Angeles.

The port has moved the deadline to Aug. 25 for those interested in submitting comment on the Revised Draft Environmental Impact Report for a planned BNSF intermodal rail yard facility.

BNSF wants to build a multi-million dollar rail yard facility four miles away from the ports of L.A. and Long Beach, which would divert cargo that would normally travel by truck over 20 miles to the company rail yard in L.A. The move is expected to reduce air emissions in the region.

Feedback can be emailed to, with the subject line labeled “SCIG Project.” For questions, contact Lisa Ochsner at the port’s Environmental Management Division at (310) 732-3412.

For more on the project’s environmental documents, visit

Port of San Diego’s Maritime Dept. to Manage Anchorages

The Port of San Diego’s Maritime Department has taken over managing anchorages on San Diego Bay and the port’s Shelter Island Guest Docks at 1401 Shelter Island Drive from the Harbor Police Department.

This move, which took place last month, means new changes to reserving a slip in Guest Docks, including a daily dockage fee increase from $1 per lineal foot per day to $1.19 per lineal foot per day and no more online reservations. Boaters will have to call (619) 400-4744 between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. daily to reserve a slip. They will have to email valid identification and vessel registration to They can check to see available slips at

The port also offers two 72-hour anchorages and a “Cruiser Anchorage (A9),” which come with no fee to anchor but require a permit. Boaters can get permits online for the La Playa Cove (A1) and Glorietta Bay (A5) anchorages.

For the Cruiser Anchorage, a vessel inspection by Harbor Police is needed for a permit and boaters must go to the Harbor Police substation at 1401 Shelter Island Drive to obtain it. This is available to only non-San Diego County residents.

More information is available at

Friday, July 30, 2021

Port of Bellingham to Halt Point Roberts Emergency Ferry Service

As the Canadian Government announces plans to reopen the US/Canada border to non-essential travel, Port of Bellingham, Wash.

officials have decided that Aug. 12 will be the last day the port will offer its emergency ferry service to Point Roberts.

The port has been offering the service for free for nearly a year to help Point Roberts residents get access to vital goods and services while the border has been closed to limit the spread of COVID-19. While Point Roberts is part of Whatcom County, the area is geographically set apart from the U.S. by two border land crossings.

“We anticipate the border opening will relieve stress on this community but are here to help if something changes,” said Port Commission President Ken Bell.

The Aug. 5 and Aug. 9 emergency sailings to Point Roberts will be limited to 30 people, so reservations should be made in advance at

Face masks must be worn on the ferry. More information is available at

PMA to Build Training Center at Seattle’s Terminal 46

The Pacific Maritime Association will soon be able to build a new training facility for longshore workers and other maritime jobs holders at Terminal 46 in Seattle, thanks to a final lease approval by the managing members of the Northwest Seaport Alliance earlier this month.

The PMA - which currently runs a training center at Terminal 5.

“This state-of-the art training facility on Seattle’s central waterfront is critical to making our deep-water seaports the most efficient on the West Coast,” Port of Seattle Commissioner and NWSA Managing Member Stephanie Bowman said in a statement.

“The partnership between the ports, labor and management to invest in training will ultimately benefit Washington’s exporters, helping them deliver their world-class products more quickly to markets around the world,” she added.

PMA is proud to work with the Northwest Seaport Alliance to develop a “state-of-the-art training facility to promote a skilled, safe and efficient ILWU workforce at the Port of Seattle,” added PMA Northwest Area Director Nairobi Russ.

“This facility and its dedicated crane will help ensure that we maintain a skilled workforce to keep our port terminals thriving and accommodate the historic cargo surge that is impacting our entire supply chain,” Russ added.

New Long Beach Harbor Board President Elected

North Long Beach community leader Steven Neal is the new president of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners.

He was elected Monday to the one-year term leading the five-member board that oversees the Port of Long Beach.

“I’d like to thank my fellow Commissioners for the faith they have placed in me,” Neal said. “Over the last year, the Port of Long Beach has surmounted an unprecedented pandemic to keep moving the products desperately needed by homebound Americans. I look forward to working with my colleagues, staff, and Executive Director Mario Cordero to ensure this port remains a top commercial gateway for decades to come.”

Also, Sharon L. Weissman will serve as the board’s vice president and Bobby Olvera Jr. as secretary.

Before being appointed by Mayor Robert Garcia to the Harbor Commission in 2019, Neal served on the Long Beach City Council representing the Ninth District in North Long Beach from 2010 to 2014. He was a board member for Long Beach Transit and the Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Network.

He is the senior pastor for LIFE Gospel Ministries, a co-founder of the Economic Policy Impact Center and executive director of the Long Beach Collective Association.

Port of Oakland Board President Gets Second Term

Port of Oakland Board President Andreas Cluver is remaining the head of the seven-member board.

In a special meeting earlier this month, port commissioners unanimously chose Cluver for a second consecutive one-year term. Cluver, the Secretary-Treasurer of the Building & Construction Trades Council of Alameda County, joined the board in February 2016. Commissioners are nominated by the mayor of Oakland and appointed by the Oakland City Council.

Under his leadership, Cluver guided the port as it started to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, from the reopening of domestic air service at Oakland International Airport to record cargo movement at the seaport.

“I’m gratified to have the support of my colleagues for another year as president,” Cluver said. “We’ve got lots of unfinished business and I’m fortunate to be working with the Board and a talented Port of Oakland staff.”

Meanwhile, Port Commissioner Barbara Leslie will remain first vice president and Commissioner Yui Hay Lee as second vice president. They will also serve second one-year terms in those roles.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Port of Seattle Develops Ocean Acidification Action Plan

The Port of Seattle is saying that it has become the first port ever to develop an ocean acidification action plan as part of its commitment to the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification (OA Alliance).

“Last year, the Port of Seattle was the first port in the world to join the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification (OA Alliance), recognizing the many ways in which ocean acidification impacts the maritime sector and acknowledging the important role ports can play in leading environmental action,” port Commissioner Stephanie Bowman said. “We encourage other ports to join in on these efforts.”

The port has been working on decarbonization and curbing greenhouse gas emissions, a big part of fighting ocean acidification. The port is also part of the Smith Cove Blue Carbon Pilot Project, an effort to study its local ecosystem to help bolster its resiliency against ocean acidification over three years.

Climate change and ocean acidification are global problems that demand local actions, said port Commissioner Peter Steinbrueck, who co-chairs the port's environment committee.

“The Port of Seattle cannot stop global environmental challenges alone, but the Port is taking many innovative steps to help stem the tide,” Steinbrueck said. “Efforts we’re making here at Smith Cove can serve as a model for marine habitat restoration across Puget Sound.”

Port of Los Angeles Launches Cargo Movement Prediction Tool

The Port of Los Angeles’ Port Optimizer Control Tower data tool now has a new feature in its toolbox.

Earlier this month, the port unveiled “Horizon,” a data tool developed with partner Wabtec that can help supply chain stakeholders predict the movement of cargo volumes up to six months in advance.

“We’re proud to break ground with this new forecasting tool, which is the first of its kind,” said port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “The Horizon predictive technology is yet another service that we can offer port stakeholders to better plan and allocate resources, especially amid this historic cargo surge.”

Horizon will be able to predict container moves using historical and trending volume data gathered by the Port Optimizer.

“Data is a critical resource in moving goods across the supply chain and into the hands of consumers,” said Nalin Jain, Wabtec’s president of digital electronics. “This is one more step in our journey to connect railroads, chassis providers, truckers, warehouse operators, and others across the supply chain with the insights they need to seamlessly move cargo in and out of ports.”

USCG Cutter Healy Departs Seattle for Arctic

Earlier this month, crew members of the 420-foot-long medium polar icebreaker U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy left its Seattle homeport and embarked on its months-long deployment to the Arctic.

The crew, which set out July 10, will be part of several science and research missions, further U.S. interests along the U.S.-Russia maritime border, conduct operations that “build preparedness, prevention and response capabilities,” and work and train with foreign Navy and patrol partners as part of its annual work in the region.

Members will also sail around North America through the Northwest Passage and the Panama Canal and support the Coast Guard’s Arctic Strategy.

Healy’s deployment provides opportunities to deepen the Coast Guard’s cooperation and commitment with our Arctic allies and partners and to support scientific exploration to increase understanding of the changing Arctic environment and associated impacts,” Coast Guard Pacific Area Commander Vice Adm. Michael McAllister said.

Feedback on Renewal Exams Via Email Positive, NMC Says

Mariners who have been able to complete renewal examinations by email responded positively to the process, according to the National Maritime Center.

