The articles excerpted on this site report on the state of the industry as seen by mainstream media, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the officers of the ILWU Coast Longshore Division.

Port of Seattle and Norwegian Cruise Line open renovated cruise terminal at Pier 66

The Port of Seattle and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NCLH) showcased the new Bell Street Cruise Terminal at the Port’s
Pier 66 building in a grand celebration this week. The newly renovated terminal features three times the square footage within the same walls of the prior facility, and is custom designed to handle the 4,000 passenger Norwegian Bliss, which will be the largest cruise vessel on the West Coast, arriving in time for the 2018 cruise season.

An estimated $30 million dollars in improvements were made to the Bell Street Cruise Terminal as part of a joint agreement between Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and the Port of Seattle. The enhancements have
significantly expanded and improved operations and the guest
experience for cruise passengers at Pier 66.

More at Travel Daily News


14,000 TEU container ship becomes largest capacity vessel to transit Panama Canal

The container ship OOCL France became on Wednesday the largest capacity vessel to transit the Panama Canal, the agency that operates that inter-oceanic waterway said.

The OOCL France, which is 366.47 meters (1,201 feet) in length and 48.23 meters in beam, eclipsed the previous mark because of its capacity to carry 13,926 Twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEUs, or containers measuring 20 feet in length), Panama Canal Authority (ACP) Administrator Jorge Quijano told reporters.

The previous record had been set just over three weeks ago by the COSCO Development container ship, which is 366.45 meters long and 48.26 meters in beam and has a 13,345 total TEU allowance (TTA), he said.

More at the Latin American Herald Times


Worker dies after being buried in gypsum at Port of Almería, Spain

Our sincere condolences to the 29-year-old worker’s family, friends and co-workers.

Leer en español

A 29-year-old worker died Monday at the Port of Almería, Spain, after being buried in a mountain of gypsum 15 to 20 meters high when a detachment occurred while he was taking samples. A few minutes before 1:00 PM, the operative’s colleagues called the unified emergency service of Andalucía 112, reporting the accident and that the young man had been trapped under the gypsum, so that they could not see his body, despite several workers trying to help him with the help of personnel from the Port Police.

When responders arrived, the coworkers of the accident victim had already been able to find him, so the firemen finished extracting the body from the gypsum, although the young man no longer showed signs of life, and the medical equipment, including a mobile UVI, could only certify his death.

The Port Authority of Almería has reported that the worker was an employee of one of the companies operating in the port, and that as a work accident has been transferred to the Labor Inspection and Prevention Center Of Occupational Risks.

Source: El Mundo


Muere un trabajador en el puerto de Almería, España, sepultado en yeso

Que descanse en paz nuestro hermano. Nuestras condolencias a su familia, sus compañeros de trabajo, y sus amigos.

Our condolences to the loved ones of the worker who was killed after being buried in gypsum at the Port of Almería, Spain, on Monday.

Click here to read in English

Un trabajador de 29 años ha fallecido al mediodía de este lunes en el puerto de Almería, sepultado en una montaña de yeso de entre 15 o 20 metros de altura al producirse un desprendimiento mientras tomaba muestras. Pocos minutos antes de las 13,00 horas, los compañeros del operario llamaron al servicio unificado de emergencias de Andalucía 112, alertando del accidente y de que el joven había quedado atrapado bajo el yeso, de forma que no podían ver su cuerpo, a pesar de que varios trabajadores trataron de auxiliarlo desde un primer momento, con la ayuda también de personal de la Policía Portuaria.

De inmediato se dirigieron al lugar, el muelle de Pechina, miembros de la Policía Nacional, Policía Local, sanitarios del 061 y Bomberos de Almería. Cuando llegaron, los compañeros del accidentado ya habían podido encontrarle, de forma que los bomberos terminaron de extraer el cuerpo del yeso, aunque el joven ya no daba señales de vida y los equipos médicos desplazados, entre ellos una UVI móvil, solo pudieron certificar su muerte.

Sobre las 14,20 horas, se produjo el levantamiento del cadáver por parte de una comisión judicial. La Autoridad Portuaria de Almería ha informado de que el trabajador era un empleado de una de las empresas que operan en el puerto, y que al tratarse de un accidente laboral se ha dado traslado de lo ocurrido a la Inspección de Trabajo y al Centro de Prevención de Riesgos Laborales.

