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.

NTSB: 26 hours of information recovered from El Faro’s VDR

From gCaptain:

The National Transportation Safety Board said Wednesday that will be convening a voyage data recorder group to help develop a detailed transcript of the sounds and discernible words captured on the El Faro’s bridge audio, following the recovery and audition of the ship’s VDR.

The voyage data recorder from El Faro, a US flagged cargo ship that sank during Hurricane Joaquin in October 2015, was successfully recovered from the ocean floor Aug. 8, 2016, and transported to the NTSB’s laboratory in Washington, D.C. on Aug. 12. Information from the El Faro’s VDR was successfully recovered Aug. 15.

Numerous events leading up to the loss of the El Faro are heard on the VDR’s audio, recorded from microphones on the ship’s bridge, the NTSB said Wednesday.

More at gCaptain


Longview firefighters, longshoremen to host fishing derby Sept. 2

From The Daily News:

Smiley faces from previous Operation Warm project

Part of the funds raised will provide coats for children in winter through the organization Operation Warm.

Longview firefighters are teaming up with longshoremen of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 21 to host a fishing derby Sept. 2 to raise money for charity.

Money raised will go to the Longview Union Firefighters Benevolent Fund and the Longview Longshoremen’s charity fund. The Benevolent Fund distributes money to local families during the holidays, helps families who’ve been affected by fires, provides coats for kids in the winter through “Operation Warm,” sponsors local youth sports teams, supports cancer victims and much more.

The first-place winner will get $500. The cost for a team to enter is $100.

Weigh-in starts at 3 p.m. at the ILWU Local 21 hall at 617 14th Ave. in Longview.

For more information, see the full article at The Daily News


Portland auto exports drive ConnectOregon grant

The Oregon Department of Transportation has awarded a ConnectOregon grant of $2.6 million to the Port of Portland along with tenant Auto Warehousing Co. to fund part of a $7 million expansion of auto handling facilities in the Rivergate Industrial District near Terminal 6. Plans call for AWC to develop a new 18.9-acre storage and staging yard to support the continued growth of export vehicles.

AWC leased 130 acres at Terminal 6 in 2005 and currently handles the import of Hyundai vehicles into the United States and the export of Ford vehicles manufactured in North America bound for China and Korea. Export volumes have grown steadily in the last several years, bringing the total vehicles moved by AWC to 126,000 in the last 12 months. Across the Port of Portland marine terminals, auto shipments were up 14 percent during the previous fiscal year, which ended in June.

More at Marine Link


Controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact stalling despite Obama push; working class Americans fear more loss of jobs overseas

From the International Business Times:

Chances have all but vanished for passage of the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact despite a huge last-ditch effort by US President Barack Obama and an upcoming trip to Asia to tout the deal.

The White House had been hopeful about nailing down the unprecedented trade agreement with 11 Pacific-Rim nations aimed at strengthening economic ties, cultivating trade and cutting back on tariffs.

But working-class Americans in particular are fearful that the deal will cede too many trade benefits to competitive Asian nations, and the US will continue to hemorrhage manufacturing jobs to overseas locations.

Obama plans to push the plan during a trip to Asia with his top aides in September. But that is not likely help him at home, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The deal is not only controversial in the US. There is strong opposition in a number of other nations.

Thousands of New Zealand opponents protested against the pact earlier this year over fears that the nation would lose jobs to less developed countries where labor is cheaper.

More at International Business Times


Port of San Francisco welcomes Pasha Automotive Services to Pier 80

The ILWU Local 10 Drill Team performed August 22, 2016 at the inauguration of the Pasha terminal at Pier 80 in SF

The ILWU Local 10 Drill Team performed August 22, 2016 at the inauguration of the Pasha terminal at Pier 80 in San Francisco.

First ship calls to unload automobiles and boats transforming Pier 80 from an underutilized asset to a thriving marine terminal

The Port of San Francisco today welcomed Pasha Automotive Services (PAS), a subsidiary of the Pasha Group, to Pier 80 for the first ship call to unload 500 automobiles being transported by truck to Northern California dealerships. Pier 80 is the Port’s 69-acre cargo terminal in the southern waterfront.