In May, the NMC started offering an email option for renewal examinations, which enables mariners to ask for, finish and turn in renewal exams for grading. More than 1,200 mariners finished over 3,000 examination modules via email and “the feedback regarding the improved communications and significant reduction in processing time is overwhelmingly positive.”

Mariners should refrain from mailing hardcopy examinations, which could mean processing delays, the NMC said.

For those who received Approval to Test (ATT) letters for renewal examinations on or after May 1 should head to the NMC Examinations Page website for directions on how to get an electronic examination.

When mariners get an ATT letter, they need to ask for their exam by email at or by calling the NMC Customer Contact Center. They need to provide a payment receipt with the request if the examination fee was not paid.

NMC will then email the mariner an Adobe PDF copy of the exam module(s).

For more information, contact the NMC Customer Service Center by email at, or call 1-888-IASKNMC (888-427-5662).

Friday, July 23, 2021

U.S. West Coast Ports See Slight Dip in May Cargo: PMSA Report

U.S. West Coast ports moved 37.7% of imports in May, a slight drop from 38.1% in May 2020 and 38.6% from May 2019, according to new numbers released by the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association.

The five largest West Coast ports - those in Los Angeles, Los Angeles, Oakland, Seattle and Tacoma - moved most of those imports - about 36.2% - in May, a slight decrease from 36.6% in May 2020 and 37.2% in May 2019.

All USWC seaports processed 29% of U.S. exports in May, dipping from 29.6% in May 2020 and 34.6% in May 2019.

The five major U.S. West Coast ports moved 59.4% of all containerized import tonnage originating from Asia in May, which was up from May 2020 when the Big Five handled 55% of imports and from May 2019 when they handled 57.4% of imports.

Collectively, U.S. West Coast ports moved 60.2% of imports and 53.7% of exports headed to Asia.

“While the Big Five clearly dominate USWC containerized trade with the Far East, their shares are slipping ever so slightly,” according to PMSA.

The five major USWC seaports saw 98.6% of imports and 97.6% of exports in May, down from 98.8% of import shares and 99% of export shares in May 2019.

Potential Queen Mary Transfer to Port of LB Concerns Supply Chain Stakeholders

Supply chain stakeholders are urging city and harbor leaders not to saddle the Port of Long Beach with the responsibility of the Queen Mary, an historic vessel in need of millions of dollars in repairs.

In a July 20 letter to Long Beach Harbor Commission President Frank Colonna, a number of stakeholders including the California Fresh Fruit Association, the California Retailers Association and Harbor Trucking Association expressed their concerns about the possibility of such a move.

“Transferring the ill-fated vessel and the equally unsafe submarine will be a huge drain of port resources – threatening the port’s ability to invest in infrastructure needed to meet clean air goals and maintain port competitiveness,” according to the letter.

The letter comes as members of the Long Beach City Council are considering its next steps for the beleaguered ship, which the city has owned since 1967 and leased to operators whose responsibility it was to maintain and repair the Queen Mary. The city retained full control of the vessel after the last operator filed for bankruptcy and walked away from the lease.

At a study session Tuesday, the Council was given three possible options: scraping the Queen Mary for $105 million to $190 million, preserving it for the next 25 years for $150 million to $175 million, or moving it to a dry dock in an effort to preserve it for the next 100 years for an estimated $200 million to $500 million.

Some city leaders are leaning toward preserving the ship. In the letter to Colonna, stakeholders said the city - not the port - should bear the cost of “this albatross.”

“If the city wants the Queen Mary to be resurrected,” the letter said, “then the city should fund all the costs associated.”

National Maritime Center to Resume Counter Service

Starting this week, counter service appointments are available at several Regional Examination Centers operated by the National Maritime Center.

There will still be limited examination services. Mariners must make an appointment for counter and exam services and those who are late won’t be allowed and will have to reschedule. Mariners must be screened for COVID-19 and will be asked to reschedule if they show symptoms. Face masks are required unless mariners can provide health documentation. All fees must be paid upfront before the appointment. For exam appointments, mariners should have their receipt, No. 2 pencils, photo identification, a non-programmable calculator and plotting equipment.

Mariners who want to schedule counter service or examination appointments should reach out to the following West Coast REC or MU:
  • REC Anchorage –
  • REC Honolulu –
  • REC Juneau –
  • REC Long Beach –
  • REC Oakland –
  • REC Portland –
  • REC Seattle –
  • MU Ketchikan – (907) 225-4496, Ext. 3

For more information, reach out to the Customer Service Center at or 1-888-IASKNMC (888-427-5662).

Electric Truck Demo Launches at Port of Oakland

This month, the Port of Oakland and its logistics partners kicked off a battery electric truck demonstration project with 10 new battery electric trucks at Shippers Transport Express.

This battery electric truck demonstration project is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It expands options for another clean, cargo-handling technology at California ports.

The vehicles’ trips will be within the Port of Oakland. The data collected will include emissions reductions measurements. The trucks will also be monitored for how effectively they operate when hauling fully loaded containers.

Currently, 17 battery electric trucks are in operation at the port. Presently, use of these drayage trucks are limited to short distances and lighter cargo loads because of range and highway weight limitations.

“We’re grateful to the California Air Resources Board for funding electric drayage trucks,” the port’s director of environmental programs and planning, Richard Sinkoff, said in a July 19 statement. “Demonstration projects help us toward our goal of a zero-emissions seaport.”

The $5.1 million cost for the Peterbilt trucks are being funded with a grant from a Zero and Near-Zero-Emission Freight Facility program.

“Getting these cleaner-running and quieter trucks into service is a major step in testing the feasibility of battery electric trucks moving containers,” said port Maritime Director Bryan Brandes.

Testing will take place over three months.

The port has been working to advance its sustainability goals, spending $1.7 million and two years to build 10 electric charging stations at Shippers Transport and a new electrical substation and power line extension to link the charging stations.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Containership that Caught Fire Still Stranded at Oakland Port

The containership NYK Delphinus, which was towed to the Port of Oakland after its engine room caught fire in May is still stranded in Northern California, the port’s communications director confirmed to PMM Online.

The Delphinus was reportedly about 50 miles west of the coast of Monterey, California, en route from the Port of Vancouver to Oakland, when the crew reported an engine fire to U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Francisco watchstanders at 4:54 a.m. Friday, May 14. The fire was eventually extinguished, and the vessel was towed by the U.S. Coast Guard to berth 22 at the Port of Oakland the evening of May 17.

Oakland port spokesman Roberto Bernardo said July 19 that the only thing that’s been offloaded from the vessel over the past couple of months is the refrigerated cargo, and that the Delphinus is expected to remain at the port for a while still, although no timeline was given.

“It will be here until the cargo is offloaded and surveyed and insurance adjusted,” Bernardo said of the vessel.

At the time of the incident, the Liberia-flagged vessel, which was built in 2007, had been operating on Ocean Network Express’ (ONE) Atlantic 5 service, which connects North America, South America and Europe. NYK is a co-owner of ONE.

There were no reported injuries to the crew or pollution resulting from the fire, according to the USCG.

Port of Oakland Predicts Record Cargo Growth

With the Port of Oakland handling about 1.3 million TEUs in the last six months, the Northern California seaport could possibly exceed 2.6 million TEUs by the end of the year, a first for Oakland, according to the port on Friday.

Oakland moved 11.4% more containers in the first six months of this year compared to the same time in 2020. Imports in Oakland have risen year-over-year for five straight months, including in June when imports jumped 15% compared to the same time last year.

“We’ve never seen this level of activity and based on the outlook we’re preparing for more,” said port Maritime Director Bryan Brandes. “Our challenge is serving customers who expect us to handle their cargo efficiently.”

The port says imports are driving the record numbers and that the trend is expected to continue because of upcoming holiday and fall peak season, high demand for vessel space likely due to record freight rates and strong consumer spending for products made overseas likely due to increased U.S. inflation.

Oakland, which has been moving an average of 66% more cargo this year than last year, has been trying to keep up with record cargo demand like other major West Coast ports. Oakland anticipates that the presence of more dockworkers will lead to fewer delays in delivering cargo by late summer.

Dwell Time Up at San Pedro Bay Ports

The average time that a cargo container stayed onsite at the San Pedro Bay ports before it was moved out was up last month compared with the previous month, according to numbers recently released by the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association.

Last month, containers sat at the ports for an average of 4.76 days, compared to 3.96 days in May. About nearly 24% of containers lingered at terminals for over five days before being picked up. Also, the average dwell time for containers departing by on-dock rail rose from 10.5 days in May to 11.8 days in June.

