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 Oakland sees record volume in 2016

The Port of Oakland saw a record level of loaded shipping container volume in 2016, despite having consolidated its number of shipping terminals earlier in the year.

The port said Monday it handled the equivalent of 1.83 million loaded 20-foot containers in 2016, a 7.6 percent increase from 2015, surpassing the previous record of 1.82 million 20-footers set in 2013.

According to port officials, a year-long growth clip in exports — particularly agricultural products — has driven the overall increase in cargo volume, as well as an increase in imports.

More at the East Bay Times


Port Of Vancouver Names CEO Finalists

From OPB News:

The Port of Vancouver has named three finalists for CEO.

The candidates include: Edward Galligan, the executive director for the Port of Olympia; Arthur Scheunemann, the former CEO of the economic development council for Seattle and King County; and Julianna Marler, the Port’s current interim CEO.

The candidates will be interviewed by a public panel on Jan. 19 followed by an executive session of port commissioners on Jan. 20 to discuss the candidates.


Port of Tacoma unloads largest-ever load of vehicles

From the Business Examiner reported on Monday:

The Glovis Composer, a roll-on/roll-off vessel carrying a shipment of 4,818 vehicles, is berthing today at the Port of Tacoma’s Terminal 7, marking the largest single-vessel auto discharge in the facility’s history.

The ro-ro ship from South Korea is 656 feet long and 106 feet wide, with a gross tonnage of 58,631 tons. The vessel has a total capacity to move 6,400 vehicles; discharges from this same vessel last year, however, averaged only 1,825 cars.

Continue reading at the Business Examiner


Seattle pushes for bond for former Hanjin terminal

Excerpts from the Journal of Commerce:

The Port of Seattle wants a financial guarantee for Terminal 46 lease payments.

The Northwest Seaport Alliance is attempting to block the sale of a terminal once owned by now-defunct Hanjin Shipping unless Mediterranean Shipping Co., the buyer, posts a security bond to protect the interests of the Port of Seattle.

The port authority filed an objection Friday with the US Bankruptcy Court in New Jersey to the sale of the former Hanjin Terminal 46 in Seattle unless a bond for $1.25 million was posted.

More at the JOC


Cruise industry expects robust 2017

From a Post Bulletin article titled ‘Travel Scene: Cruise operators are riding high seas’:

The cruising industry is setting sail into 2017 with high expectations.

According to industry leaders, the outlook is that 2017 may be a historic one, with bookings at an all-time high. That prospect has been advanced by one of the leaders of World Travel Holdings, one of the largest leisure travel operators in the county.

According to Travel Market Report, Brad Tolkin, co-chairman and co-CEO of World Travel Holdings, told a cruise conference that December bookings for 2017 were the highest in the company’s history.

And the nation’s travel agents also are optimistic. Cruise Lines International Assn., the industry’s major marketing organization, reported that 73 percent of agents said they expect sales to increase in 2017 and “fully 27 percent expect increases of 10 percent or higher.”

More at the Post Bulletin


New lease brings logs, longshore jobs to Bellingham

The Port of Bellingham signed a lease with a company that will ship timber out of the terminal to Asia. Photo by Evan Abell

The Port of Bellingham signed a lease with a company that will ship timber out of the terminal to Asia. Photo by Evan Abell

Excerpts from ‘Port of Bellingham signs deal with company that will ship timber to Asia’ in the Bellingham Herald:

The Port of Bellingham announced Wednesday that it had signed a lease with GrandCamp International LLC to export logs from this area to Asia through the Bellingham Shipping Terminal. The 5-year lease includes 5 acres of property and up to 7 acres of optional water area near the shipping terminal.

GrandCamp Managing Member Steve Grandorff said filling a typical ship would take between 1,200 and 1,400 truckloads, with a ship arriving every two or three months.

The deal will provide work for local longshoremen in terms of loading the timber onto the ships. According to a Port of Bellingham news release, it will provide work for 36 longshoremen, who will take around seven days to load a ship.

More at the Bellingham Herald


APM Terminals workers embark on strike in Ghana

APM Terminals workers prepare to strike in Ghana, January 2017.

APM Terminals workers prepare to strike in Ghana, January 2017.

Some workers of APM Terminals, a container terminal operating firm at the Tema Port, yesterday embarked on a sit-down strike in solidarity with their colleagues who were interdicted for agitating for salary increases.

Clad in red armbands, the workers deserted the operational yard of the company and vowed not to return to work until their colleagues were reinstated.

They also accused the company’s management of recruiting new employees to replace the interdicted workers although they were yet to commence investigations into the conduct of the interdicted workers.

More at the Daily Graphic


Coast Guard assesses $9,500 civil penalty for Washington State Ferry laser strike

From Vessel Finder:

A Coast Guard Hearing Officer assessed a $9,500 civil penalty, Dec. 27 2016, to a Washington resident for interfering with the safe operation of the Washington State Ferry Tokitae by shining a high-powered blue laser at the vessel on October 22, 2015.

Mark Raden of Freeland was aboard the WSF Kitsap transiting between Mukilteo and Clinton when he pointed the laser at the Tokitae, striking the vessel’s master and chief mate in the eyes and endangering the 106 passengers on board.