Pier 80 will employ approximately 50 longshore workers during vessel operations.

“This marine terminal agreement signifies a new beginning for cargo operations at the Port of San Francisco,” said Willie Adams, who serves as President of the San Francisco Port Commission and International President of the ILWU. “We want the world’s shipping community to know that the Port of San Francisco is open for business. We also want to thank Mayor Lee for his leadership and for helping us to support working families in this community.”


First neo-panama vessel calls at London

Sophia Celeste

The Sofia Celeste is the first ship to transit the newly-enlarged Panama Canal and then call at the UK

Shipping firm MSC’s neo-panama vessel Sofia Celeste made its first call to London this week as it arrived into the London Container Terminal (LCT) in Tilbury.

The ship, which has a capacity of around 8,800 TEUs, arrived following its first transit of the newly enlarged Panama Canal and is the first to call into the UK after this journey. It is also the first in a new class of vessels on a reconfigured service connecting the west coast of South America, east coast of North America and northwest Europe.

More at Fruitnet.com


BHP may mothball $2.6 billion Jansen potash project if prices remain weak

World’s largest miner BHP Billiton, the company behind the massive $2.6 billion Jansen potash project in Canada’s Saskatchewan province, may place it in the back burner if prices for the fertilizer ingredient don’t pick up by the end of the decade.

The company, which posted Tuesday its worst-ever annual loss, had already cut $130 million from the planned $330 million capital expenditure to determine the feasibility of the Jansen project in the current financial year. And while BHP continues looking for a partner to finally take the venture off the ground, it now admits that the ongoing slump in potash prices may make it mothball the project.

More at Mining.com


Man crushed by container worked for company with previous workplace violations: OSHA

Man crushed by container at NJ terminal

Jorge Gomez, 51, died Monday at the Norfolk Southern rail yard in Jersey City when a container fell onto the lifting machine he was operating at the time. (Reena Rose Sibayan | The Jersey Journal)

The ILWU Coast Longshore Division send our condolences to Brother Gomez’ family, friends and colleagues. An Injury to One is an Injury to All.

The man who was killed Monday when a container fell and crushed him at a Jersey City rail facility worked for a company with a history of safety violations, according to U.S Department of Labor records.

H&M International Transportation Inc. — an Iselin-based logistics company — has paid nearly $17,000 in fines for a total of seven infractions found at facilities in Hudson County since 2012, Occupational Safety and Health Administration records indicate.

The H&M employee — Jorge Gomez, 51, of Bayonne — died Monday at the Norfolk Southern rail yard in Jersey City when a container fell onto the lifting machine he was operating at the time.

“Rail yard employees working as ground personnel unlocking stacked container boxes were exposed to crushing hazards during removal of container boxes,” according to an OSHA inspection report from Aug. 4, 2014.

That appears to be what happened when Gomez was killed just before 1:30 p.m. Monday at the County Road rail facility. Jersey City spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill said investigators’ initial assessment is that the wire that was part of the machine lifting a freight container snapped, causing the container to fall on him.

Read the rest at The Jersey Journal


Port of Long Beach posts 7.7% drop in container volumes

Container volumes at the Port of Long Beach fell 7.7 percent in July compared to the same month in 2015 when harbor terminals handled a record amount of cargo.

Dockworkers moved 637,091 TEUs last month. Inbound containers totaled 325,608 TEUs, a 5.9 percent year-over-year decrease. Outbound containers reached 142,812 TEUs, a slight drop of 0.7 percent from July 2015. Empties decreased to 168,671 TEUs, 15.9 percent lower than July 2015, the port’s strongest July on record.

More at American Shipper


Hopes for Arctic shipping cool amid other interests

From Bloomberg BNA:

Click on the image to see to see full size

Click on the image to see to see full size

Once hailed as the next frontier for global shipping, the Arctic’s unpredictable weather and sparse population mean it’s unlikely to become the next frontier for global container shipping, even if melting sea ice makes its waterways more easily navigable.

