Friday, January 22, 2021

Port of Los Angeles to Launch Truck Incentive Program

Terminal operators with faster truck turn times at the Port of Angeles could reap some financial benefits through the port’s new incentive program set to launch on Feb. 1.

On Tuesday, the port announced the roll out of its Truck Turn-Time and Dual-Transaction Incentive Programs, which offers rewards for speeding up the drop off/pick up times for trucks and pressing trucks to do double duty on the same visit. The reward rates will be on a sliding scale as turn times improve.

“These best practices are needed now more than ever to relieve pressure on the supply chain due to the ongoing surge,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “Ports are more fluid when trucks move quickly in and out of the gates and more productive when a truck delivers one container and leaves with another in a single trip. We’re going to reward terminals for better performance.”

Lately, the port has been seeing much more imports, which has caused a shortage of containers for exports and fewer available chassis. This has created a bit of backup of containers at terminals and clogged traffic flow for trucks.

The new program allows terminals to get between 50 cents and $2.75 for every loaded or empty TEU if their truck turn times increase by 5 percent to 20 percent.

“If a terminal averages turn times of 35 minutes or less in a given month, it will earn the top rate of $3 per loaded or empty container,” according to the port.

Terminals can also get between 40 cents and $1.40 per loaded TEU when at least 50 percent of trucks make two transactions on the same visit in a month.

USCG Tells Mariners: Don’t Disable your AIS

U.S. Coast Guard officials are telling mariners and commercial fishermen to keep their vessel’s Automated Identification System on or face heavy penalties for non-compliance.

The notice comes as USCG has been witnessing a rise in fishing vesseling turning off their AIS to hide their fishing spots from competitors, the agency said.

"AIS is a vital tool in a host of Coast Guard missions including Search and Rescue and Port Security," said Lt. Collin Gruin, boarding team supervisor at Coast Guard Sector Columbia River. "It's not only illegal to turn it off but also incredibly dangerous." AIS is a globally adopted maritime navigation safety communications system used to keep mariners safe.

The regulation (33 CFR 164.46) mandates that commercial vessels 65 feet and larger or more within 12-nautical miles of shore must maintain AIS in working condition “at all times while the vessel is underway or at anchor, and, if moored, at least 15 minutes prior to getting underway.”

Mariners not following the regulation could face up to $35,486 per violation.

"Crabbers may think that they are protecting their businesses, but they are actually making search and rescue efforts more difficult if an emergency happens at sea," said Gruin.

Port of Long Beach to Give State of the Port Address

Top Long Beach officials will headline the annual State of the Port address, which will take place virtually on Feb. 4. The event will be pre-recorded in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 9 a.m. event will include Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, Port Executive Director Mario Cordero and Long Beach Harbor Commission President Frank Colonna. They will discuss how the port’s efforts to deal with challenges brought on by the pandemic has led to its best year on record. They will also talk about the port’s assertive environmental efforts and the recent opening of the new bridge that replaced the Gerald Desmond Bridge.

Visit for more.

Waterway Around Bridge Site Blocked

Until the end of January, the West Sammamish River Bridge at Sammamish River mile 0.5 near Kenmore, Washington, will be obstructed while the construction contractor prepares for the demolishing of the old bridge, the U.S. Coast Guard announced.

The waterway will be blocked to navigation from now until 11:59 p.m. on Jan. 31. Those who need to make an emergency transit or first responders will need to give 30 minutes advance notice. However, if a lift operation is in process, it won’t be open until the lift operation is done.

Mariners should stay away by at least 100 yards from the bridge site while demolition takes place.

Mariners needing emergency passage through the affected waterway must make arrangements with Ed Hansen at 253-377-1437 or Mick Cannon at 253-377-1041.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Los Angeles Port Chief Announces
Cargo Numbers, 2021 Priorities

About 9.2 million TEUs flowed through the Port of Los Angeles last year, the fourth busiest year on record, Executive Director Gene Seroka announced at the recent virtual Pacific Merchant Shipping Association’s sixth annual State of the Port of Los Angeles.

