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Summary for September 29 - October 3, 2008:
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Monday, September 29, 2008

Allen Group gets Kansas City approval

The Allen Group, a leading port development company, Sept. 26 announced that it has received final approval from the Johnson County Board of Commissioners for a public infrastructure plan supporting the new 600-acre intermodal and logistics park development in Kansas City.

Three separate stages of public infrastructure improvements will total approximately $52 million.

The first stage of improvements will include $14 million to connect 191st Street to Interstate 35, allowing the first 200 acres to be developed. Construction for the road improvements on 191st Street will begin in early 2009.

The state of Kansas has also made an initial commitment of $3 million to improve the existing Gardner Road and Interstate 35 Interchange. A new interchange is planned by the Kansas Department of Transportation.

Logistics Park Kansas City will be an inland port logistics park separate from, but adjacent to, the future BNSF Intermodal Facility in Gardner, Kan. 

At full build-out, the park will have more than 7.1 million sq. ft. of LEED-certified distribution and warehouse facilities, creating more than 7,000 new direct and indirect jobs and providing a $1 billion dollar economic impact for the state of Kansas, according to The Allen Group.


The Allen Group


GPA increases tonnage, approves spending

Georgia Ports Authority’s Executive Director Doug J. Marchand Sept. 29 announced that the GPA handled more than 2.2 million tons of cargo for all terminals in August, a 4.4% increase. This is an additional 94,765 tons of cargo compared with the same period last year.

“The ports are proving that even in a challenging economy there are opportunities,” said Marchand. “In this case, the additional tonnage has everything to do with Georgia’s abundance of available exports.”

The GPA also announced that the board has approved $21.9 million to purchase 11 new rubber-tired gantry container cranes and $2.5 million for new refrigerated container storage in Savannah.

In addition, the board approved $2.2 million to build 6,000 linear feet of additional storage track in Brunswick to support the increased volumes of both automobiles and grain arriving in unit train shipments.

“These new commitments are critical for the future of Georgia’s economic vitality and will help Georgians take advantage of new opportunities when the economy improves,” said Steve Green, chairman of the GPA Board.


Georgia Ports Authority


VPA signs rep in Northern China

The Virginia Port Authority announced last week that it has signed a one-year contract with Shanghai Ruinian Investment Management Co. Ltd. to represent the VPA in Northern China, particularly in the Shanghai area.

Annie Kang, Shanghai Ruinian’s president, will coordinate her activities on behalf of the VPA through Ringo Chi, the VPA’s long-time marketing representative in Hong Kong. Chi will continue to cover Taiwan, Hong Kong, Southern China and Southeast Asia, port authorities said. 

Kang has extensive experience in the shipping and logistics trade, having served as the chief marketing representative in China for the Port of Oakland following a long career with ZPMC, the world’s largest crane manufacturer.

A recent state task force had called for the VPA and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) to establish some form of direct representation in mainland China.

Kang will work in concert with VEDP’s representative in China when the opportunity presents itself, port authorities said.

China is the port’s largest trading partner. In 2007, the value of Chinese imports into Virginia was $5.41 billion, and the exports heading to China were valued at $1.48 billion.


Virginia Port Authority


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Green packing reduces truck emissions by 20%

Indianapolis-based Perkins Logistics LLC Sept. 30 said that, during a two-month test period, it was able to reduce carbon dioxide emissions approximately 20% by shipping products protected by reusable wrappings and equipment instead of cardboard boxes.

An independent study conducted by Indianapolis research company Allegiant Global Services examined Perkins Logistics’ use of specialized wrapping methods to ship some orders of products from the Bruce, Miss., plant of Haworth Inc., one of the world’s largest office furniture manufacturers, to customers in 16 states.

“We were amazed at how shipping chairs and tables wrapped in protective blankets instead of cardboard containers could translate into such a sizable reduction in carbon dioxide emissions,” said Andy Card, president and CEO of Perkins Logistics.