PMSA is attributing the higher container dwell time to recent record cargo volumes, which has affected the supply chain. The demand has caused unavailable warehouse space, equipment shortages and other bottleneck issues.

“Container dwell time is a vital metric to monitor because it provides an idea of the efficiency of marine terminal operators and the rest of the supply chain partners,” said Jessica Alvarenga, Manager of Government Affairs for PMSA. “The ports anticipate that back-to-school consumer demand and the holiday shipping season, which runs from July through October, will create additional congestion pressure. Our terminal operators and dock workers are doing a great job at moving record volumes despite the congestion hindering other parts of the supply.”

Crane Arrives at Port of Bellingham

Earlier this month, the Port of Bellingham welcomed a 120-metric ton capacity harbor crane, marking a big moment in the port’s efforts to modernize Bellingham Shipping Terminal.

With a reach of 157 feet and the capability to move various cargo, the 817,915-pound Liebherr brand harbor crane was moved by barge from California to Bellingham and is expected to be put into service on several projects once it’s certified.

This equipment piece and the recent terminal upgrade funded with a $6.85 million federal PIDP grant, will go a long way in drawing new customers and better serve long-term businesses.

“The new harbor crane is an amazing piece of machinery which will open the door for business opportunities we have not been able to access and create good jobs for our community,” said port Commission President Ken Bell. “Having a massive crane on the docks of the Bellingham Shipping Terminal not only shows we are (a) working port, but it will serve as a lasting symbol of the strength of Whatcom County’s working waterfront.”

The terminal has the potential to create more good-paying jobs, according to port officials.

“Having a harbor crane to load and unload cargo is a key component in our return to working seaport status,” said port Marine Terminals Business Development Manager Chris Clark.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Nichols Bros Delivers Fourth ASD-90 Tug to Foss Maritime

Foss Maritime, a division of the Saltchuk company, recently received its fourth ASD-90 tractor tug from Nichols Brothers Boat Builders.

The m/v Rachael Allen is part of a series of four NBBB-built vessels constructed from April 2020 to last month that also includes the m/v Jamie Ann, m/v Sarah Avrick and m/v Leisa Florence.

“The ASD-90 newbuild program produced three vessels for Foss and one vessel for our sister company, AmNav,” said Foss Maritime President Will Roberts. “They will meet the current and future needs of the largest vessels of our customers calling on California ports.”

A pair of the vessels will be based in Los Angeles/Long Beach, while two others will be stationed in the San Francisco Bay offering escort and assist services to large tankers and container vessels calling on the California ports, according to NBBB.

Seattle-based Jensen Maritime Consultants designed the ASD-90 Class tugs and were made with sustainability and efficiency in mind with a pair of MTU Series 16v4000M65L main engines each rated at 3433 HP and a system that digitally monitors the engines, among other features.

“We are tremendously grateful to Foss for trusting us with this four-vessel program,” said Tor Hovig, vice president of sales and customer relations for NBBB.

Friday, July 16, 2021

New Research Asserts Supply Chain Issues Drive Congestion at West Coast Ports

New research commissioned by the Pacific Maritime Association says that problems throughout the supply chain drive much of the cargo congestion at West Coast ports.

John Martin, the maritime economist heading the research, asserts that much of what’s slowing cargo movement happens away from the docks.

That includes overfilled warehouses and not having enough available shipping containers, rail cars, trucks or equipment to get the job done. This has caused backlogs at terminals and cargo ships at local seaports, which are experiencing record cargo movement.

“The San Pedro Bay Ports are of monumental importance to the economy of Southern California, as well as California’s statewide economy,” PMA CEO Jim McKenna said in a released statement. “This important new research makes clear that the ongoing terminal and vessel backlogs result from a cumulative collapse of the entire logistics supply chain, overwhelmed by the historic cargo surge.”

“As the supply chain continues to struggle to meet the demands of this historic import surge, we must work collaboratively across industries to identify solutions that span our entire logistics network,” McKenna said.

Everett Port Officials Break Ground on Terminal Project

The Port of Everett and local and federal officials celebrated the beginning of a long-planned $36 million Norton Terminal project Thursday with a groundbreaking ceremony at the former Kimberly-Clark mill site.

Thursday’s event was a big moment for the port, marking the site’s final cleanup of the site to make way for a new marine terminal. It’s the centerpiece of the port’s “Mills to Maritime” initiative, an over $100 million plan to redevelop the old mill site into a new hub for maritime business, according to the port.

“This project is mission critical to this community and the economic vitality of our working waterfront and region,” port CEO Lisa Lefeber said. “This work literally paves the way to our economic recovery, supporting cargo and industry diversification and restoring meaningful family-wage jobs to this site.”

Part of the funding for the work comes from a $17.75 million federal BUILD grant administered through MARAD and a $7.65 million Washington State Department of Ecology MTCA grant, the port said.

Norton Terminal is expected to open in Fall 2022. The project’s estimated to yield over 800 construction jobs and support about 950 jobs.

Port of Los Angeles Posts June Cargo Record

The Port of Los Angeles had its busiest June to date, handling 876,430 TEUs last month, a 27% jump from the same time a year ago, according to statistics released by the port Wednesday.

The port moved 27% more imports with 467,763 TEUs and handled 96,067 TEUs in exports last month, a 12% drop from June 2020 and the smallest amount of exported cargo in 16 years.

Meanwhile, Asia’s demand for empty containers continues. The port showed a 47% spike in empties, moving 312,600 TEUs last month.

The port closed its fiscal year ending on June 30 with nearly 11 million TEUs, a first for a Western Hemisphere seaport.

“Key economic indicators all suggest that U.S. consumer spending will remain strong through the remainder of 2021,” port Executive Director Gene Seroka said. “Even as Americans return to airline travel, vacations and in-person events, retail sales and e-commerce remain robust.”

Fall-forward goods such as back-to-school and Halloween items are arriving at the port, with some retailers shipping year-end holiday products early, Seroka added.

“All signs point to a robust second half of the year, which is good news for the nearly 1 million residents in the region who have jobs tied to the San Pedro Bay port complex,” he said.

Northwest Seaport Alliance’s Sustainability Commitment Recognized for 4th Straight Year

The Northwest Seaport Alliance has earned 75 Green Supply Chain Partner honors for the fourth year in a row. The distinction recognizes NWSA’s commitment to protecting the environment through proactive and collaborative partnerships with supply chain partners, stakeholders and communities throughout the Puget Sound.

The 75 organizations selected for the honors represent various trade sectors, including ports, trucking companies, railroads, shipping lines, freight forwarders and air cargo carriers. The companies are recognized for their commitment to supply chain sustainability and going above and beyond to ensure that their operations are socially and environmentally friendly.

The NWSA gateway has made significant progress in sustainability, reducing diesel particulate matter (DPM) emissions by more than 90% since 2005. The Alliance, which consists of the shipping operations of the ports of Seattle and Tacoma, recently adopted its 2020 Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy, which sets the goal of phasing out diesel pollution and greenhouse gas emissions associated with seaport activities by 2050.

Also, through the implementation of the NWSA Clean Truck Program, all drayage trucks serving the international container terminals are model year 2007 or newer, which equates to 90% cleaner trucks serving NWSA terminals.

Additional initiatives include investing more than one million dollars to convert lighting to energy-efficient LED fixtures, habitat development, mitigation banking, and shore power use on terminals.

“By continuously improving our facilities, vehicles, equipment, policies, and practices, we are creating a cleaner and healthier environment for our community and employees,” the NWSA said in a statement.

The complete list of 75 honorees is featured in the June 2021 issue of Inbound Logistics magazine.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Crowley to Build, Operate 1st Fully Electric U.S. Tugboat

Crowley Maritime Corp. will build and operate eWolf, the first all-electric powered harbor tugboat that can complete a job without expending a drop of fuel, the company announced July 12.

The electric tug will replace one that consumes more than 30,000 gallons of diesel per year. The eTug, which will operate at the Port of San Diego’s Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal, is expected to be operational by mid-2023.

The 82-foot vessel with 70 tons of bollard pull advances Crowley and the maritime industry’s efforts toward sustainability and decarbonization. Over the first 10 years of its use, the operation of the eTug is expected to reduce 178 tons of nitrogen oxide (NOx), 2.5 tons of diesel particulate matter, and 3,100 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) versus a conventional tug.