Fuente: El Mundo


Veteran pilot believes terminal operator at fault in crane collapse

CMA CGM ship hits dock, causes crane collapse, May 2017

The pilot claims DP World is hiring pilots who are inexperienced, giving them too little training, and putting them in charge of ships they’re not fully equipped to handle.

From Cruise Arabia & Africa:

A pilot with extensive knowledge of berthing operations at DP World’s Jebel Ali Port has told Cruise Arabia & Africa that the collapse of a STS crane following a collision with a CMA CGM container ship was an “accident waiting to happen”.

According to the marine pilot, who asked not to be named due to the sensitivity of the investigation following the incident, the turn into the Container Terminal 1 basin is notoriously difficult.

“I almost made the same mistake myself more than ten years ago,” he said. “The problem is that the turn is too sharp for these new VLCCs [Very Large Container Carrier]. I started to make the turn and the ship wasn’t turning fast enough. In that situation, you have two choices, either you go full astern and hope you stop in time, or you increase speed to get more headway.”

“It was an accident waiting to happen,” he said, adding that DP World is hiring pilots who are inexperienced, giving them too little training, and putting them in charge of ships they’re not fully equipped to handle.

Watch the accident here, about 50 seconds in:

More at Cruise Arabia & Africa


Trump’s first budget is a ‘reverse Robin Hood’

Excerpts from CNN Money:

President Trump’s first budget can be summed up like this: Big gifts for the rich, big cuts for the poor.

He would give a lot more money to the defense industry and wealthy taxpayers, and he would pay for that with an unprecedented slashing of safety net programs for America’s poor.

Advocates for the poor are stunned at the magnitude of the cuts.

It’s a “reverse Robin Hood agenda,” says the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Experts across the political spectrum say the biggest problem with Trump’s budget is that the math doesn’t add up. It will almost certainly add trillions to the debt. Trump promised not to touch Social Security or Medicare on the campaign. Balancing the budget requires reforming those two key programs.

More at CNN Money


Vallejo City Manager says cement proposal appeal will be heard in council chambers

[Note: ILWU Local 10 has joined with community members in opposing the proposed cement plant and export dock in Vallejo.]

From the Vallejo Times-Herald:

Vallejo City Manager Daniel Keen issued a statement last week confirming a series of council meetings — called to hear an appeal of a proposed project in south Vallejo — will be held at City Hall as planned.

Keen wrote in an email to the Times-Herald that city staff considered various meeting locations for the Vallejo City Council as it meets to decide an appeal from the Vallejo Marine Terminal and Orcem Americas.

The meetings will be held on May 30 and June 1 inside the Vallejo City Hall Council Chambers with two overflow areas being utilized to handle the anticipated number of persons wishing to speak and/or watch the meetings. All three areas will open at 4 p.m.

More at the Vallejo Times-Herald


Port of Coos Bay proposes widening Coos Bay Channel

From KCBY:

The Port of Coos Bay is proposing the expansion through its Coos Bay channel modification project.

The project will expand the existing channel from 37 to 45 feet dep and from 300 to 400 fifty feet wide.

The Port of Coos Bay will hold meetings to give information to the community later in May.

The port estimates construction would start in late 2019 and be completed in 2022.

More at KCBY


CMA CGM posts higher Q1 profits

From Marine Link:

Container shipping line CMA CGM posted higher first-quarter profits, helped by a turnaround at recently acquired NOL, and gave an upbeat assessment for the current quarter in another sign that the shipping industry is emerging from a slump.

The French-based group reported on Friday a first-quarter net profit, including Singapore-based NOL which it consolidated in June last year, of $86 million compared with a $100 million loss in the same period of 2016.

This was also above the $45 million net profit it recorded in the previous quarter when the privately held firm returned to profit after heavy losses earlier in 2016 during a severe downturn in container shipping.

More at Marine Link


Port of Oakland begins project to raise height of four cranes

Photo courtesy of the Port of Oakland

Photo courtesy of the Port of Oakland

Work has begun at the Port of Oakland to heighten four massive ship-to-shore cranes. The Port said Monday that the 366-foot giants will be raised 27-feet in a 9-month project. The Port said taller cranes will be better able to reach containers stacked high above decks on modern-day megaships.

The Port said it’s raising the cranes at Oakland International Container Terminal (OICT) in partnership with SSA Marine, the terminal operator. Cost of the project is estimated at about $14 million.