Card said that Perkins’ method of using blankets, straps, bars and plywood tiers allowed the company to fit an average of about 65% more products into its trailers, reducing the number of loads needed and eliminating cardboard waste.

A Haworth official said he was pleased with the results from the two-month test, and the company is assessing its more widespread use.


Perkins Logistics LLC


Schwarzenegger signs oil spill bill

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed a comprehensive package of legislation that will improve marine oil spill prevention and response and enhance the state’s oiled wildlife search and rescue collection efforts, his office announced Sept. 29.

The measure also steps up enforcement and fines for polluters and, for the first time, focuses on inland oil spill prevention and response activities similar to what is already in effect for coastal waters.

 “California’s coastline and waterways are a national treasure, and this package of legislation will help us better protect and preserve our natural resources for future generations,” Gov. Schwarzenegger said.

Following the devastating November 2007 spill of 58,000 gallons of fuel oil into San Francisco Bay, the Governor said that he took immediate action on response and clean-up and also that he was committed to taking steps to prevent that kind of spill from happening again.


Legislation for spill prevention and response


Aker Philly starts 9th tanker production

Aker Philadelphia Shipyard began construction Sept. 29 on Hull 013, the ninth product tanker in a series of 12 to be built for American Shipping Co.

When completed, the 46,000 dwt vessel will be 600 feet in length and will be capable of transporting the equivalent of 14 million gallons of liquid product, according to a company news release.

Construction officially began when two Aker Philadelphia employees, Jesus Sabando and Alan Oreszak, made the initial cut utilizing the yard’s state of the art plasma cutter.

Currently there are three other vessels under construction at the yard as part of its historical build program. Aker Philadelphia Shipyard recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary after successfully delivering nine ships.

Aker Philadelphia Shipyard is a leading U.S. commercial shipyard constructing vessels at their state-of-the-art shipbuilding facility for operation in the Jones Act market.

American Shipping Co. owns and leases world-class quality vessels for operation between ports in the United States.

When the current series of 12 tankers is completed in 2011, AMSC will own the most modern product tanker fleet in the United States, according to Aker.

Aker Philadelphia Shipyard


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

POLA ready for Oct. 1 deadline

The Port of Los Angeles says it is ready for the start of the port’s Clean Truck Program today, Oct. 1, with more than 500 trucking company concessionaires controlling more than 20,000 participating trucks. This number includes 1,500 of the newest, cleanest trucks in service, the port said.

This day “marks the start of a landmark, five-year effort aimed at reducing air pollution from the trucks serving the San Pedro Bay ports by 80 percent, while enhancing safety and security,” port authorities said.

The Port of Los Angeles has distributed more than 20,000 Clean Truck Program decals to more than 530 trucking firms that applied by Sept. 24 to be licensed concessionaires. Approximately 150 more applications have been received since and are being processed.

The numbered decals will come in two colors: Green for 2007 EPA-compliant trucks, and purple for CTP program trucks model year 1989 to 2006.

All pre-1989 model year trucks without a replacement exemption and trucks that do not have concessionaire decals will be denied access to port marine terminals on and after Oct. 1.

Other components of the program, including the imposition of fees, will be implemented on a stepped approach in the weeks ahead, port authorities said.


Port of Los Angeles


Port of San Diego ready for second funding release

The San Diego Air Pollution Control District, the local agency responsible for administering the funding of the Port of San Diego’s Clean Truck Program, announced Sept. 30 that it is ready to release the second round of funding for the program.

Part of the port’s Clean Truck Program is the funding available to help truck owners pay for retrofitting or replacing their older model trucks to reduce air emissions.

About $2.1 million of remaining state funds and $1.3 million of port funds is available for the second round.

Truck owners who qualify for the retrofitting could receive up to $5,000 in grant funding. The port would match the contribution up to $5,000.