Russian, American and Scandinavian experts told Bloomberg BNA that despite the hopes of some countries and international companies that the Northwest Passage would provide a speedy commercial shipping route through North American waters, Arctic shipping lanes will only be able to sustain small-scale destinational traffic. This makes discussions of “Arctic competition” somewhat unfounded, said Brookings Foreign Policy Fellow Tim Boersma.

Recent reports that North America’s only deepwater Arctic port is closing come as the latest sign that the Arctic may not be a viable economic investment for many countries. However, the region is likely to remain an important geo-strategic space for the U.S., its allies and adversaries.

Canada’s Port of Churchill in northern Manitoba was once looked to as the site of future cooperation with Russia. Reports at the end of July, however, said that workers there had been given two weeks notice and the port would cease activity only a month into its short season. From July to November the port dealt with grain shipments, and while it was only operational five months out of the year, its closing leaves both Canada and the U.S. without a northern deep water port.

More at Bloomberg BNA


Imports at Port of Los Angeles rise

From the Press Telegram:

Imports at the Port of Los Angeles last month was up 5 percent over the same period last year, while the overall number of containers moved remained flat, port officials said today.

The Los Angeles port moved a total of 687,891 TEUs in July. That includes 368,696 TEUs of imports, which represents a 5.15 percent growth over last year. Exports fell 2.87 percent to 132,490 TEUs, while empty containers was down 11.9 percent.

Read the rest at the Press Telegram


Longshore elected delegates vote to meet with West Coast employers to discuss their request for a contract extension

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (August 11, 2016) – More than 100 delegates from 30 West Coast ports from San Diego, CA to Bellingham, WA, who were elected by rank and file members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), convened this week to consider an employer request to discuss the possibility of an extension to the 2014-2019 collective bargaining agreement between the ILWU and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA).

By majority vote on Thursday, delegates voted to enter into discussions with representatives of PMA regarding the concept of a contract extension and report back to the membership.

“The caucus made a tough decision under current circumstances amid a wide range of concerns and opposing views on how to respond to PMA’s request,” said ILWU International President Robert McEllrath. “This is a directive to go and have discussions with the PMA and report back to the membership, and we’ll do just that, with the wellbeing of the rank and file, our communities, and the nation in mind.”

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union’s Coast Longshore Division represents approximately 20,000 longshore workers on the West Coast of the United States.

Source: ILWU Coast Longshore Division news release

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Philippine port operator ICTSI’s profit hit by Argentina woes

International Container Terminal Services (ICTSI) said Tuesday that net profit slipped 3% to $46.4 million for the second quarter of 2016 as expenses related to Argentine operations offset improved revenue.

The Philippine company, which runs around 30 midsize ports worldwide, did not elaborate on the situation at its TecPlata port in Buenos Aires. Business News Americas reported in March that TecPlata “has yet to secure shipping contracts since being inaugurated in July 2015.”

ICTSI President Enrique Razon said early this year that the company may be forced to reduce personnel at nonperforming ports.

More at Nikkei


Port of Oakland sees busiest month in 10 years

July was the busiest month for the Port Of Oakland in the last 10 years, port officials said Monday.

Last month the port handled the equivalent of 223,619 20-foot cargo containers – the most since it handled 227,996 20-foot containers in August 2006.

Cargo volume has gone up across the board and may signal a spike the upcoming peak shipping season, port officials said.

More at KRON 4


Public comment starts on methanol plant’s proposed dock work at Port of Kalama

From The Daily News:

The public will get another chance to voice their support or opposition for the proposed methanol plant at the Port of Kalama. Cowlitz County is accepting comments on the plant’s shoreline development plan throughout August.

Port of Kalama and Northwest Innovation Works submitted an application for substantial shoreline development to the county in December, and the application was considered complete in July.

A public comment period on the shoreline application started Tuesday and ends Sept. 1.

Northwest Innovation Works’ proposed $1.8 billion plant would convert natural gas to methanol, which would be shipped to China and turned into olefins, a key component of plastic.

More at The Daily News