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 Everett begins rail expansion

Authorities at the Port of Everett have commenced construction on a new rail line, strengthening multimodal links for freight forwarders transporting breakbulk via the deepwater hub.

The US$3.4 million project is the second phase of the port commission’s terminal rail enhancement strategy which will increase the on-terminal rail footprint from 9,200 lineal feet to 12,500 lineal feet, and is slated for completion in November.

Located 25 miles north of Seattle , the natural deepwater port specializes in handling over-dimensional, high value cargoes for the construction and manufacturing industries. It has strong links with the local aerospace industry transporting parts for 747, 767, 777 and soon to be 777X jetliners.

More at Breakbulk


Port of Oakland says ‘bring it on’

From Logistics Management:

A Port of Oakland executive is eager for changes in the way container shipping lines operate. Maritime Director John Driscoll said in an interview that newly formed ocean carrier alliances will benefit his port.

“We’ll see larger vessels coming to the port, which is a good thing,” he recently told employees. “We’ll get more container moves-per-vessel which increases the efficiency of operations.”

Driscoll also said the port will receive a new weekly vessel service as a result of carrier realignment. Taiwan-based Wan Hai Lines plans to launch a new route connecting Oakland and Asia, he said. That will bring the number of regularly scheduled vessel services calling Oakland to 29.

As reported in LM, the changes are a consequence the April 1st realignment in which 11 of the world’s largest shipping lines formed three new alliances.

More at Logistics Management


Levi’s drawn into growing Madagascan dockworkers dispute after ICTSI firings

International clothing company Levi Strauss and Co. is under pressure to help end the exploitation of Madagascan dockworkers as the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) calls on the company to stop the labour rights double standard.

The union is launching a major report, Levi’s: End the Double Standard in your Supply Chain highlighting Levi’s involvement in the exploitation of Madagascan dockworkers. Actions at Levi’s stores will occur across the globe to highlight the issue starting in Sydney.

Paddy Crumlin, ITF President said the union is seeking the intervention of the global clothing company in a widening dispute with the Madagascan Government and port operator ICTSI.

“Levi’s are industry leaders in developing policies to improve workers’ rights in their factories but the same rights need to be extended to their global supply chains.

“Levi’s policies have seen improvements in working conditions for the garment workers but transport workers that deliver Levi’s jeans and other apparel to stores across the globe are being exploited and working in dangerous conditions.

“Levi’s exports through the Port of Toamasina (Tamatave), where casual dock workers often work without safety equipment, and struggle to make ends meet on their wages. 43 were fired when they came together to fight for better working conditions. The Government of Madagascar faces an International Labour Organisation (ILO) complaint over the dispute,” Mr Crumlin said.

For copies of the report and more information go to www.justicefordockworkers.org/levis

The ICTSI operated Port of Toamasina is the main gateway for $360 million worth of textile products exported to Europe, $100 million to South Africa, and $60 million to the USA. Major international brands source clothing in Madagascar – including Levi Strauss.

About ITF

ITF is the international union federation representing around 700 transport unions, and more than 4.5
million transport workers from 150 countries.

Source: International Transport Workers Federation


Port of Vancouver USA has record year for tonnage

From the Columbian:

The Port of Vancouver had a record year for tonnage last year, though imports and operating revenues are less glowing.

Port officials announced last week that nearly 7.5 million metric tons crossed its docks in 2016 — a 7.7 percent bump from the year prior. About 86 percent of that freight came from exported goods, such as grains, jet fuel and copper.

Agriculture remained the heavy hitter. Grain, soy beans and corn alone shipped 5.3 million metric tons. Exports altogether climbed 14 percent.

More at the Columbian


Latest ‘world’s largest containership’ delivered to Maersk Line

Just two weeks after the delivery of the first containership to surpass the 20,000 TEU mark, the record for the world’s largest containership has been broken yet again with the delivery of the Madrid Maersk to Danish shipping giant Maersk Line.

According to the maritime analyst Alphaliner, the Madrid Maersk has a capacity of 20,568 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), making her the world’s largest ship by TEU carrying capacity.

The vessel is the first of Maersk’s 2nd generation Triple-E’s, known officially as the EEE Mark II. Maesrk ordered 11 of the vessels in 2015 for a rumored $1.8 billion.

More at gCaptain


MOL plans four 20,000 TEU LNG mega-ships

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), the largest and oldest of Japan’s international ocean carrier companies, has got the green light for four LNG-powered 20,000 TEU container-ships that have been under construction with Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI).

DNVGL, a registrar and classification society headquartered in Germany, has approved plans for the series of container-ships.

Global regulations on exhaust emissions are becoming tighter for merchant vessels due to more action being taken by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), other specialized international bodies and countries all over the world.

More at Port News


Former FMC Chairman Mario Cordero named executive director at Port of Long Beach

From the Long Beach Post:

Mario Cordero, who was appointed by the Obama Administration as chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission in 2013, will return to Long Beach to head the country’s second largest seaport.

