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.

News reports: APM could exit Tacoma

Reported at Maritime Link:

APM Terminals Tacoma has received notification from Matson, Inc., its main customer, that Matson does not intend to renew its current terminal services agreement after its expiration on December 31, 2017.

Accordingly, APM Terminals is evaluating all options with respect to its existing terminal lease, which is currently set to expire on December 31, 2017.

The terminal, with 12 employees, became part of the Maersk Group portfolio with the acquisition of US-based Sea-Land Service by Maersk Line in 2000. The 600,000 TEU annual throughput capacity facility was used primarily by the Matson Alaska Service, with twice-weekly sailings between Tacoma, Anchorage and Kodiak, and a weekly service
between Tacoma and Dutch Harbor, handling approximately 190,000 TEUs in 2016.

Read the rest at Marine Link


Alaska company agrees to pay $10 million in biggest-ever Jones Act fine

From Alaska Dispatch News:

An Alaska natural gas producer has agreed to pay the U.S. government $10 million in what amounts to the largest penalty ever levied in the history of the nearly century-old Jones Act, the U.S. Justice Department said Tuesday.

A Jones Act waiver can be obtained from the secretary of Homeland Security if no U.S. ship is available and the transport is considered important to national defense.

Furie Operating Alaska violated the act when it used a foreign ship to haul the Spartan 151 jack-up drill rig from Texas to Alaska. U.S. Customs and Border Protection, an agency within Homeland Security, assessed a penalty of $15 million. Furie sued the federal agency in 2012.

Furie has applied for a waiver but was denied when the department said U.S. vessels were available to carry the drilling rig. Furie disagreed and sought reconsideration of the denial. It began moving the rig, believing a waiver would be granted.

“They assumed incorrectly,” Pomeroy said.

More at ADN


China Merchant Port 2016 profits up 14% to $707m

From Seatrade Maritime:

China Merchants Port Holdings saw 2016 net profit rise 14% to HKD5.49bn ($706.5m) on gains in both container and bulk terminal volumes.

Revenue from the group’s core ports operation rose 14% to HKD24.51bn and generated a pre-tax profit of HKD11.54bn, up 9% year-on-year China Merchants Ports said in a press release.

The group’s Mainland China ports still contributed the bulk of volumes with container throughput of 71.9m teu, an increase of 17.0% year-on-year, which was mainly driven by the additional contribution from a new equity investment in Dalian Port (PDA) Company earlier in the year.

More at Seatrade Maritime


Maersk Container Ship Damaged in Collision

From Maritime Executive:

Just after midnight on April 4, the small freighter Dan Fighter collided with the newly built container ship Maersk Genoa on the waters of the Westerschelde, the estuary leading to the Port of Antwerp.

The Dan Fighter was inbound on a voyage from Bilbao and the Genoa was outbound headed for Bremerhaven. Under circumstances that are still under investigation, the Fightermade contact with the Maersk Genoa’s stern. Dutch media reported both vessels suffered damage, including a crack above the waterline on the Genoa’s stern, but there were no injuries, no reports of pollution and no containers lost over the side. The two vessels anchored at Vlissingen to assess the damage.

More at Maritime Executive


ITF calls on Madagascar to reinstate union workers fired at ICTSI terminal

Madagascar workers fired for joining union at ICTSI

Madagascar workers fired for joining union at ICTSI

Excerpts from Maritime Executive:

The average wage for the dockers is only $40 per month, with a maximum of about $10 per day if container volumes are high; without these wages, the dismissed unionists are struggling to pay the bills, ITF said. Tata Ramilison, one of the 43 men let go, had joined the union because he had not received a wage increase in 27 years. He is now pulling a rickshaw for a living.

ITF notes that ICTSI, the terminal operator at Port of Toasmina, generated a profit margin exceeding 40 percent for 2013 and 2014, with average earnings per TEU approaching $60. By comparison, dockers at Port of Toamasina earn about $0.02 per container.

“Unless the Madagascan Government reinstates the sacked workers they will face international condemnation for failure to observe the basic human rights for their own citizens,” the ITF said. “Many international brands in the clothing industry operate factories in Madagascar and they will be watching this case very closely.”