The eTug will be built by Master Boat Builders in Coden, Alabama, utilizing the design and on-site construction management by Crowley Engineering Services and its recently integrated Jensen Maritime naval architecture and marine engineering group. The vessel’s battery system will be charged at a specially designed, shoreside station developed with Cochran Marine.

It will also feature a design that allows the vessel to operate fully electric with full performance capabilities – and zero carbon emissions, according to Crowley Maritime. The eTug will feature a fully integrated electrical package.

“Our dedicated shipbuilding employees are proud to be working with Crowley to lead innovation with the construction of this first-of-its-kind tugboat,” Master Boat Builders President Garrett Rice said. “This vessel will set a standard in the U.S. maritime industry for sustainability and performance, and its zero-emissions capability and autonomous technology will benefit the environment and the safety of mariners and vessels.”

The eTug is being built as a result of a partnership between Crowley, the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District, the California Air Resources Board, the Port of San Diego, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Maritime Administration, all of which provided financial support and other resources.

West Coast Port Leaders Urge Congressional Help on CBP Shortfall

Port of Hueneme CEO Kristen Decas and Northwest Seaport Alliance CEO John Wolfe recently met with Republican leaders on the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security to talk about how an understaffed U.S. Customs and Border Protection is challenging ports and is asking Congress to help fill the staffing gap.

Decas and Wolfe spoke on behalf of American Association of Port Authorities members, saying that the shortfall of at least 1,400 CBP officers limits inspections and causes processing delays and adds to congestion at the ports. Furthermore, ports have had to pay CBP officers overtime to ease congestion, they said.

“Congress must fully fund and invest in CBP to ensure seaports don’t continue to bear the burden of facilitating unbearable demands,” said Rep. Carlos Gimenez, Ranking Member of the House Transportation and Maritime Security Subcommittee. “The work our seaports conduct to facilitate trade and commerce is essential to our economic recovery. Security at our ports has never been more important.”

The AAPA said it is also reaching out to committee Democrats for similar discussions.

PNW Ports Seek Public Input on Emissions Plans

The public is asked to weigh in on draft implementation plans for the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy, which seeks to address port-related air pollution.

This year, the ports of Vancouver, BC, Seattle, Tacoma, and the Northwest Seaport Alliance adopted a strategy that seeks to address climate change and air emissions at the ports in the coming years, with each port developing an implementation plan tailored to their business needs.

The strategy targets six areas: ocean vessels, cargo-handling equipment, trucks, harbor vessels, rail and port administration and tenant facilities. The ports want the public’s input on their plans, specifically what projects to prioritize and which strategies best serve the public.

While the ports have been meeting goals to lower diesel particulate matter and greenhouse gas emissions when compared to 2005 levels, total GHG emissions across the four ports rose by nearly 5%, which the ports are attributing to cargo demands outpacing GHG emissions reduction efforts.

“This is an issue where we have overwhelming agreement on the urgency,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Stephanie Bowman. “Taking community feedback on how to prioritize and implement this strategy, and making progress towards our zero-emissions future, is some of the most urgent and important work we will do this year.”

Comments can be submitted through Aug. 15 via online survey at, or during a July 15 webinar at

Heddle Shipyards Joins Green Marine Program

Canadian shipyard and drydock operator Heddle Shipyards is the newest business to join environmental certification program Green Marine.

Heddle Shipyards is one of the first 10 firms in North America to voluntarily participate in the program, which reviews an organization’s sustainability performance for ongoing improvement.

“We are determined to continue improving our environmental performance and participating in a rigorous and transparent environmental initiative such as Green Marine complements the sustainable development approach we have adopted,” Heddle Shipyards Health & Safety, Security & Environmental Manager Dan Cummings said.

“Green Marine is so pleased to welcome Heddle Shipyards into the Green Marine program, where it can benchmark its progress along with over 70 other U.S. and Canadian terminals and shipyards,” said Executive Director David Bolduc.

“Heddle Shipyards is already conveying its genuine commitment to sustainability through its ship recycling program that ensures vessels are appropriately dismantled at the end of their usage with all materials properly recycled or disposed,” Bolduc added.

Matson Announces Prelim Q2 Results

Matson Inc.'s ocean transportation and logistics businesses performed well in the second quarter as the U.S. economy continues to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, said the company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Matt Cox.

Cox recently announced that the company anticipates its second quarter operating income for ocean transportation of $197 million to $202 million and its logistics operating income of $12 to $13 million, with a net income and diluted EPS of $156.9 to $163.6 million and $3.58 to $3.73, respectively.

The Honolulu-based firm released its results ahead of its July 29 second quarter earnings call.

“Within Ocean Transportation, our China service continued to see significant demand for its expedited CLX and CLX+ ocean services as volume for e-commerce, garments and other goods remained elevated, and was the primary driver of the increase in consolidated operating income year-over-year,” Cox said.

Supply chain congestion and heightened consumption trends continue in the Transpacific trade lane, which Matson predicts will continue and lead to high demand at least until Lunar New Year (Feb. 1) in 2022, he added.

“As a result of the exceptional level of demand for our expedited Transpacific services, we recently announced the initiation of our CCX service as a seasonal string with Matson-owned vessels from China to the U.S. West Coast with Oakland as the first call,” Cox remarked. “Consequently, we expect our vessels in the CLX, CLX+ and CCX to be operating at capacity at least until Lunar New Year next year.”

Friday, July 9, 2021

Port of Hueneme Completes Harbor Deepening Project

After more than 20 years, the Port of Hueneme recently finished its long-awaited harbor deepening project.

The $10.4 million project, conceived in 1999 by a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project feasibility study, deepens the port’s berth areas from 35 feet to 40 feet and allows for more efficient cargo movement. The 390,000 cubic yards of sand dredged was repurposed for the beach.

“This is a historical day for the port as we are finally realizing the completion of a vision by the port, the board and our many partners,” said port CEO and Director Kristin Decas. “The ongoing modernization of our port and harbor creates ladders of opportunity for our community, creating local jobs and access to a better quality of life through global trade.”

The project was funded with $3.6 million from the Port of Hueneme/Oxnard Harbor District and $6.8 million total from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Naval Base Ventura County.

“The Corps is excited about the completion of this important deepening project in collaboration with the Port of Hueneme/Oxnard Harbor District and the U.S. Navy,” said Col. Julie Balten, Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District. “This project will enable the port to accommodate larger vessels, which support not only our nation’s economy, but also our national defense.”

June Imports Up, Exports Flat at Port of Long Beach

The Port of Long Beach saw 20.3% more overall cargo last month than it did in June 2020, moving 724,297 TEUs, according to new numbers released Thursday.

The nation’s second-busiest port handled 357,101 TEUs in imported goods last month, 18.8% more than the same time last year. Meanwhile, exports remained flat with a slight 0.5% dip from June 2020 with 116,947 TEUs. Empty containers rose 36% to 250,249 TEUs. The numbers reflect a cooling of consumerism as the world slowly reopens post-quarantine.

“We anticipate e-commerce to drive much of our cargo movement through the rest of 2021 as retailers plan for a busy summer season,” port Executive Director Mario Cordero remarked. “However, June serves as an indicator that consumer demand for goods will gradually level off as the national economy continues to open up and services become more widely available.”

The port saw fewer cargo vessels in June than it did in May because of a shift in services and delays stemming from a COVID-19 outbreak in China’s Yantian port, officials said.

In May, U.S. retail sales were 18% higher than pre-pandemic, even though consumer spending was down because of rising prices. In June, port officials expect consumers to spend at eateries, travel and other services as states begin to relax COVID-19 restrictions.

Alaskan, Washington Fisheries Eligible for Disaster Help

Three West Coast fisheries have been identified by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo as fishery disasters that are eligible for disaster help.

The 2019 Norton Sound Red King Crab in Alaska, the 2018 Port Gamble S’Klallam Puget Sound Coho Salmon in Washington and the 2019 Chehalis and Black River Spring Chinook Salmon in Washington met the criteria for eligibility.

“Fisheries are essential to our communities and economy and we want to ensure America is in a position to remain competitive on the global stage,” Raimondo said. “These determinations allow us to lend a helping hand to the fishing families and communities that have experienced very real and difficult setbacks in the last few years.”

The Secretary worked with NOAA Fisheries to review fishery disaster requests, which are based on submitted data and fall under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and/or the Interjurisdictional Fisheries Act.

Such a designation allows these fisheries to qualify for assistance from NOAA, the Small Business Administration and the Department of Commerce, which has money left over from previously budgeted fishery disaster help and can reallocate those funds.