The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners is expected to vote tomorrow to confirm Cordero’s appointment during a special public meeting. The commission had made the decision on Cordero in an executive session following their April 10 board meeting.

“I am so pleased to be coming back home to the Port of Long Beach during this time of dramatic change in the maritime industry,” Cordero said in a statement. “The broad perspective I gained at the national level, along with my many years of service as a Long Beach Harbor Commissioner and my love for the community of Long Beach, will allow me to hit the ground running. We have a stellar leadership team in place, and I’ll be working closely with the Commission and our highly experienced staff in the months ahead to carry out our ambitious capital improvements and ensure that our customers and community members are well-served.”

More at the Long Beach Post


OMSA fires back at ‘erroneous’ and ‘misguided’ report on Jones Act changes

From gCaptain:

The Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA) has issued a statement in response to what it calls “erroneous claims and misguided research” by the American Petroleum Institute in relation to the Customs and Border Protection Agency’s (CBP) proposed modifications to rulings related to the use of Jones Act vessels in the offshore oil and natural gas market.

“This study is a desperate attempt by companies promoting foreign workers to distort facts to enable them to continue to skirt U.S. law,” said Aaron Smith, President and CEO, Offshore Marine Service Association. “The only relevant economic impact is the adverse impact that CBP’s erroneous rulings have had for decades on U.S. ship owners, mariners and shipyards. CBP’s course correction ensures that more ships will be built in U.S. shipyards employing U.S. citizens. This is why 33 members of Congress signed a letter to U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kelly urging him to support the CBP and affirm the Congressional intent of the Jones Act, which supports national and economic security and puts American mariners first.”

More at gCaptain


Port of Portland names 3 finalists for executive director

From the Oregonian:

Executive Director Bill Wyatt will retire at the end of June. The port is taking public comments online through April 24, and the port commission will interview candidates in a closed meeting on May 10. It’s expected to vote on Wyatt’s successor later that month.

The finalists are:

  • Jonathan Daniels, executive director and CEO of the Mississippi State Port Authority
  • Stephanie Dawson, chief operation officer at the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey
  • Curtis Robinhold, deputy executive director of the Port of Portland

More at the Oregonian


Long Beach Port bracing for impact of shipping alliance reformation

From the Signal Tribune

It’s been called “The Big Bang of 2017.” An unprecedented number of ocean-carrier mergers last year and the collapse of the seventh-largest container carrier– Hanjin Shipping– have resulted in something Port of Long Beach officials say has never happened in the shipping industry– the reshuffling of ocean carriers from four to three new alliances.

While the new alliance formation may simply seem like news of yet another merger in today’s ever-changing business landscape, shipping officials are bracing for the confusion that the sudden, major changes may bring.

More in the Signal Tribune


ITF condemns ‘politically motivated’ MV Portland fines

The ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) Cabotage Taskforce has condemned as ‘unbelivable’ fines requested by Australia’s Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) against crew members of the MV Portland.

ITF Cabotage Taskforce chair James Given stated. “This is shameful, unbelievable news. These men were defending their jobs when they were ejected from the ship that was their workplace in a dawn raid. Pursuing them in the court literally adds insult to injury. That the FWO is going down that path calls its motives into question. You have to ask if this move, coming as it does as Australia’s Productivity Commission pushes for maritime deregulation, is politically motivated.” (See goo.gl/CfDvTn )

ITF president and MUA (Maritime Union of Australia) national secretary Paddy Crumlin added: “Alcoa’s actions have been condemned by the MUA, ITF* and seafarer unions around the world as an abusive attack on Australian seafarers’ legal and national rights to work.

“Instead of cuddling up to this outrageous corporate behaviour by Alcoa the Fair Work Ombudsman is prosecuting hardworking Australian citizens who have always paid their taxes and taken no industrial action in this long-standing national shipping route over the last 27 years.

“The MUA will always defend any member who is dragged from their bunk at 1am while at work by dozens of security guards, given five minutes to pack their bags, and then unceremoniously dumped on the wharf.”

He concluded: “These hardworking Australian seafarers have been replaced by flag of convenience shipping which pays exploited foreign workers as little as USD2 an hour and registers ships in places like Liberia, Mongolia and Panama as part of one of the biggest tax avoidance scams on the planet.”

“One of the replacement vessels for the MV Portland even got busted paying bribes in Nigeria and Argentina. What is going on here?”

For more reactions from Australia please see the ACTU (Australia Council of Trade Unions) press release at https://goo.gl/EU96PC.

Source: ITF news release


Maersk inaugurates $460 million container terminal in Mexico

Danish shipping firm Maersk inaugurated on Tuesday a $460 million container terminal in the Mexican port of Lazaro Cardenas. The ceremony to open the terminal was presided over by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen.

Constructed by APM Terminal, the Danish firm’s port division, the terminal encompasses 47 hectares (about 118 acres) and will handle 1.2 million containers per year with cranes capable of simultaneously moving two 40-foot containers.

More at the Latin American Herald Times


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