Raden … was ordered to serve 15 days in jail, perform 240 hours of community service, and pay $3,740.89 in restitution to the master and chief mate. He will also serve 24 months of probation.

More at Vessel Finder


Washington to reject coal export terminal near Longview

The state of Washington may have killed a controversial plan to build a coal export terminal on the Columbia River west of Longview.

Outgoing Public Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark said Tuesday he will reject a request by Millennium Bulk Terminals to sublease state-owned land that once housed an aluminum smelter.

More at the Oregonian


Container shipping costs skyrocket after Hanjin collapse

From Hellenic Shipping News:

Container shipping costs, which radically plunged, now shows signs of recovery after the fall of Hanjin Shpiping Co. The strategy of Maersk Line, the world’s largest shipping group which cuts down shipping fees until its competitors fall down and pick fruit when they are liquidated, seems to be working. As most shipping volumes that Hanjin Shipping lost have passed to Maersk and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), all South Korea, which once considered itself as a global leader in the shipping industry, can do is watch “a feast of winners” caused by the rise in shipping charges.

The spot rate from Asia to the U.S. West Coast, which was a main course of Hanjin Shipping and Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM), the nation’s two biggest container lines, was recorded at US$1,608 per TEU, while Asia-U.S. East Coast rate was US$2,627. The rates of both routes grew 16.4 percent and 12.3 percent from those at the previous week.

Continue reading here


Union Pacific faces additional inspections after oil train derailment

Paloma Ayala photo

June 3, 2016 oil train derailment on the Columbia River at Mosier, Oregon. Paloma Ayala photo

From an article titled ‘Mosier mayor says Union Pacific agreement a step in the right direction after oil train derailment’ at KATU News:

The investigation into June’s fiery Union Pacific oil train derailment at Mosier, Oregon found the accident was caused by broken lag bolts that hold rails onto railroad ties.

Those broken bolts weren’t found by Union Pacific’s existing rail inspections.

Under the agreement with the Federal Railroad Administration, Union Pacific says it will inventory sharp rail curves secured by lag screws or spikes.

The railroad also agreed to do walking inspections of sharp rail curves secured by lag screws every 4 months.

Read the rest at KATU


Alliances, megaships, capacity to strain ports in 2017

Excerpts from an article titled ‘New alliances, bigger ships put US ports on high alert’ in the Journal of Commerce:

US ports are facing what could be a historically challenging 2017 as changes in the rapidly evolving steamship industry — among them new alliances, consolidation, and escalating ship capacity — heighten the already vigorous competition between ports for cargo.

The diminished number of carriers, in the wake of mergers of some companies and potential dissolution of others, could mean fewer port stops in 2017, with a small group of select ports getting a larger share of container trade. Vessel-sharing alliances may shrink from the current four, to three or fewer, after April depending on government approvals. In addition, larger ships could mean the unloading of more cargo at fewer ports, with trucks, railroads, or smaller ships taking shipments to their final destinations.

More at the JOC


Portland City Council bans new bulk fossil fuel terminals

The Portland City Council has unanimously passed a first-in the country ban on new bulk fossil fuel storage facilities that commissioners hope will be replicated in other cities even as the incoming Trump administration signals its intent to dismantle federal climate change policies.

The new zoning ordinance bans new fossil fuel storage facilities in excess of 2 million gallons and forbids existing terminals from expanding in size. The move comes after a slew of proposals to locate fossil fuel export terminals in the Northwest, several of which remain active.

More at the Oregonian


Filipino union backs ITF for protecting seafarers against ‘cargo-unlashing’

From the Manila Bulletin:

The Associated Marine Officers’ and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP) aired support to the International Transport Workers’ Federation’s (ITF) move to protect seafarers from being tasked to carry out ‘cargo-lashing’ and ‘unlashing’ work, as securing of cargo is a dangerous work if done by untrained workers.

“Cargo lashing and unlashing is a work of dockers, not of seafarers,” said Dr. Conrad F. Oca, President-Chairman of AMOSUP, who stressed that absence of training for lashing and unlashing, could lead to injury or even death.”

To help concerned seafarers, ITF says that if they are asked to do lashing or unlashing work in breach of an ITF contract, they could contact ReclaimLashing@itf.org.uk, send in their complaints, include the name and location of vessel, assuring that ITF will not tell their employer and keep details confidential.

More at the Manila Bulletin


Bankrupt shipper Hanjin selling terminal operations at Port of Seattle

From the Seattle Times:

South Korea’s Hanjin Shipping, one of three major companies that calls on Seattle’s Terminal 46 near the stadiums, filed for bankruptcy protection at the end of August, worrying local retailers about the fate of their cargo. Hanjin had been delivering about three major shipments per week to the Port — nearly one-third of the traffic at Terminal 46 — and owned the company that operated the terminal.

But now Hanjin has agreed to sell its majority stake in the terminal operating companies at the Seattle and Long Beach, Calif., ports for $78 million, according to bankruptcy court filings from last week. The deal doesn’t spell out the cost breakdown between the two ports, though the Long Beach facility is more than four times bigger than the Seattle terminal.

More at the Seattle Times