Thursday, July 8, 2021

NOAA Launches Operation Clean Seas

NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement and the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries on the West Coast have teamed up to kick off its inaugural Operation Clean Seas, an effort to raise public awareness on sanctuary discharge rules in the Olympic Coast, Greater Farallones, Cordell Bank, Monterey Bay, and Channel Islands national marine sanctuaries.

“National Marine Sanctuaries are America’s most valued ocean areas,” said Greg Busch, Assistant Director of NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement, West Coast Division. “Compliance with discharge regulations helps ensure these special places are available for current and future generations.”

The awareness program, which will be promoted through Labor Day weekend, will involve informational pamphlets to those who operate commercial fishing, recreational, and charter vessels at dockside inspections and at-sea boardings, as well as to the public at national marine sanctuary and marina offices.

Tips include:
  • Discarding untreated sewage and graywater by using sewage pump-out or dump stations or mobile pump-out services.

  • Curbing graywater’s effect on the environment by using a phosphate-free soap to and showering and dish washing on the mainland to lessen graywater discharge.

  • Protecting against oily and dirty bilge water discharge by making regular engine, hose and fitting checks and adding an oil absorbent pad or pillow in your vessel’s bilge.

  • Not using soap to disperse fuel and oil spills or bilge cleaners.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Change of Command for USCG 13th District

Rear Adm. Melvin Bouboulis is the new commander of the 13th Coast Guard District, overseeing USCG operations throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Bouboulis, formerly the director of operational logistics in Washington, D.C., takes over for Rear Adm. Anthony “Jack” Vogt, who’s retiring after 35 years of service.

“It has been an incredible privilege to serve as the 13th District Commander for the past two years,” said Vogt. “Throughout my tenure, I have endeavored to honor my oath, perform the mission, adhere to the Coast Guard core values, and take care of the crews I have been trusted to lead.”

“During what has been an extremely challenging time in our nation’s history, I am extremely proud of our Coast Guard women and men for performing with excellence while saving lives, ensuring maritime security, and protecting our beautiful Pacific Northwest environment,” he said.

The ceremony recently took place at Coast Guard Base Seattle where Vice Adm. Michael F. McAllister, commander of Coast Guard Pacific Area, presided over the command change.

Port of Oakland Tenants, Staff Receive Half a Million Free Face Masks

Two California firms have helped get 500,000 face masks to Port of Oakland staff and tenants.

BELLA+CANVAS, a sustainable clothing company in Montebello, donated the masks, and Oakland trucking firm Impact Transportation offered to deliver them to the port.

“We’re happy to do our part during the pandemic to help the port, which provides the region’s essential everyday products,” said Kenneth W. Duncan, executive director of logistics at BELLA+CANVAS, which last year partnered with federal agencies to create face masks in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, and chose the port as the recipient.

The gestures were welcomed by the port, which for the last 18 months has been moving a record amount of cargo during the pandemic and handling various matters related to the health crisis, including the disembarking and repatriation of cruise ship passengers affected by COVID-19 on the Grand Princess.

“Our staff, tenants and customers have worked heroically to keep the state going despite COVID-19,” port Maritime Director Bryan Brandes said. “We’re grateful that we can thank them with this simple but essential gift.”

Port of Long Beach Approves $622.4M Budget

The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners has approved a $622.4 million spending plan for fiscal year 2022, which begins Oct. 1.

The budget, which needs final approval from the City Council, includes $329.1 million allotted for capital improvements such as upgrades to bridges, roads and terminals, as well as $20.6 million to the city’s Tidelands Operating Fund and the addition of 11 full-time jobs at the port.

“Although the COVID-19 pandemic tested our resolve, we remain focused on the future by investing in strategic projects that will improve cargo flow, reliability and efficiency,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Frank Colonna. “As an international gateway for trade, the port is well positioned to endure economic challenges and assist in the nation’s economic recovery.”

The 2022 plan is 4.2% lower than the previous budget. The port is anticipating 8.7% higher operating revenue based on how well containerized cargo volumes are performing.

“The scope and reach of the COVID-19 pandemic struck a serious blow to the global economy, but the port remains fiscally strong and secure,” port Executive Director Mario Cordero said. “We plan to assist with the region’s recovery by continuing to invest in our community, our workforce and infrastructure upgrades that will keep us competitive well into the future.”

USCG Cutter Alex Haley Returns from Bering Sea Patrol

After 52 days patrolling the Bering Sea, the crew members of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley returned last week to their homeport in Kodiak, Alaska.

During their deployment, the crew of the 282-foot medium endurance cutter lent search and rescue support to fisheries in the region and patrolled the Aleutian chain, conducting 17 law enforcement boardings. They were there to enforce maritime law and regulation compliance and ensure that illegal harvesting of U.S. fish stocks was prevented by watching the maritime boundary line.

“Assuming the duties as commanding officer of Alex Haley during a patrol afforded me the opportunity to learn a great deal about the ship and its crew,” said Cmdr. Brian Whisler commanding officer of the Alex Haley. “While such a significant transition can prove challenging, the crew continually maintained impressive work ethic and professionalism in the execution of our primary missions. Their dedication to the people and communities we serve proves Alex Haley crew members (are) a vital asset in the Bering Sea region.”

From the Editor: Maritime Cybersecurity

By Mark Nero, Managing Editor

As the rest of the world becomes more and more dependent upon technology, so does the maritime industry. All kinds of gadgets, from smartphones to tablets to apps have enhanced the way the industry operates.

But sometimes with beneficial advancement also come issues that occasionally need to be addressed. And that’s certainly the case with technology, as one of its big challenges is being able to keep data and information safe and secure. Things such as ransomware, spyware, phishing and computer viruses are all issues that companies big and small that use various forms of technology sometimes have to deal with.

Realizing this, and in a continual effort to serve the needs of our readers, the print version of Pacific Maritime will debut a new maritime cybersecurity column in its August issue. The column, which will run in every other issue, will tackle various issues. Upcoming columns are planned on the following topics:
  • Introduction to Maritime Cyber Security – International Maritime Organization and US Coast Guard Guidance.
  • Ransomware - What is it and why is it an Issue for Maritime?
  • What is the USCG Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA)?
  • How to Perform a Cyber Risk Assessment.
Authoring the column will be Ernie Hayden, a longtime cybersecurity expert based in the Seattle, Washington area.

Ernie, who’s an industrial control systems cyber and physical security subject matter expert, previously was a cybersecurity lead at Canada-based BBA Inc.; an executive consultant with Alexandria, Va.-based Securicon; before that, he was managing principal, critical infrastructure protection/cybersecurity with Verizon.

Prior to Verizon, Ernie was the information security strategic advisor in the compliance office at Seattle City Light. He was also the chief information security officer for the Port of Seattle.

He also previously held several significant management positions in both business management and the information security management arenas. He was president and CEO of Bellevue, Wash.- based MCM Enterprise, an advanced sensor technology company for the hydroelectric sector; he was IT security lead for the Seattle Justice Information System in the Seattle Municipal Court and Seattle Police Department; he was director of security services for Alstom Esca software; executive director for the Electric Power Research Institute covering western U.S. and Canadian operations; and a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy qualified as a nuclear engineer and surface warfare officer.

Ernie has extensive experience in industrial controls security, the power utility industry, critical infrastructure protection/information security, cybercrime and cyberwarfare. He is also a noted writer and speaker on the topic of industrial controls cyber and physical security, as well as the nuances of critical infrastructure protection.

And if all that wasn’t enough, Ernie is also an accomplished photographer; one of the latest examples of his work can be found on the cover of the August issue of Pacific Maritime’s sister publication, Fishermen’s News.

So, with all that said, I’d like to officially welcome Ernie to the Maritime Publishing team, and I look forward to reading his expert insight on maritime cybersecurity every other month. Considering all the cybersecurity threats now out there in the maritime industry as well as the world at large, the launch of his column is a very timely one.

Managing Editor Mark Nero can be reached at:

Friday, July 2, 2021

PSMA Expresses Concerns About Ports’ Possible Power Shortages

The head of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association is expressing concerns that a highly impacted electrical grid could adversely affect power supply to California’s green-driven ports and the supply chain.

PMSA President John McLaurin raised his concerns following the recent release of a report by engineering consultancy Moffatt and Nichol report that looks at California’s energy grid needs for vessels and the cargo-moving landside equipment.

There’s been a years-long push to move the supply chain to zero-emission technologies by 2035, but the growing power demand could challenge the state’s ability to provide ports the energy they need to move cargo.

“This report confirms our belief that the zero-emission goal of 2035 will require complex planning, substantial funding and a level of cooperation and coordination by a myriad of state and local agencies for a massive public works project that has never been undertaken in California,” McLaurin said.