The cost to retrofit a truck with a diesel particulate filter runs from $10,000 to $15,000, the port said. Truck owners who qualify for complete truck replacement could receive up to $50,000 in state grant funding, and the port would match up to $50,000.

Replacing an older model truck can range between $70,000 and $250,000, according to the port.

The deadline for submitting applications is 5 p.m., Friday, Oct. 31, 2008.


Port of San Diego


Panama Canal takes bids on excavation project

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) Sept. 30 released a request for proposals soliciting bids for the third of four dry excavation projects as part of the canal’s expansion program.

This dry excavation project will help to create the canal expansion’s critical access channel that will link the new Pacific locks with the canal’s existing Gaillard Cut (the narrowest stretch of the Panama Canal), according to canal authorities.

Details of the RFP are available on the Panama Canal Authority’s Online Bidding System. Proposals are due Nov. 18, 2008.

The scope of work will include the excavation, removal and disposal of 8 million cubic meters of material. Moreover, the RFP calls for demolishing the Cocoli Bridge and clearing 190 hectares of unexploded ordnances, remnants from former U.S. training facilities in the Canal Zone.

“The release of the third dry excavation RFP is yet another example that the Expansion Program is on track and proceeding with great progress,” said Jorge L. Quijano, executive vice president of engineering and program management. 

The expansion will build a new lane of traffic along the Panama Canal.


Panama Canal Authority’s Online Bidding System


Thursday, October 2, 2008

WCMTOA cautious about port truck plan

Members of the West Coast Marine Terminal Operator Agreement Oct. 1 announced that as of Oct. 1, individual terminal operators will implement the ban on older, polluting trucks under the Clean Trucks Program of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

At the same time, WCMTOA members expressed to the ports their concern that “the ports have not completed the preparations necessary for a smooth implementation. Under their program, trucks must be listed in the ports’ Drayage Truck Registry to gain admittance to the ports. The DTR is not yet in place.”

As a stopgap, the two ports have begun issuing port-authorized stickers to trucks that have been registered. But terminal operators checking trucks on Oct. 1 found that only 22%–32% of trucks had the port-issued stickers, according to the WCMTOA.

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, however, issued a joint statement the same day saying that “Nearly all trucks or more than 95% of the thousands of vehicles arriving at the shipping terminals Wednesday displayed bright orange stickers on their windshields, signifying their participation and compliance with the ports new Clean Trucks Program.”

The statement continued, “Trucks without the compliance stickers were turned away. Truck traffic volumes, a little lighter than usual in the morning, was at or near normal levels by mid-day.”

In the WCMTOA statement, Bruce Wargo, secretary, said, “We are concerned that inadequate preparation could lead to gridlock around the ports and a disruption to the flow of national commerce.”
The marine terminal operators are private companies operating under lease agreements at the two ports, which are managed by the cities of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Website: NONE


Schwarzenegger vetoes port investment bill

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger Sept. 30 vetoed SB 974, which would have levied a $30 fee on cargo containers processed at the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland.

Revenue from the user fee would have gone toward improving the infrastructure that moves containers to and from the ports and to pay for pollution reduction and clean air programs.

“I am extremely disappointed with the Governor’s decision. This is a sad day for California,” commented Sen. Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, sponsor of the bill.

“Pollution from international goods movement is causing a health crisis in California, and the federal government is not going to bail us out. We need to stand up and fight this ourselves and hopefully, some day, we’ll have a Governor that will fight for California as well,” added Lowenthal.

However, Schwarzenegger wrote in his veto, “Given the current economic downturn, it is vitally important that the state does not worsen the situation by mandating added costs on business that do not provide any public benefit.”

Sen. Lowenthal said he has no intention of re-introducing the legislation next year.


Sen. Alan Lowenthal


Shipping execs plead guilty to conspiracy

The U.S. Dept. of Justice Oct. 1 announced that four U.S. shipping company executives have agreed to plead guilty and serve jail sentences for their involvement in a conspiracy to eliminate competition and raise prices for moving freight between the continental U.S. and Puerto Rico.