The port saw cargo volumes surge in the last half of 2020 by 50 percent over the first half of 2020, according to the port, which finished the year about 1.5 percent down from 2019. There was a 94 percent jump in the week leading up to Christmas compared to the same time in 2019.

“Our container business in 2020 was the most erratic we have ever seen, with volumes plunging nearly 19 percent in the first five months of the year, followed by an unprecedented second-half surge,” Seroka said. “Our ILWU longshore workforce did a great job adapting to the huge swings in volume, as did port truckers and everyone else involved in moving cargo through our Port. In a year of great difficulty, we are extremely grateful for the tenacity and resolve of all of our partners.”

Seroka also spoke about prioritizing the creation of more jobs, growing cargo, speeding up the development of zero emission technology and modernizing and optimizing the supply chain.

“If we want America to improve as a leader in global trade, we need nationwide port data connectivity with agreed-upon data standards and open architecture system that provides interconnectivity between major U.S. ports, service providers and the freight they move,” said Seroka.

In his speech, Seroka introduced the creation of The Control Tower, the latest in Port Optimizer™ cloud-based data solutions. Developed with Wabtec, The Control Tower will offer “new levels of metrics and data including real-time port level views of turn times, truck capacity management information and detailed velocity metrics,” according to the port.

New Changes at Maritime Firm

Hockema Whalen Myers Associates, Inc. kicked off 2021 with the announcement of a new name and management changes to the company, which specialized in engineering and consulting services, naval architecture and marine engineering.

The longtime West Coast firm - which has offices in Seattle, Washington, and Bend, Oregon - has been renamed Hockema Group, Inc. effective Jan. 1.

The company also announced changes in leadership. Founder Hal Hockema will ease back on day-to-day management and continue on a part-time basis as an advisor.

John Myers will serve as company president and managing principal. Michael Minnig will take on Myer’s former vice president and senior principal role, while Craig Pomeroy is the principal naval architect.

Julie Hockema, who will ease into part-time work, will stay on as business manager and bookkeeper, the company said. Shannon Potter joined the company last year as administrative manager.

Michael Whalen, who sold his company Fisker‐Andersen & Whalen to Hal and Julie Hockema in 2004 and stayed on as senior principal, retired last year, but will remain involved with the company.

Applications Sought for National Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee

The Office of Merchant Mariner Credentialing is looking for those interested in being part of the National Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee.

The role calls for a candidate with a QMED rating endorsement. Those with an officer rating cannot apply. Established by the Frank LoBiondo Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2018, the committee is tasked with advising the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security through the Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard on U.S. Merchant Marine personnel-related issues such as training, qualifications, certification, documentation, and fitness of mariners, according to the agency.

For more, visit Candidates should reach out to Megan Johns Henry at 202-372-1255 or

Port of Long Beach Releases Cargo Numbers

Despite the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and a trade war with China, the Port of Long Beach finished 2020 strong, handling more than 8.1 million TEUs, its busiest year to date, according to newly released numbers. The seaport saw a 6.3 percent jump in overall cargo from 2019, with imports up 6.4 percent to nearly 4 million TEUs, exports up 0.2 percent to nearly 1.5 million and empty containers that are sent overseas to be restocked with goods up 9.9 percent to 2.6 million TEUs.

The port beat its prior annual record by 22,292 TEUs (set in 2018).

“I want to thank our frontline workers on the docks who kept cargo moving during this unprecedented moment in history, ensuring the safe, secure and timely delivery of vital medical equipment and consumer goods,” said Port Executive Director Mario Cordero. “We have all endured incredible hardships with COVID-19, but I am looking forward to 2021 as a time of economic recovery and a renewed focus on our industry partners, infrastructure projects and community stakeholders.”

The numbers looked bleak in early 2020 when the port saw canceled sailings and a 6.9 percent drop in cargo compared to early 2019 due to the effects of the pandemic. The port was able to rebound later in the year as consumers adjusted to the new normal and demand grew for medical and home improvement supplies.

“This record demonstrates the effort of our dockworkers and the Port’s determination to collaborate with our partners to overcome the devastating economic challenges presented by COVID-19 and the trade war with China,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Frank Colonna. “We look forward to continuing to work toward economic recovery along with our stakeholders.”

For more, visit