More at Maritime Executive


‘No taxpayer money to eliminate American jobs’ in port CEO search

Excerpts from ‘Who will head Long Beach’s port?’ in the Press-Telegram:

This week the board running the Long Beach port interviewed seven finalists in hopes of finding the nation’s second-busiest container port’s next CEO. … One of the largest players is the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, the union representing dockworkers.

“We want the next executive officer to understand where the ILWU is coming from,” said Paul Trani, president of the ILWU Local 63 representing about 1100 marine clerks.

The union has been fending off efforts to expand automatization in the name of greening the ports, since much of the new equipment comes alongside robotic equipment.

“We just want to make sure that there is no taxpayer money going toward purchasing robotics and automation,” he said. “We don’t want taxpayer money used to eliminate American jobs and stop the growth of good middle class jobs.”

Read the full article at the Press-Telegram


Ex-Port of Seattle CEO Ted Fick takes plea deal in DUI case

Former Port of Seattle CEO Ted Fick entered a guilty plea to reckless driving, admitting that he displayed “a willful and wanton disregard for the safety of others.”

More at the Puget Sound Business Journal


Trump promised to bring back coal jobs. That promise ‘will not be kept,’ experts say.

From the Chicago Tribune:

President Donald Trump lifted a moratorium on federal coal leases Tuesday, paving the way for excavation of a fossil fuel on public land in the West that few mining companies seem to want.

The order follows the president’s campaign promise to revive the struggling coal industry and bring back thousands of lost mining jobs in rural America.

But industry experts say coal mining jobs will continue to be lost, not because of blocked access to coal, but because power plant owners are turning to natural gas. At least six plants that relied on coal have closed or announced they will close since Trump’s victory in November. Another 40 are projected to close during the president’s four-year term.

More at the Chicago Tribune


Long Beach, LA ports say sanctuary threats wouldn’t defund projects — yet

From the Long Beach Press Telegram:

The Long Beach and Los Angeles ports won’t have to worry about U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ threat to pull billions of dollars worth of federal grants from local and state governments that support sanctuary cities.

That’s because even though they are departments of cities at odds with the White House on immigration, the ports don’t depend on the Justice Department that Sessions heads to fund major projects at the waterfront.

But they do rely on other federal agencies to support millions of dollars in infrastructure and security efforts every year and are watching these developments warily.

Trump has also proposed a 31 percent budget reduction to the EPA, which could curb local port funding.

More at the Press Telegram


ITF delivers satisfactory progress report to Maersk AGM

International Transport Workers’ Federation news release:

A four-strong team of representatives from ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) unions today committed to continued dialogue with AP Møller-Mærsk at the company’s AGM in Copenhagen.

The union members were at the event to deliver a progress report on the continuing dialogue between the company and unions established by the ITF’s Maersk Network, which was set up to best represent the thousands of transport workers employed across the company (See https://goo.gl/C1eN1r).

The team of four attending the AGM was made up of: Karsten Kristensen from the 3F union in Denmark, and chair of the Maersk Network Steering Group; Donald Josberger from the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots in the USA; Joost Van Der Lecq of the FNV union of The Netherlands; and Steve Yandell, ITF senior section assistant, seafarers, fisheries and inland navigation.

The delegation informed the AGM of research that has been carried out amongst ITF affiliates worldwide on AP Moller Maersk corporate social responsibility policies. The research covered transport workers employed on ships, tugs and in ports.

The research found that in many Maersk workplaces positive dialogue and industrial relations exist. However there are still serious challenges in certain areas, in particular with regards to union recognition, and work is therefore needed to share best practice around all the regions of the world. The ITF wants to ensure that, as a major multinational company, Maersk continues to employ workers from all regions of the world, including northern Europe.

Speaking from London, ITF maritime coordinator Jacqueline Smith commented: “We are pleased that our delegation – with the help of our 3F colleagues, who kindly made their shares available – has been able to personally deliver to Maersk shareholders the message today that we aim to strengthen our constructive dialogue with the company and are looking to ensure that its corporate social responsibility policies are working.”

ITF seafarers’ section chair David Heindel concluded: “We look forward to continuing to engage with Maersk to achieve an environment throughout its operations that is good for workers and good for its business. A growing world economy with demand for trade worldwide is important for the health of the company’s shipping and ports business, and a profitable company is good for its workers.”


