Friday, March 12, 2021

February Cargo Rises 43% at Port of Long Beach

The Port of Long Beach saw its busiest February in history when the nation’s second busiest seaport handled 771,735 TEUs last month, according to new numbers released Wednesday.

Long Beach moved 43.3 percent more cargo in February than it did the same time a year ago, the largest year-over-year growth in a month on port record. It was also the first time the port surpassed 700,000 TEUs in a February.

Long Beach also moved 373,756 TEUs in imports last month, 50.3 percent more than February 2020, and handled 278,563 TEUs in empty containers, a year-over-year increase of 69.6 percent. Meanwhile, exports last month fell 4.9 percent to 119,416 TEUs.

February is usually a slower month for cargo since factories in east Asia close to commemorate the Lunar New Year, but China stayed open for much of the month to complete back orders and meet growing demand for online purchases, the port said.

“The supply chain workforce is giving its all to keep the cargo moving, even as their ranks are hit by the pandemic. New records are being set, demonstrating how busy they have been,” Port Executive Director Mario Cordero said in a statement. “We understand that shippers are awaiting their cargo, and we are collaborating with our industry partners to deliver shipments as quickly as possible.”

Port of LA Completes SSA Terminal Upgrades

The Port of Los Angeles has recently finished almost $1 million in improvements to the terminal run by SSA Marine, including a new roof for the breakbulk terminal building at Berths 54-55, new lighting and doors, the port revealed March 10.

The terminal is a significant processor for Chilean produce such as grapes and stone fruit and handles as much as 90,000 metric tons of produce every winter, according to the port. The building serves as the main staging space for the refrigerated goods before they are sent to markets and distribution facilities as far as Texas and Canada’s border, the port said.

“Being equipped to handle breakbulk shipments efficiently for our customers is an important priority at our port,” stated port cargo marketing manager Marcel van Dijk, who oversees cold storage shipments. “U.S. consumers expect fresh produce on grocery shelves year-round and we are committed to having the best possible infrastructure and facilities in place to assure that perishables get to market quickly and expediently.”

Port of Vancouver USA Launches Climate Action Plan Webpage

The Port of Vancouver USA furthered its efforts to address greenhouse gas emissions this week when it kicked off its Climate Action Plan webpage.

The webpage allows the public to weigh in on ways to curb greenhouse gases via online feedback form - which is open through April 9 and also available in Spanish - and gives details about the port’s Climate Action Plan, what types of emissions the plan will address, what has already been done to lower emissions and other related information.

“The Climate Action Plan is one more step in the port’s continuing commitment to environmental stewardship,” said Port CEO Julianna Marler. “We value input from the public and look forward to hearing their ideas about how the port can reduce its GHG emissions.”

The port has been moving forward on these efforts. A consultant team was hired late last year to work on the document and is teaming with the port to collect and review data that will be incorporated into an implementation plan, according to the port.

More information is available at:

NOAA Moving from Paper to Digital Charts

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will soon start the five-year process of moving its paper nautical charts to electronic-only versions, beginning with chart 18665 of Lake Tahoe, California. That chart will only be available digitally after August, the agency said.

In 2019, NOAA announced it was planning to make this paper-to-digital transition, which makes it easier for the agency to update charts and keep mariners informed with the latest on marine hazards.

“NOAA will continue to announce the cancellation of additional paper charts as the sunset plan progresses, initially based on volume of sales or downloads, and in regions with improved NOAA electronic navigational chart coverage,” according to the agency.

Mariners can make their own updated paper and PDF charts with the online NOAA Custom Chart tool. For more, visit

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Evidence Hearing on Scandies Rose Concluded

Officials with the U.S. Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board recently wrapped up a public hearing in which they reviewed the evidence surrounding the Dec. 31, 2019, sinking of the commercial fishing vessel, Scandies Rose.

About 43 witnesses offered their testimony, which ranged from weather conditions to the vessel’s record of complying with regulations. The hearing also included 130 pieces of evidence, according to the USCG.

