Friday, May 21, 2021

Port of Stockton Selects New Director

DeJesus Consulting, LLC founder and principal Kirk DeJesus will lead the Port of Stockton as its director, the port announced this week.

DeJesus, who was selected after a months-long national search that began earlier this year, will take the reins from current director Richard Aschieris, who is retiring from the post he’s held since 2000.

“Director Aschieris will be greatly missed and we wish him well in his retirement,” Port Commission Chairman Allen said. “Port Director DeJesus has some big shoes to fill but we are confident and excited with our selection and look forward to working together to see our vision for the Port of Stockton become a reality.”

DeJesus brings nearly two decades of maritime industry experience to the port, strong background in business and has working relationships with supply chain stakeholders and government agencies, according to Stockton officials.

At DeJesus Consulting, LLC, he has helped clients on work that involved bringing “renewable fuel to West Coast terminal operators and new tenants and commodity opportunities to several West Coast ports.”

“Kirk’s understanding of maritime operations, coupled with his deep industry relationships is what set him apart from other sound and viable candidates,” Allen said. “We have just kicked off our strategic planning process and the time is right for a new port director to step in and help be a part of creating our roadmap for the future.”

Aschieris’ retirement becomes effective in spring 2022; DeJesus will begin immediately, according to the port.

Truck Dwell Times Improve at Los Angeles, Long Beach Ports: PMSA

The time it takes to move containers out of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach improved in April, with dwell times down from an average of 3.77 days to 3.65 days, according to data recently released by the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association.

The number of containers that stayed at terminals for over five days also fell in April, with 13.1% of boxes kept more than five days on average, which is down from 14.4% the previous month.

Meanwhile, the dwell time for on-dock rail averaged 11.2 days in April, an increase from a 10.5 day average the previous month.

“The pandemic brought many uncertainties to our San Pedro ports, starting with a drop in cargo last year to a sudden surge that has continued to this day,” said Jessica Alvarenga, manager of government affairs for the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association. “Despite the challenges, the marine terminal operators and dock workers have adjusted seamlessly and continue to move cargo efficiently through our ports daily.”

Input Sought on King County, Wash. Bridge Project

U.S. Coast Guard officials are asking the public to weigh in on the Washington State Department of Transportation Express Toll Lanes Improvement Project.

The state Transportation Department wants to build three new highway spans and do away with a pair of bridges over a waterway. The project, located in King County near Bothell at river mile 4.6 of the Sammamish River, seeks to bolster capacity and enhance use of express toll lanes.

June 21 is the deadline for public input.

For more information, visit or contact 13th Coast Guard District Bridge Administrator Steve Fischer at

Port of Oakland Sets April Cargo Record

In April, the Port of Oakland moved the most imports in a single month in its 94-year history, according to newly released numbers.

The Northern California seaport handled about 100,096 TEUs, reaching the 100,000-TEU mark in a month for the first time.

The port saw a 25% gain in imports from April 2020, marking the third straight month of increases.

“We’re sounding like a broken record, but containerized trade continues to flourish as the U.S. economy rebounds,” said port Maritime Director Bryan Brandes. “And as we’ve said before, there doesn’t seem to be a letup in sight.”

The port is attributing the gains to increased and ongoing consumer spending and much of that trade activity is coming from Asia, Oakland’s top trade partner.

Meanwhile, export numbers are down 3.7% from April 2020. Overall cargo is up 8% from the same time last year.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Port of Los Angeles Posts Best April on Record

The Port of Los Angeles had the best April in its 113-year history last month when the nation’s busiest seaport moved 946,966 TEUs, according to data released last week.

Los Angeles handled 37% more cargo in April than it did the same time a year ago, giving the port nine straight months of year-over-year growth, the data show.

Since the start of 2021, an estimated 3,539,397 TEUs have flowed through the port, 42% more than the same time period in 2020.

“We have set records six of the last nine months, and the other three months were very close to new milestones,” said port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “It’s truly been an unprecedented run here in Los Angeles.”

Seroka attributed the rising trend to fewer vessels going straight to anchor; those that do are seeing less wait time as “our labor force and supply chain partners adeptly handle the steady stream of cargo on our docks,” he said.

“This volume surge has resulted in additional work opportunities for dockworkers, truckers, warehouse employees and others,” Seroka added.

Last month, the port moved 490,127 TEUs in imports, a 32% jump from April 2020, while it handled 114,449 TEUs in loaded exports, a 12% drop from April 2020 and the 27th decrease over the last 30 months, according to the port.

Meanwhile, empty containers continue to be in high demand, with port moving 82% more than the same time last year with 342,391 TEUs.

USCG Suspends Search for Fisherman
in Grays Harbor

The U.S. Coast Guard has halted its search for an Oregon man who apparently fell off a fishing vessel 28 miles northwest of Grays Harbor.

Jason LaBrie, 47, of Oregon City was fishing for halibut on the 26-foot vessel Defiance II when he went overboard. When other fishermen realized that LaBrie was missing, they sent out an emergency signal, which was received by 13th District watchstanders at 12:39 p.m.

Within minutes, USCG put out a radio broadcast alerting nearby mariners and by 1:10 p.m., search and rescue crews were in the area and started to comb some 244 square miles, doing 18 searches over more than 22 hours, according to the agency.

“The decision to suspend a search is one of the most difficult decisions we have to make,” Capt. Nathan Coulter, 13th Coast Guard District, chief of incident management, said in a statement. “We offer our deepest sympathies to the family of Jason LaBrie in this difficult time.”

Port of Bellingham Inks Lease with Fairhaven Industrial Marine Repair

Fairhaven Industrial Marine Repair became the Port of Bellingham’s newest tenant earlier this month, taking over 16 acres of marine industrial property in Fairhaven.

The space will be “a base for marine, road and rail construction activities throughout the Pacific Northwest including Whatcom County, Skagit County and Alaska,” the port announced this week.

The company is expected to generate at least 20 full-time jobs with plans for more workers as it works to expand its business, which could include offering heavy marine construction opportunities.

“The port has been searching for a working waterfront employer to occupy the site since the former shipyard went bankrupt due to financial challenges associated with operations in California,” the port explained in a statement. “The Fairhaven property offers deep water access, an industrial pier, marine rail and over 80,000 square feet of covered work space. Fairhaven Industrial Marine Repair will utilize the entire site and create new family-wages jobs for Whatcom County residents.”

Annual Fleet Blessing & Memorial Service Cancelled

The Blessing of the Fleet and Memorial Service - an annual tradition honoring locals involved in the fishing industry who have died since 1941 - will not take place on Memorial Day this year as a safety measure against COVID-19.

At the request of the families, the Charleston Fisherman's Memorial Committee will include the names of the honored deceased to plaques in the Charleston Fisherman’s Memorial Garden for 2020 and 2021.

Bill Ainsworth, "Killer" Kent Atwater, Philip J. Gray, Mark A. Gray and Jack L. Hutchens will be added to the “In Memory of Charleston Fisherman.” Wayne James Clemens, Joe Clifton and Olaf Hornstuen will now be part of the “In Memory of Charleston Fisherman's Industry” plaque. These honorees will be formally recognized next year at the ceremony.

The memorial committee is encouraging those who know someone who died that was part of the fishing industry in Charleston to fill out an application if they want to be included in next year’s ceremony. March 31, 2022 is the deadline for submissions.

The public are welcomed to visit the garden, leave flowers and ring the brass bell in the honorees’ memory.

For more information, contact Fishermen’s Memorial Committee at P.O. Box 5882, Charleston, OR 97420.