China state firms eye land around Panama Canal: waterway authority

Chinese state firms have expressed an interest to develop land around the Panama Canal, the chief executive of the vital trade thoroughfare said, underlining China’s outward push into infrastructure via railways and ports around the world.

The Panama Canal Authority will officially open a tender to develop about 1,200 hectares of land – roughly the size of 1,200 football fields – around the waterway by the end of this year into a logistics park, after completing a five-year-long decontamination of the area, Chief Executive Jorge Quijano said.

This comes at a time when China is urging its companies to invest in infrastructure overseas as part of Beijing’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative to improve global trade links.

More at Reuters


AAPA continues to work with Rep. DeFazio on Harbor Maintenance Tax

From the American Association of Port Authorities:

Legislation intended to stimulate infrastructure investment was introduced last week by House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-OR). The Investing in America: A Penny for Progress Act (H.R. 1664) is based on legislation enacted by 17 states that will increase their state gas taxes to make necessary investments to improve the nation’s surface transportation system.

Regarding waterside infrastructure, AAPA continues work on a Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT) spending consensus approach that would support Ranking Member DeFazio’s proposal to take the HMT off budget, while expanding the proposal to provide more donor equity. AAPA members and staff will be meeting with Congressman DeFazio during next week’s AAPA Government Relations Fly-in on Thursday, April 6.


Port worker dies in worksite accident in Valparaiso, Chile

Our condolences go out to the family, friends and colleagues of Brother Hernán Vedia López. An Injury to One is an Injury to All.

South Pacific Terminal (TPS) reported the death of longshore worker Hernán Vedia López, after an accident inside the port at 22:30 hours on Friday, March 24.

The worker worked at TPS since 2000.

“South Pacific Terminal Valparaíso deeply regrets this accident, which affects the entire port community of Valparaíso, and conveys its deepest condolences to the family of Hernán Vedia López, with whom contact has been made to provide them with all the necessary assistance,” says the statement.

Trabajador portuario fallece al interior de TPS

Terminal Pacífico Sur (TPS) – mediante un comunicado – informó del fallecimiento del trabajador Hernán Vedia López, hecho que ocurrió tras un accidente al interior del puerto a las 22.30 horas de este viernes 24 de marzo.

El trabajador se desempeñaba en TPS desde el año 2000.

“Terminal Pacífico Sur Valparaíso lamenta profundamente este accidente, que afecta a toda la comunidad portuaria de Valparaíso, y transmite sus más sentidas condolencias a los familiares de Hernán Vedia López, con quienes se ha establecido contacto permanente para brindarles toda la ayuda que sea necesaria”, cierra el comunicado.

Source: Portal Portuario


Port of Oakland set for alliance changes: ‘we’re confident’

Port of Oakland officials said this week that they expect to take on upcoming changes to container shipping alliances with little disruption. The news should be welcomed by importers and exporters fearful of fallout as ocean carriers switch partners next month.

“We’ve spoken to the shipping lines, we’ve spoken to our marine terminal operators and we understand their schedules,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “We’re confident that Oakland will be able to accommodate the newly formed alliances efficiently.”

The Port said it expects cargo volume to hold steady once new alliances begin operation April 1. It said fewer but larger ships will visit Oakland weekly, laden with more ocean containers. The change reflects industrywide consolidation as shipping lines cut excess vessel capacity to trim costs.

Eleven of the world’s largest container shipping lines are coming together in three new alliances. The carriers are changing partners after bankruptcy, acquisitions and consolidation roiled container shipping in 2016.

Source: Port of Oakland news release


Ken O’Hollaren hired as Port of Portland marine marketing director

From the American Journal of Transportation:

The Port of Portland announced this week that Ken O’Hollaren was hired to lead the Port of Portland’s marine marketing efforts, starting Monday, March 20, 2017. O’Hollaren previously served as the executive director of the Port of Longview and the Port of Port Angeles, and brings more than 25 years of experience in the maritime industry to the role.

Additionally, O’Hollaren served as the chair of the Interstate Columbia River Improvement Project, responsible for the project to deepen the Columbia River shipping channel, and is a past chairman of the American Association of Port Authorities.

More at AJOT