The report states that California needs to address several challenges, including making sure there’s enough energy to power electric vehicles and other equipment during marine terminal times -- especially at peak hours, improving the energy infrastructure to support a more reliable electrical grid, and having enough backup power in case of an emergency.

“As federal and state elected officials consider infrastructure improvements, California public officials need to review state energy and environmental policies to ensure that California jobs and businesses are not put at risk,” said McLaurin.

The full Moffatt & Nichol report can be read online at

USCG Documents Historic Shipwreck

Efforts to record the shipwreck of historic U.S. Coast Guard Cutter McCulloch and the area surrounding it continued earlier this month with USCG crews that headed to the site to survey the damage.

On June 13, 1917, the McCulloch collided with the passenger steamship SS Governor. The wreckage is still within waters of the proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary, according to the agency.

Cutter Blackfin crew members brought the Regional Dive Locker West and Maritime Safety and Security Team Los Angeles/Long Beach to the shipwreck area where remotely operated vehicles, or ROVs, were used in depths greater than 200 feet to more closely look at the sunken vessel and surrounding area.

McCulloch had a remarkable career as both a U.S. Revenue Cutter Service vessel and U.S. Coast Guard cutter,” said Coast Guard Daniel Koski-Karell, who with fellow historian Scott Price and the chief scientist for the mission, NOAA maritime archaeologist Robert Schwemmer, partnered to submit the Cutter McCulloch’s nomination into the National Register of Historic Places.

“Its participation in the Spanish-American War’s 1898 Battle of Manila Bay victory is memorialized by the trophy cannon the McCulloch brought to the U.S. that stands today in front of the Coast Guard Academy’s Hamilton Hall,” Koski-Karell remarked.

On April 22, the shipwreck was officially listed in the National Register as a site of “national significance.”

“The listing to the National Register of Historic Places, as well as California’s Register of Historical Resources, demonstrates the spirit of cooperation between NOAA and the Coast Guard, enhances public awareness of McCulloch’s important role in America’s history, while honoring its crew,” said Schwemmer, who’s the West Coast regional maritime heritage coordinator for NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.

It has been nearly five years since NOAA and USCG members confirmed the shipwreck site during an October 2016 training mission.

Oakland Port Approves $463 Million FY Budget

Port of Oakland commissioners have passed a $465.3 million spending plan for fiscal year 2021-22, 7.6% more than the previous FY.

Under the budget, the port has set aside $102.9 million for capital projects, with a focus on upgrading infrastructure and ensuring regulatory compliance.

The spending plan also allows the port to be more nimble in the face of uncertainty, officials say. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenging one for Oakland, and while the port has seen record numbers on the maritime side of its business, its aviation and commercial real estate segments have been affected. The latter two are rebounding, but not quickly enough to remove revenue uncertainty, port officials say.

"Despite record cargo volumes at the Oakland seaport, we are being cautious with the budget increase considering that aviation passenger traffic is still projected to be short of pre-pandemic levels,” Port of Oakland Executive Director Danny Wan explained.

The port, which owns and runs Oakland International Airport, anticipates that business to reach about 55% of its FY 2019 levels.

“Our budget strategy is to maintain long-term financial strength, resiliency, and prioritize and plan for major capital projects,” Executive Director Wan stated. “We aim to control increases in operating expenses while expanding our investment in capital infrastructure."

Matson Board Sees Dividend Increase, Approves Share Repurchase

The board of directors for Honolulu-based container shipping and logistics company Matson, Inc. recently announced a third quarter dividend of $0.30 per common share, a 30.4% jump from the previous dividend.

The dividend is scheduled to be paid to shareholders on Sept. 2.

The board has also agreed to a share repurchase program totaling 3 million shares, representing about $190 million of possible repurchases as of June 24, the company announced.

"We are pleased to announce this return of capital to shareholders," said Matt Cox, Matson's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “The substantive increase in the dividend and the initiation of a new share buyback program reflects our board's confidence in long-term free cash flow growth.”

Last May, the company kicked off a second expedited ocean service from China to the U.S. West Coast, called the CLX+, to meet the demand of its first China-to-Long Beach service.

“The success of the CLX+ service,” Cox said, “is expected to continue to be a driver in free cash flow growth.”

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Imports Up, Exports Down at U.S. West Coast Ports

Ports along the U.S. West Coast moved 38.9% of all container imports in April, an increase from the 37.5% moved during the same month last year and up from the 36.8% moved in April 2019, according to new data from the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association.

West Coast ports also moved 34.7% of loaded export tonnage that came through the April, a decrease from 37.1% in April 2020 and from 36.5% in April 2019.

Much of April’s container traffic was handled by the five busiest ports on the West Coast – Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland, Seattle and Tacoma – where 95.1% of West Coast imports and 96.3% of loaded exports passed through, according to PMSA data.

The Big Five handles most of West Coast’s trade with East Asia, moving 98.1% of imports and 98.3% of exports. However, those numbers are down from two years ago when the Big Five handled 99% of imports and 99.8% of exports from East Asia in April 2019.

When all West Coast ports are included, the data for April shows that they moved 56.7% of the nation’s imports from Asia, a slight jump from 54.6% in April 2020 and from 56.1% from the same month in 2019.

For loaded exports heading to Asia, West Coast ports moved 54.4% of those containers in April, a drop from 57.6% in April 2020 and 58.1% from April 2019.

New NOAA Administrator Named

The U.S. Senate has confirmed scientist and longtime environmental expert Richard Spinrad as the undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and the 11th NOAA administrator.

The 67-year-old New York native brings 40 years of experience in ocean, atmosphere and climate science and policy.

“As an accomplished and respected scientist, educator, communicator and executive, Rick has dedicated his career to the science that is at the core of NOAA’s mission,” U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said in a statement. “I am grateful for his ongoing public service to the agency and the nation, and I look forward to working alongside him as we tackle the climate crisis, conserve our oceans, and grow our blue economy.”

In his role as NOAA Administrator, Spinrad will oversee what’s expected to be a $7 billion budget in the proposed FY22 plan. He’ll also be tasked with addressing the climate crisis, raising awareness for a sustainable blue economy and moving modeling and forecasting U.S. weather efforts and new technology applications to enhance environmental observations forward.

Spinrad previously worked for NOAA in the roles of chief scientist, assistant administrator for research, and assistant administrator for Ocean Services and Coastal Zone Management.

Before that, he worked at the U.S. Navy in the Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy and the Office of Naval Research. He also served as executive director for research and education at the Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Education.

“I am thrilled to be back and am ready to hit the ground running,” Spinrad remarked. “I am humbled to lead NOAA’s exceptional workforce on a mission so relevant to the daily lives of people across America and to the future health of our planet.”

Port of Los Angeles Chief Honored

Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka has been honored with this year’s Southern California Logistics Council Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Supply Chain & Logistics Management.

Seroka is the seventh person to receive the honor from the Inland Empire Economic Partnership, which the organization recognized at the 2021 Southern California E-commerce and Logistics Summit.

“Gene Seroka is the living definition of excellence in logistics and supply chain management,” said Paul Granillo, president and CEO of IEEP. “Because of all that Gene has achieved for our industry, he is very deserving of this award.”

The award is given to business leaders for outstanding management, goes above and beyond to serve the needs of stakeholders and leads with integrity.

“Because the Inland Empire is such a vital part of our nation’s largest trade gateway, I’m grateful to receive this award from an organization that has done so much to address the many pressing needs of our industry and the one in nine jobs it helps facilitate here in Southern California,” Seroka stated. “I look forward to continued involvement with IEEP and contributing to its important initiatives in the future.”

USCG, Navy Conduct Joint Oil Pollution Response Exercise

In Kachemak Bay, Alaska, members of the U.S. Coast Guard and Navy recently worked together to perform an exercise on how to quickly respond to oil pollution.

According to the USCG, a Navy “current buster system” from Coast Guard Cutter Hickory was used for the practice run, which regularly takes place as part of the National Preparedness for Response Exercise Program that’s mandated in the Oil Pollution Act of 1990.

The current buster system - the latest available technology in addressing offshore oil spills - is designed to extract oil from water and store it in its separator to be later pumped into storage tanks.

“The Coast Guard routinely trains alongside federal, state, tribal, and local partners to build capabilities and improve readiness levels,” Lt. Andrew Sinclair, 17th District response advisory team, explained. “Training and exercises are important components of the nation’s homeland security strategy and response capabilities that enable emergency responders to maintain their proficiency.”