A one-count felony antitrust charge was filed today in U.S. District Court in Jacksonville, Fla., against each of the four: former Sea Star executive Peter Baci of Jacksonville and former Horizon Lines managers Kevin Gill and Gregory Glova of Charlotte, N.C., and Gabriel Serra of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The DOJ also announced that a fifth shipping executive has agreed to plead guilty to destroying evidence of the conspiracy.

Each of the four executives has agreed — subject to court approval — to serve a jail term that will be determined by the court, pay a $20,000 criminal fine and cooperate fully in the DOJ’s ongoing antitrust investigation.

Horizon Lines issued a statement Oct. 1 that it “intends to continue to cooperate fully with the Dept. of Justice as it moves forward with its investigation. The company will continue its long established commitment to providing the highest quality service to our customers.”


Dept. of Justice


Friday, October 3, 2008

TraPac terminal contract approved

The Board of Harbor Commissioners Oct. 2 approved a $102-million contract for expansion of the TraPac terminal at the Port of Los Angeles, awarding the contract to San Pedro–based Manson Construction Co.

“This will be one of the largest construction projects we’ve engaged here at the Port of Los Angeles,” said Michael Christensen, deputy executive director of development at the port.

The contract approved construction of 3,700 ft. of wharf and dredging to deepen the terminal’s berthing areas. In addition, Manson will install technology that allows the terminal’s ships to plug into shoreside electrical power to cut diesel emissions.

The initial phase of construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2010.

Also approved at the board meeting was a separate two-year, $46.9-million contract to Manson Construction to make a series of wharf repairs at Berths 90, 93 and 161.

In a future board meeting, port officials intend to award a separate contract for a 30-acre green buffer area to separate the TraPac terminal from Wilmington.


Port of Los Angeles


Teamster striker hit by replacement worker

A Teamster business agent on a picket line against privately-owned Oak Harbor Freight Lines was hit yesterday, Oct. 2, by a truck driven by a replacement worker. Police have charged the driver with assault.

The Teamsters are picketing Oak Harbor Freight Lines’ trucks in California, Nevada, Washington, Oregon and Idaho after Oak Harbor employees in the Northwest walked off the job Sept. 22 “in response to hostile efforts by company representatives to bully and intimidate workers,” the Teamsters said in a statement.

Eydie Dean, a business agent for Local 117 in Tukwila, WA, was walking the picket line when a truck driven by a replacement worker pulled into the Oak Harbor Freight facility in Pasco, WA.

“I was standing on the picket line with my sign way up high and the driver could see it,” Dean said. “He pulled forward and I said stop and he just laughed and kept going, pushing me about three feet.”

The major disagreement between Teamsters and Oak Harbor is about the switch to the company's medical plan, said company spokesman Mike Hobby. About 55% of the company's employees already are covered by the plan


Oak Harbor Freight Lines


Long Beach hosts Green Port Fest

The Port of Long Beach will host its annual Green Port Fest this Saturday, Oct. 3, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The public is invited to the free event, which will feature boat tours, train rides, entertainment and more than 80 interactive booths and environmental exhibits.

The event allows the public to get a “first-hand, behind-the-scenes look at one of the world’s busiest seaports and a leader in environmental stewardship,” the port said. “With more than 35 miles of waterfront, giant cranes as tall as 30-story buildings and containerships as long as three football fields, there is a lot to explore.”

The Green Port Fest is the largest public event of the year at the Port of Long Beach and one of the best-attended community events in Long Beach.

The event takes place on Harbor Plaza in front of the Port Administration Building. Free Parking is available at the Queen Mary with ongoing shuttles to the event.

Among the highlights will be a rappelling demonstration from the roof of the Port Administration Building by the Long Beach Fire Department.


Port of Long Beach Green Port Fest


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