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.

PierPass terminals embrace appointment systems at Ports of LA/LB to control congestion

PierPass news release:

In the latest in a series of measures to combat congestion, PierPass Inc. today announced that 10 of its member container terminals have agreed on a coordinated initiative to establish appointment systems for trucks delivering containers to and from the terminals at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

The terminals have adopted an appointment system action plan and committed to a set of common requirements. The five terminals that currently operate appointment systems have agreed to adopt these requirements, and five more terminals plan to introduce appointment systems in 2016 that will follow the same guidelines.

All the terminals have agreed that their individual appointment systems will share these rules in common:

Appointments will be mandatory at all participating terminals. At times, appointments have been treated as optional, which has reduced the intended benefit of smoothing out truck traffic flow. The appointment systems will apply to import containers at all terminals. Appointments for exports are being evaluated as a potential future requirement. All individual terminal appointment systems will be accessible via links from PierPass’ websites.

“The increasing number of containers unloaded by larger new ships has put the traditional random-access system – where any truck can arrive at any time to pick up any container – under strain,” said John Cushing, president of PierPass, a not-for-profit company created by marine terminal operators at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to address multi-terminal issues such as congestion, air quality and security. “Appointment systems are part of the growing set of tools terminals are embracing to fight congestion and reduce turn times, alongside innovations including free flow and the OffPeak program of night and Saturday truck gates.”

“Since we updated our appointment system in 2014, we have seen a marked decline in queuing at our gates and better turn times for our truckers,” said Mark Wheeler, vice president and general manager at West Basin Container Terminal (WBCT) in Los Angeles.

For truck drivers, trucking companies and cargo owners, the appointment systems will add predictability to the supply chain. The variable queue lengths at different times of the day will be flattened out, which is expected to reduce the longer truck turn times. Appointment systems also allow terminals to group appointments for specific stacks of containers, reducing the time spent waiting for container-moving yard equipment to move between stacks.

“Coordinating pick-ups and deliveries with the trucking companies will increase productivity for the truckers and for our terminal operations,” said Sean Lindsay, chief operating officer of International Transportation Service (ITS) terminal in Long Beach. “Therefore, we will be implementing an appointment system in 2016 to achieve this.”

The following terminals currently have appointment systems:

1. APM Terminals (APMT)
2. Eagle Marine Services (EMS / GGS)
3. West Basin Container Terminal (WBCT)
4. Seaside Transportation Services (STS / Evergreen)
5. Total Terminals International (TTI)

Terminals planning to implement appointment systems in 2016:
1. Trapac
2. Long Beach Container Terminal (LBCT)
3. SSA Terminals (Long Beach) (Pier A)
4. International Transportation Service (ITS)
5. Pacific Maritime Services (PCT)


Maersk Group optimistic on $4Bln profit target

AP Moeller Maersk Group has continued to fix its eyes on its forecast of a $4 billion profit for 2015, despite the challenges it is facing in its operating environment, according to Thisday Live.

The group said in a statement that from its records, its profit for the second quarter was $1 billion, down from $2.3 billion in the second quarter 2014.

More at Marine Link


Former CVSA executive director, joins IANA as senior vice president

The Intermodal Association of North America (IANA) announced recently that Stephen A. Keppler has joined the association as senior vice president. Keppler is the former executive director of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.

“The Board approval of this newly created position acknowledges IANA’s growth in membership as well as its program and service offerings,” according to IANA.

Before joining CVSA, he served as director of vehicle systems at Intelligent Transportation Society of America, dedicated to advancing the research, development and deployment of Intelligent Transportation Systems.

More at Fleet Owner


Port of San Diego wants to add to 10th Ave. Marine Terminal by subtracting buildings

The Unified Port of San Diego wants to expand its Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal by tearing down two gigantic buildings.

The buildings line the docks on San Diego Bay. Maritime Operations Program Manager Aimee Heim said workers unload cargo from ships and then waste time and energy moving the cargo around the buildings.

Heim said the Port has proposed tearing the buildings down and using the footprint to store more cold-storage containers and over-sized cargo. She said that would mean more jobs and even more money coming in to the local economy.

More at 10 News


Mitsubishi to buy 20% in grain trader Olam for S$1.53 billion

Mitsubishi Corp, betting on growing demand for food in Asia, agreed to buy a 20 per cent stake in Olam International Ltd, the commodity trader controlled by Singapore’s state investment company, in two deals worth S$1.53 billion.