Friday, June 25, 2021

Businesses Selected for Port of Seattle Accelerator Program

A dozen small businesses will take part in the Port of Seattle’s new PortGen accelerator program aimed at helping women and minority-owned businesses.

The companies include American Abatement and Demo; Certified Inspection Service, Inc; Crux Diving Inc; Ergosynch Engineering; Integrated Design Engineers; JMR Trucking INC; KWAME Building Group; Lights Inc; Mobile Electric; Proshred Seattle; SHJ Electric and SASH Painting.

“Port projects should create economic opportunity in every community,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Sam Cho. “The Port of Seattle’s PortGen Accelerator is part of our efforts to advance equitable recovery. Connecting small business owners to the right training and tools will make them more competitive when bidding for procurement opportunities with the port and other government agencies.”

The two-month program, which is set to start this month, gives these businesses access to mentors and programming the area entrepreneurs and boost their chances of contracting with the port and other Seattle procurement teams.

“This inaugural PortGen cohort will develop relationships with business leaders, take deep dives into financing, customer acquisition and growth strategies, and meet mentors to support their expansion plans,” said Courtney Law, innovation director at Find Ventures. “The accelerator will expand the access to new opportunities for the region’s small business community.”

Port of Long Beach Updates Its Green Ship Incentives

Starting July 1, the Port of Long Beach will offer financial incentives to ocean carriers that bring their greenest vessels to the port, thanks to changes recently made by harbor commissioners to the port’s Green Ship Incentive Program.

The voluntary program, which started in 2012, uses the international Environmental Ship Index (ESI) to determine incentive levels for ships that surpass emission standards set by the International Maritime Organization.

The latest version offers three levels of incentives based on a ship’s ESI score, starting from $600 and can go up to $6,000. Ships with main engines that meet IMO’s Tier III standard qualify for an additional $3,000 credit.

“Our goal is to increase participation in the already successful Green Ship Program by aligning it with international sustainable maritime transportation efforts,” said Harbor Commission President Frank Colonna. “These incentives are the largest offered to vessels and Tier III ships of any seaport, and we expect the update will have positive impacts in Long Beach and around the globe.”

Over 8,000 vessels and 50 ports globally take part in the ESI, said port Executive Director Mario Cordero.

“This change and offer of financial rewards gives operators even more reasons to be socially responsible and make investments in cleaner fuels, ship modifications or on-board technologies that improve air quality beyond required standards,” said Cordero.

Tsunami Sirens Installed at Everett

This week, two tsunami warning sirens were installed at Jetty Landing & Boat Launch and at the Port of Everett as part of Washington State Emergency Management Division’s statewide Tsunami Siren Network.

The network consists of 122 All-Hazard Alert Broadcast tsunami sirens dotted along the Washington coast. When necessary, the sirens will wail, then release evacuation instructions in English and Spanish. The sirens can be heard from a mile away and topped with a blue light for those who are hearing impaired.

Once they are up and running, the sirens will be regularly tested at noon on the first Monday of every month ringing a Westminster chime instead of the full siren warning. Annually on the third Thursday in October, the sirens will be tested “at full wail” as part of the Great Washington ShakeOut statewide preparedness event, according to the port.

The port and the city’s emergency management team will work with the community on how to prepare and respond in the event of a tsunami.

More information is available at

Port of San Diego, Canadian Group Partner on Blue Economy Effort

The Port of San Diego is teaming up with Canada’s Ocean Supercluster to advance its blue economy goals with efforts to seek projects that are sustainable and promote fisheries and commerce.

Earlier this month, port commissioners agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding allowing both sides to pursue funding and investment opportunities for projects, share what they know about the blue economy and promote port and OSC programs.

“There is an ocean of opportunity in aquaculture and blue technology,” said port Board Chairman Michael Zucchet. “The partnership with Canada’s Ocean Supercluster will allow us to build upon our collective efforts and share resources for the benefit of our respective programs as well as for emerging businesses in the global blue economy ecosystem, especially in North America.”

Both sides have been looking to partner since last year. Ocean Supercluster consists of a group of individuals in Canada’s private sector who assemble to boost “sustainable innovation and modernization across ocean sectors.”

So far, OSC’s efforts have resulted in the approval of over 50 projects worth more than $250 million CAD. It’s also got the backing of the Canadian government, which has earmarked up to $153 million CAD to support OSC programs, according to the port.

“The sustainable development of our oceans is one of the most important opportunities of our time,” said Kendra MacDonald, CEO of Canada’s Ocean Supercluster. “This strategic partnership we have formed with the Port of San Diego will bring together our shared interests and the opportunity to not only tackle some of the biggest challenges in ocean, but also further our collective efforts in the development of new innovation, growth, and global positioning in the blue economy.”

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

New NOAA Fisheries Assistant Administrator Appointed

Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management’s Janet Coit has been selected to head up NOAA Fisheries as the assistant administrator and serve as acting assistant secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and deputy NOAA administrator, it was announced Monday.

Coit, whose experience in environmental matters span more than three decades, will take over for Paul Doremus, who has served as acting NOAA Fisheries assistant administrator since January.

“Janet understands the direct link between natural resources management and economic vitality for our Nation,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “She is a tremendous addition to our NOAA team, who brings a wealth of experience in supporting fisheries, promoting the seafood sector, protecting the marine environment, and tackling climate change.”

At her previous job, Coit worked to support Rhode Island’s fishing industry by improving the infrastructure for commercial and recreational fisheries and pushing for its sustainable management, including a new shellfish initiative. Before that, Coit served as The Nature Conservancy in Rhode Island’s state director and was counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works.

She will oversee the management of recreational and commercial fisheries within U.S. waters, the protection of marine mammals and protected species and the conservation of coastal fisheries habitats, NOAA said. She’ll also lead its 4,800 employees based in five regional offices, six science centers and over 20 laboratories in 15 states and U.S. territories.

“I am excited to join NOAA Fisheries to work with the agency’s incredibly skilled and dedicated employees to rebuild fisheries where necessary, and protect and conserve endangered and threatened marine resources and their habitats,” said Coit. “It’s clear that NOAA Fisheries is already pivoting to capture and incorporate climate impacts into its world-class science capabilities. That will serve us well as we focus on the management of some of the most iconic and sustainable fisheries in the world.”

Dwell Time Up at San Pedro Bay Ports: Report

Cargo containers lingered a bit longer at San Pedro Bay terminals in May than they did the month before, according to data released Monday by the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association.

Last month, the average dwell time for a container in San Pedro Bay was four days, longer than the 3.7 day-average from April, PMSA said.

The average dwell time for containers that waited at terminals beyond five days also rose in May, up 15.5% last month from 13.1% in April.

For cargo that left by rail, the dwell time improved slightly last month, with average time falling from 12.4 days in April to 10.5 days in May. That number, PMSA said, is still high for May.

“While container dwell time remains higher than what we would prefer to see, our terminal operators and dock workers continue handling higher than average volumes,” said Jessica Alvarenga, manager of government affairs for PMSA. “The supply chain-wide congestion caused by the uncertainties the pandemic brought have not hindered our terminals’ ability to handle our cargo.”

New STS Crane Set for Oakland Arrival

Later this week, the Port of Oakland is expected to welcome a new ship-to-shore crane that will be delivered to Everport Terminal Services, Inc.

The new crane was built by Shanghai-based ZPMC and has a lift height from the dock of 170 feet. The ship carrying it will pit stop near Pt. Reyes in Marin County for a few days while the crew works to make sure the crane will be able to clear the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges before entering the Oakland port.

When the crane arrives in Oakland, it will have to be reassembled, tested and put into service -- a process that’s expected to take two months.

“New container cranes help keep the Port of Oakland competitive so it can continue to attract and handle the largest vessels calling North America,” the port explained in a statement. “Ultimately infrastructure, like this new crane at Oakland’s waterfront, contribute to growing the maritime business in Northern California and generating jobs in the region.”

Monday, June 21, 2021

SA Marine, NWSA Welcome Super Cranes

After traveling for weeks from Shanghai, four ZPMC Super-Post Panamax cranes arrived at the Seattle Harbor earlier this month.

The 316-foot-tall cranes that were delivered to owner SA Marine and the Northwest Seaport Alliance are a major part of the Terminal 5 Modernization Project and feature a 240-foot outreach boom and the capability to lift 100 tons of cargo.

“Farmers, manufacturers, and other exporters from Washington state to the Midwest depend on the ports of Seattle and Tacoma to quickly move their products to buyers in Asia and beyond,” said Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA). “Expanding capacity at Seattle’s Terminal 5 to handle the largest, newest cargo ships is critical to keeping our ports competitive in the global economy.”