Read the rest at Vessel Finder


Port of Los Angeles and GE's 'digitized maritime shipping' partnership launches

GE Transportation has issued a news release on the project, excerpted here:

Last November, GE Transportation and the Port of Los Angeles announced a partnership to develop a first-of-its-kind digital solution to keep cargo flowing efficiently through America’s largest container port. Since, the partners have been working together to build a platform that digitizes maritime shipping data and makes it available to cargo owners and supply chain operators through secure, channeled access.

“Our work with the Port of Los Angeles has the potential to transform how ports across the country, and even the world, operate, driving productivity from ship to shore and from the terminal to the customer,” said Jamie Miller, GE Transportation president and CEO.

As Infrastructure Week begins nationwide, the digital solution has launched on a pilot basis at APM Terminals with Maersk Shipping Line and Mediterranean Shipping Company. Major retailers such as The Home Depot and Lowe’s, among others, are participating in the project. Initial performance results from the pilot are expected in July.

Read the full news release


OOCL breaks largest containership record with 21,413-TEU vessel

OOCL Hong Kong

The OOCL Hong Kong, with a length of 1,312 feet and a width of 193 feet, will serve the Asia-Europe trade lane as part of the LL1 service.

Hong Kong-based ocean carrier line OOCL has knocked Maersk from the largest containership top spot after christening the 21,413 TEU OOCL Hong Kong at the Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) shipyard.

Three new ships have broken the record so far in 2017 after the 20,568 TEU Madrid Maersk came on the shipping scene in April to trump the 20,150 TEU MOL Triumph’s title claim the month before.

The last time that OOCL broke the record was back in April 2003 with the OOCL Shenzhen, an 8,063 TEU vessel, also built at the SHI shipyard.

More at Port Technology


ITF reveals international supply chain agreement threat

From Port Technology:

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), a global trade union federation, has deemed an international agreement a risk for maritime workers and citizens due to the potential impacts of companies in the transport industry gaining too much power.

In a campaign launch announcement against the agreement, the ITF accused the European Union and 22 other countries’ governments of negotiating in “virtual secrecy” on the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), which aims to further international technological development.

Paddy Crumlin, ITF President, stated: “TiSA would supercharge the most powerful companies in the transport industry, giving them preferential treatment.

“What’s missing from this equation is any value at all for workers and citizens.”

Team TiSA’s corporate cheerleaders, which includes the likes of Microsoft, IBM and Google, and global logistics and transport operators like DHL, Fedex, and UPS, want global rules that allow them to run e-commerce and global supply chains seamlessly across the world using digital platforms and new technologies.

ITF believes that the TiSA could mean governments start removing national and local laws and practices that the corporations see as barriers, which could include protections for workers.

Crumlin added: “It creates serious barriers for any state wanting to invest in, manage and operate its national infrastructure or – crucially – to defend decent work and decent terms and conditions across transport.

“It is our duty as trade unionists to build the knowledge and alliances needed to challenge the secrecy and lack of democracy involved, and develop realistic, worker-centred alternatives.”

The ITF recently shared its views on the government of Madagascar after it faced an International Labour Organization (ILO) complaint over its treatment of 43 dockworkers who were sacked for joining a union.

From Port Technology


New executive director of the Port of Long Beach starts Monday

Excerpts from the Long Beach Press Telegram:

Mario Cordero

Mario Cordero

Run by a five-member commission, the Port of Long Beach has seen a series of top executives depart after short-term stays. The commission chose Mario Cordero in April to take the helm after a months-long search.

Congressman Alan Lowenthal, who co-chairs the port caucus and has known Cordero for decades, said, “(The port) has always been well run but it has gone through a secession of leadership. It’s hard to know where it’s going when the leadership only lasts a year or two,” he said. “Mario will provide us with that substance and we are going to have a director who is not using this as a stepping stone.”

More at the Press-Telegram


Republicans and Democrats agree: If Trump has tapes, he’ll need to turn them over to Congress

From the Washington Post:

In the six days since President Trump abruptly fired FBI director James B. Comey, concern from both parties has mounted about the selection of a replacement and the president’s suggestion that he may have secretly taped conversations with the ousted director.

Key Republican and Democratic lawmakers on Sunday called for Trump to turn over any recorded conversations, based on a tantalizing tweet the president sent last week that said, “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”

On Capitol Hill, where the House will return Monday after a recess, members continued to disagree about the need for a special prosecutor to take over the Russia investigation.

More at the Washington Post