Olam said Thursday in a statement that it will issue 332.7 million new shares for S$915 million to Mitsubishi, one of Japan’s biggest trading houses. The Tokyo-based company is also acquiring an 8 per cent stake in the agriculture firm for S$615 million from Kewalram Chanrai Group, an Olam spokesperson said.

The investment by Mitsubishi is a sign of confidence in a company that last year was fending off an attack from US short-seller Muddy Waters LLC and questions about its finances and operations. The Japanese trader will become the second- largest shareholder in Olam after the deals close with Singapore’s Temasek Holdings controlling 51 per cent.

More at the Business Times


Iceland president to Alaska lawmakers: Be ‘more vocal and more active’ on Arctic


”Instead of waiting for all the others to acknowledge that they agree with what you need done, you should simply do it.” — Olafur Ragnar Grímsson, President of Iceland

Iceland’s President Olafur Ragnar Grímsson told Alaska legislators on Tuesday that, “with all due respect to Washington,” they need to be more vocal and involved if they want to build Arctic infrastructure as the only Arctic state in the country.

Grímsson’s comments came during a special meeting that the Legislature held in the wake of a two-day summit in Anchorage on ports and shipping in the Arctic, hosted by Alaska Dispatch News publisher Alice Rogoff and others.

Grímsson told lawmakers they are presented with a historical challenge, and how they deal with that challenge is of paramount importance.

“Let’s not forget that the progress of the Arctic will first and foremost take the form of projects and transformations on a small scale,” he said. “While I thank you for inviting me, I want to encourage the state Legislature to be more vocal and more active.”

He explained that people often ask how his country came to be powered by 100 percent renewable energy.

“The answer is house by house, street by street, village by village, district by district, town by town until 30 years later, the entire country has been transformed,” he said.

“Instead of waiting for all the others to acknowledge that they agree with what you need done, you should simply do it,” he said.

Legislators did not respond directly to Grímsson’s comments Tuesday. McGuire thanked him, and the meeting moved on to the next speaker.

More at the Alaska Dispatch News


Lummi Chairman: We will fight coal terminal ‘by all means necessary’

From the Indian Country Today Media Network:

As an indigenous nation with a government-to government relationship with the United States, the Lummi Nation’s opposition to the Gateway Pacific Terminal carries some weight. And supporters are stepping up their efforts on behalf of the project as the Army Corps of Engineers readies its decision on whether to deny the permit now, as Lummi has requested, based on alleged negative impacts to treaty fishing rights; or continue a study of the project’s environmental impacts and base the decision on that, as Gateway Pacific’s proponents want.

Earlier this year, the Lummi Nation asked the Corps of Engineers to deny SSA Marine a permit to build the coal export terminal on the shores of Cherry Point because it believes the impacts to treaty fishing cannot be mitigated. Approval of the permit, Lummi argues, would be a violation of treaty rights.

SSA Marine filed a response to Lummi’s request. The Lummi Nation expects to file a defense of its request by the end of August. One source said the Corps of Engineers could issue a decision on Lummi’s request in October at the earliest.

Ballew wrote to U.S. Sen. Steve Daines (R-Montana) – and reiterated it to ICTMN – that the Lummi Nation will fight the project “vigorously by all means necessary.”

More at ICTMN


Germany’s only deep water port ready for giant container ships

The first years proved a difficult start for Germany’s only deep water port, Wilhelmshaven’s Jade-Weser-Port container hub, inaugurated in 2012, but its operators are now seeking to make it a top terminal for supersize ships.

With the nearby ports of Hamburg and Bremerhaven unable to handle the new supersize ships, Wilhelmshaven is seeking to give Rotterdam and Antwerp a run for their money, and become the main stopping point in Europe for giant container vessels arriving from Asia.

Since February, three long-distance services leave from Wilhelmshaven every week for ports in China, Japan, the Middle East or India.

Continue reading here


Port of Hueneme receives U.S Department of Commerce grant

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced on August 24, 2015 that the Port of Hueneme was one of this year’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant awardees. The award of nearly $1.5 million to the Oxnard Harbor District will be used to make improvements to the wharf and berth of this critical shipping hub. Projections for this project is that 127 jobs will be created and an additional 3,000 existing jobs will be retained.

EDA’s investment will provide funding needed to prepare for the deepening at the port as well as make improvements to the pier and wharf, which will provide access to larger capacity vessels.

More at the Port of Hueneme


Oakland port to open Saturdays

The Port of Oakland’s four international marine terminals plan to operate terminal gates on Saturdays starting later this year. The terminals are participating in a new program called OakPass, designed to reduce congestion at the port during the work week.