The new cranes are expected to be operational at the start of 2022 after the completion of the project’s first phase.

When both phases are done, Terminal 5 will feature 185 acres of added space, on-dock rail to move discretionary cargo, and shore power.

“Our investment in Terminal 5 ensures that our gateway remains competitive for the next 30 years and beyond,” said Port of Tacoma Commission President and Northwest Seaport Alliance Co-Chair Dick Marzano. “By adding additional deep-water terminal space, we can serve the largest vessels in the industry and increase cargo volumes that benefit our local, state, and regional economy.”

Friday, June 18, 2021

California Gov. Signs Order Temporarily Exempting Ships from Plugging in to Shore Power

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed an emergency proclamation that involves shoreside power at ports in order to free up additional energy capacity amid extreme temperatures across the state.

The proclamation, which was signed June 17, orders that container ships that are able to disconnect from shore power at port terminals may do so without penalty, and are in fact encouraged to do so. The proclamation is intended to help to alleviate the heat-induced demands on the state's energy grid.

Under the order, cargo vessels arriving to port prior to 11:59 pm on Sat., June 19 should remain running on auxiliary ship engines and not plug in to shore power for the duration of the energy emergency. Vessels can remain disconnected through 11:59 pm on Tues., June 22, after which they must resume use of shore power if their stay in port exceeds the duration of the emergency event.

Under this proclamation, vessels that would otherwise be required to plug-in to shore power should not be penalized by the California Air Resources Board, as all calls during this period should be treated as compliant and included in the fleet averaging baseline under the At Berth Regulation.

The governor’s state of emergency proclamation can be read online here.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Port of Los Angeles Reports Busiest Month in History

This week, the Port of Los Angeles posted its busiest month to date, handling more than 1 million TEUs last month, according to newly released data.

The nation’s busiest seaport moved 1,012,248 TEUs, marking the 10th straight month of increases year over year. It’s also the first time a Western Hemisphere port moved more than 1 million TEUs in a month.

“The historic level of cargo that we’re managing reflects our commitment to reach new heights by working with our partners to further enhance our productivity, throughput and velocity,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “Much credit goes to our longshore workforce, truckers, terminal operators, ocean carriers, railroads and other stakeholders for scaling up to meet this extraordinary demand.”

The port handled 535,714 TEUs in imports last month, a 75% surge from May 2020 and 109,886 TEUs in exports, a 5.3% jump from May 2020.

Meanwhile, empty containers soared 114% from the prior year with 366,448 TEUs.

Port of Everett Terminal Project Moves Forward

Port of Everett’s Mills to Maritime initiative - also referred to as the Norton Terminal Development & Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) 3rd Interim Action Project - moved forward this month, thanks to three major actions authorized by the port commission.

The commission authorized port CEO Lisa Lefeber to ink the $17.75 million federal Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation program grant agreement from the U.S. Department of Transportation and to award a $2.7 million construction contract with SRV Construction Inc. to prepare the site for development. Commissioners also directed the port’s staff to seek out construction bids of the second phase of the Norton Terminal/MTCA environmental cap.

These moves are made less than 18 months after the port obtained the former Kimberly-Clark mill site and has been working to remove over 180,000 tons of contained soil and building rubble.

“It is great news that project design has reached nearly 100% for the new 33-acre Norton Terminal,” said port Commissioner Tom Stiger. “Getting the federal BUILD grant executed allows us to move this critical economic development and cleanup project forward, creating near-term construction jobs and restoring long-term jobs to the site into the future.”

The port expects to break ground in mid-July, with a new terminal opening in fall 2022. The project is estimated to generate 800 construction jobs and support about 950 direct, indirect and induced jobs, according to the port.

Cargo Numbers Soar at Port of Oakland

Cargo numbers at the Port of Oakland reached “an all-time high” with the movement of 1.08 million TEUs in the first five months of 2021, the port has announced.

If it continues that pace, the Northern California seaport could exceed 2.6 million boxes this year, a first for Oakland.

Meanwhile, imports in May soared 26% while exports rose 7% year over year, an indication that trade between Asia and the U.S. continues to grow despite challenges to the supply chain, the port said.

Consumer demand is driving imports at Oakland, which has seen 20% more cargo this year, most of it coming from China or nearby Asia countries, the port said.

The port is in uncharted waters, said port Maritime Director Bryan Brandes, as “record cargo volume coming through U.S. West Coast ports and a pandemic issue at a port in China are creating vessel congestion in both regions.”

Oakland has been experiencing a vessel backlog from the increased trade, but the port said the congestion should lessen in the fall as more dockworker hires come online to help ease the backlog, the port said.

"These are trying times for our tenants and customers, basically everyone involved in the supply chain,” said Brandes.

The TEU news isn’t all good, however; Oakland’s export volume through the first five months of this year is down 1 percent, according to the port, which attributed the performance to a shortage of containers and space on Asia-bound ships early this year.

Fort Vancouver Seafarers Center Receives Thousands of Donated Books

The estate of Vancouver philanthropist Ed Lynch recently donated thousands of books and magazines to the Fort Vancouver Seafarers Center, according to the Port of Vancouver USA.

This donation is a welcomed gift to seafarers, according to Kent Williams, executive director of the Fort Vancouver Seafarers Center.

“Due to COVID-19 regulations, crews calling on the port have been unable to leave their ships for more than a year,” said Williams. “In the past, our organization offered an array of free amenities to the visiting mariners, including local shopping trips, tours and sightseeing, as well as access to the seafarers center, that includes a library with books in multiple languages, a non-denominational chapel, a kitchen, games and comfortable areas to rest.”

The center usually welcomes about 3,000 mariners annually. During the pandemic, the center’s volunteers have been helping seafarers by shopping for them, with laptops being one of the most requested items.

“Even before the pandemic, the mariners were unseen by the general population due to the terminal and center being located within a secured area of the port,” Williams explained. “Our organization runs entirely on the donations of individual philanthropists, faith partners and local businesses. This donation will make a significant impact on countless seafarers.”

For more information about the center and how to help, contact Kent Williams at (360) 694-9300 or

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Port Of L.A. Hits 10 Million TEUs in 12 Months

The Port of Los Angeles celebrated a major milestone Thursday when it moved its 10 millionth TEU in a span of 12 months, the first Western Hemisphere port to do so.

“Stacked end-to-end, 10 million containers would circle the world one and a half times,” said Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners President Jaime Lee. “It’s a lot of cargo to handle by any measure. We are deeply grateful to the longshore workers, truckers, terminal operators, shipping line partners and all of the stakeholders that have made this remarkable achievement possible, particularly in the face of an unprecedented pandemic.”

The milestone cargo unit was placed onboard the CMA CGM Amerigo Vespucci at Fenix Marine Services Container Terminal.

“As the Port of Los Angeles’ largest ocean carrier, the CMA CGM Group ships thousands of containers to and from California every day,” said Ed Aldridge, president of CMA CGM and APL North America. “But today’s historic TEU –– No. 10 million for the port –– carries more than just cargo, but hope. It shows that, as the pandemic subsides in the United States, the American economy is roaring back to life.”

By the time the port ends its 2020-2021 fiscal year on June 30, over 10.8 million TEUs are expected to be processed by the Los Angeles port, officials have said.

USCG Terminates Illegal Charter Near Mercer Island

U.S. Coast Guard members recently halted an illegal charter operating near Mercer Island on Lake Washington.

A boarding team with USCG Station Seattle saw that a 38-foot vessel carrying 15 passengers had a non-credentialed mariner running the operation illegally.

To prevent future illegal operations, the Coast Guard has said that it’s considering additional enforcement against the vessel operator, who has been cited for several violations. In December, the vessel operator was ordered by the Captain of the Port to stop the illegal charter.

The boarding was part of the USCG’s latest efforts to crack down on illegal charters operating along the West Coast. Those running illegal charters could be fined $59,000 for illegal passenger-for-hire operations, over $94,000 in daily penalties for violating a Captain of the Port Order and even criminal charges for repeat offenses.

“Illegally chartered vessels undermine legitimate operations and pose significant safety concerns to everyone onboard,” explained Lt. Alex Cropley, commanding officer of Coast Guard Station Seattle. “Terminating these dangerous voyages and educating the boating public is our top priority.”

Cropley also advised anyone encountering vessels operating in an unsafe manner, or who suspects an illegal charter operation to call the Coast Guard on VHF-FM channel 16.