“The public hearing is a crucial element of the investigation process,” said Marine Board of Investigation Chairman Capt. Greg Callaghan, U.S. Coast Guard. “This hearing presented and confirmed many facts and details surrounding the events that led to the sinking of Scandies Rose and loss of five lives. The goal of this investigation is to improve any practice, procedure, policy or regulation that can prevent the loss of lives in the future.”

The board expects to release a report on the findings of its investigation in the near future.

San Pedro Town Square and Promenade Project on Track

The $36 million San Pedro Town Square and Promenade project is on schedule for completion by the end of July, the Port of Los Angeles has announced.

When completed, the community will have a new place to gather on the Los Angeles Waterfront, with a 30-foot-wide, 1-mile promenade linking retail, attractions and an open-air amphitheater along the Main Channel.

“When I became a Los Angeles Harbor Commissioner, one of my priorities was to get this waterfront developed and delivered to the community,” said Los Angeles Harbor Commissioner Anthony Pirozzi, Jr. “I’m excited that we’re so close to the completion of one of its pivotal projects. I can’t wait to see families coming down here with their kids and grandkids enjoying the waterfront and making new memories for decades to come.”

“As part of our public access investment plan, the Port made a commitment in 2015 to make the town square and promenade a centerpiece of our LA Waterfront vision,” said Port Director of Waterfront & Commercial Real Estate Mike Galvin. “As this project continues to take shape, we are delivering on that commitment.”

Port of Hueneme Welcomed Mexico Delegation

Port of Hueneme officials recently hosted a group of Mexico’s top trade representatives that included Roberto Velasco Alvarez, Director General for North America and acting Undersecretary for North America at Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The officials took the delegation on a socially distanced tour of the port and engaged in a talk on efforts to bolster and extend trade between the port and Mexico, according to the port.

“Our on-going trading partnership with Mexico continues to grow, from the establishment of a Sister Port relationship with Port of Ensenada in 2015, to supporting trade through our various local customers importing and exporting cargo between our two great countries,” said Oxnard Harbor District President Jason Hodge. “We are committed to supporting the growth of this fruitful partnership.”

The Port of Hueneme’s top imported and exported commodities by value with Mexico are passenger and commercial vehicles, said CEO and Port Director Kristin Decas. Hueneme also moves bananas, plantains, avocados, pineapples, heavy construction machinery and tractors from Mexico.

“With the increase of auto manufacturers relocating to Mexico, the Port anticipates growth from imports of passenger and commercial vehicles via short sea shipping,” she said. “Mexico remains our top trading partner at 20 percent of our tonnage market share, and we look forward to continuing this strategic partnership.”

Matson Announces Q4 Results

In the quarter that ended Dec. 31, Honolulu-based Matson, Inc. recently reported $85.6 million in net income, or $1.96 per diluted share, and $700.1 million in consolidated revenue.

That’s compared to fourth quarter 2019, when the net income was $15.6 million, or $0.36 per diluted share, its consolidated revenue was $540.7 million, according to the company.

“Matson capped off a strong year with continued solid performance in the fourth quarter from Ocean Transportation and Logistics despite the ongoing challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic effects,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Matt Cox.

In Ocean Transportation, Matson’s China service saw significant demand for its CLX and CLX+ expedited ocean services, which primarily drove the increase in consolidated operating income year-over-year for the quarter and the full year, Cox said.

“We continued to see favorable supply and demand dynamics in the transpacific tradelane during the fourth quarter, and we continue to expect largely all of these trends to remain favorable in the first half of 2021 as the pandemic persists,” he said. “As the pandemic subsides with widespread vaccination, we expect some of the supply and demand factors that we are currently benefiting from to remain and continue to drive demand for our CLX and CLX+ services."

Matson has seen ongoing demand for sustenance and home improvement goods, which have led to higher year-over-year volume growth in Hawaii, Alaska and Guam, he added.