“The Port of Oakland and the four international container terminals agree on the need for additional capacity to reduce congestion and accommodate future volume growth,” said John Cushing, president of OakPass. “After spending well over a year evaluating options including night gates, we determined that adding a Saturday gate is the most practical and cost-effective method to increase capacity in a way that meshes with availability of truck drivers and longshore workers and serves the entire supply chain.”

To pay for the program, the port plans to assess an Extended Gate Fee to the beneficial cargo owner of shipments entering or exiting the terminals between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. The fee will be $17 per 20-foot equivalent unit or $34 for a standard 40-foot container. The EGF will not be collected on Saturdays. Cargo owners will have to register with OakPass to pay the EGF before the program commences.

More at Go By Truck News


New safety concerns rising with expanding Panama Canal

A 'mule' guides a ship through the Panama Canal.

In the existing locks, ships are also tethered to electric locomotives, called mules, which run along the dock walls and help align the ships correctly. In the new locks, there will be no mules — an issue that concerns the local workforce.

From BBC News:

A new lane is being built to allow ships which can carry more than double the current cargo to pass through the isthmus.

Currently tugboats help guide ships through the narrow waterway. In the existing locks, ships are also tethered to electric locomotives, called mules, which run along the dock walls and help align the ships correctly.

A large vessel may have up to eight mules guiding it, with two on each side at the bow and stern.

In the new locks, there will be no mules.

The lack of mules is something that worries tugboat captains, says Ivan de la Guardia, general secretary of the Union of Tugboat Captains and Deck Officers of the Panama Canal. He fears the responsibility for guiding ships safely through the new locks will lie squarely with tugboat captains.

He says, so far, the canal administration hasn’t provided any guidance and has failed to include his members in relevant planning committees.

“We haven’t had any training or any briefing by anyone from the canal administration on how they plan to do this,” he says. “This raises a big red flag because there are obvious safety concerns.”

More at BBC News


Maintenance dredging begins at Port of Kalama TEMCO site this fall

Port of Kalama News Release:

The Port of Kalama commission voted to award a maintenance dredging contract to the apparent low bidder, HME Construction, for $893,910.00. As part of a routine project to maintain the draft needed for large cargo ships the firm will remove dredged materials in front of the TEMCO Grain Terminal located at the Port. General business activity will not be interrupted during this time.

“One of the goals of the Port of Kalama is to provide the facilities needed for the commerce and success of our business tenants,” says Mark Wilson, executive director, Port of Kalama. “We are consistently taking a proactive approach maintaining Port infrastructure for these purposes.”

Additional information on the maintenance dredging project is available at http://www.PortofKalama.com.


Possible merger talks see Cosco and CSCL extend trading halt

Cosco and China Shipping said recently that they were discussing a “material event,” widely believed to be a merger, and would extend the trading halt on Hong Kong and Shanghai exchanges that has been in force since August 10.

“At present, the event is in the planning process, there are still uncertainties,” China Cosco Holdings said in the announcement to the Hong Kong Exchange. The company said another announcement on the matter would be made in five days.

Both carriers have apparently been told by the central government to draft a preliminary merger plan within three months starting from August. While no official statement from Beijing has been issued, the ongoing trading suspension suggests an announcement on the merger is in the pipeline.

More at the Journal of Commerce


Qatar's Hamad Port operations seen offering opportunities for ICTSI

The expected operations of the Hamad Port could open economic opportunities to Philippine port management company, International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI), Ambassador Wilfredo Santos said.

The ambassador said ICTSI is currently pursuing an active programme to acquire new terminal concessions in the Middle East, “and we are hoping that Qatar could be one of them.”

“We have conveyed to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) the possibility of inviting the International Container Terminal Services Inc, a Philippine-based company involved in the business of acquiring, developing, managing, and operating container ports and terminals worldwide, to explore economic opportunities presented by the expected opening of the Hamad Port,” Santos told Gulf Times.

Established by Filipino businessman Enrique K Razon, ICTSI operates the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT). Named “third richest man in the Philippines” by Forbes magazine in February 2015, Razon has served as ICTSI’s director since December 1987 and chairman since 1995.

More at Gulf Times


Hapag-Lloyd expands South American reefer container fleet

Hapag-Lloyd has ordered 6,000 reefer containers to boost its share of the growing traffic on the South American trades.

The German carrier said it has invested a double-digit sum in the containers, which have a capacity of 12,000 twenty-foot equivalent units, and will be gradually integrated into its fleet starting in the coming weeks.

Around 1,000 of the new containers will be fitted with controlled-atmosphere technology that prolongs the life of certain fruits and vegetables while maintaining their quality.

More at the Journal of Commerce