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Friday, December 6, 2019

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  • Martin Rushmere (221) (X)

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US West Coast ports are way behind their foreign counterparts

Posted to Martin Rushmere (by Martin Rushmere) on November 30, 2012

Union shenanigans at Los Angeles/Long Beach serve up yet another depressing tale of the growing gap in efficiency and dedication between US and foreign ports. Having just toured the Port of Singapore, I can vouch for this firsthand. The best…

Governor Moonbeam gets involved in maritime affairs

Posted to Martin Rushmere (by Martin Rushmere) on November 15, 2012

Maritime professionals are pretty impressed by the interest that California’s governor, Gerry Brown, is taking in the industry. (The timing of this blog is deliberate, to coincide with the election fever. Brown is in for about another two years.

Oakland hits a rough spot

Posted to Martin Rushmere (by Martin Rushmere) on November 4, 2012

Oakland is going through a rough, unenviable period. The only port of California’s Big Three to record a fall in volumes in September (5 percent down over the previous year and flat for the year so far), it is enmeshed in a scandal over the…

It's the economics, remember

Posted to Martin Rushmere (by Martin Rushmere) on September 30, 2012

Economics makes maritime veterans shudder, but ports and ships are built because of economics and trade links. Which is why the American Society of Engineers takes so much notice of economic effects of port and inland waterway investment. If…

Ports are in danger of crumbling

Posted to Martin Rushmere (by Martin Rushmere) on September 29, 2012

Ports are in trouble, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers, because too little is going into investment. Its latest report on infrastructure gives a bleak assessment of how the next 20 years are going to pan out. From now until…

California gets sensible over bunker fuel

Posted to Martin Rushmere (by Martin Rushmere) on September 27, 2012

California does make sensible maritime decisions occasionally, although its record is still pretty abysmal in helping its ports and shipping in general. But a recent state law shows that there are still some clear political heads. Specifically it’s Senate Bill 1243…

China gets more interested in building a rival Panama Canal

Posted to Martin Rushmere (by Martin Rushmere) on September 26, 2012

A “ho-hum” reaction has greeted a recent announcement of developments in building a second overland rival to the Panama Canal. President Daniel Ortega has given approval to the plans for a $30 billion rail/water connection from Puerto Corinto on the Pacific and Monkey Point on the Caribbean.

Tacoma tries to measure up to its bigger rival

Posted to Martin Rushmere (by Martin Rushmere) on August 31, 2012

Just as with Long Beach and Los Angeles in California, pundits are talking up the possibility of Tacoma overtaking Seattle as the biggest port in the Pacific Northwest. It all stems from the switch of Grand Alliance vessels from Seattle, which…

Placid management veneer at two major port systems is shaken

Posted to Martin Rushmere (by Martin Rushmere) on August 31, 2012

There are upheavals at two ports that have been considered among the most admired and efficient in the country. Seattle’s CEO, Tay Yoshitani, is being scrutinized for taking on a directorship for 3PL group Expeditors, while Jerry Bridges has…

The trans-Pacific group sets teeth on edge again

Posted to Martin Rushmere (by Martin Rushmere) on August 30, 2012

Hackles are rising over the 15-member “discussion” group, the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement, and its “discussion” that has led to an “adjustment” (when any authority speaks of an “adjustment”, you can be darn sure the price is going up) of the bunker charge of $17 per FEU to the West Coast…

US report on cargo diversion to Canada slides into the background

Posted to Martin Rushmere (by Martin Rushmere) on August 29, 2012

The Harbor Maintenance Tax has slid into the background in the month since the Federal Maritime Commission reported on the tax’s effect on cargo being sent through Canadian ports. As with most economics issues nowadays, what started as a debate…

August 1, 2012 is a significant date for maritime pollution reduction

Posted to Martin Rushmere (by Martin Rushmere) on July 31, 2012

August 1, 2012 is a significant date in environmental terms, marking a momentous step in the efforts to reduce pollution on the world’s oceans. The two biggest problems are likely to be California and distillate fuels. California’s Air Resources…

Not all Western Seaboard ports are depressed about the future

Posted to Martin Rushmere (by Martin Rushmere) on July 30, 2012

Northern California’s commercial maritime operations continue to send mixed signals about the state of business. While Oakland is taking a downbeat perspective, nearby Redwood City is doing better and the Washington port of Longview is living up to its name with a new strategic plan.

Oakland is not so sure about the future

Posted to Martin Rushmere (by Martin Rushmere) on July 29, 2012

The Port of Oakland’s maritime division (the port authority also runs the aviation division) is a good barometer of business patterns in Northern California. And that pattern is lackluster. For the financial year that began last month, the number…

Jittery California

Posted to Martin Rushmere (by Martin Rushmere) on July 26, 2012

California is taking the not entirely highly original route of offering tax credits to exporters as the state casts around for ways to keep cargo trundling through its ports after the Panama Canal widening. The usually bickering politicians in the state capital Sacramento seem to be uniting…

California vessel owners get an unfair battering

Posted to Martin Rushmere (by Martin Rushmere) on June 30, 2012

With the US and Canadian Emission Control Area due to take effect from August 1 -- supported by the whole industry-- there has been some confusion as to why the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association continued its legal challenge against the…

More dithering over the Canal

Posted to Martin Rushmere (by Martin Rushmere) on June 30, 2012

Now they do and now they don’t. The Panama Canal seems to be getting itself in a bit of dither over toll levels, with the canal authority backing down on its proposal to increase fees by 15 percent. Shouting and gesticulating greeted the original announcement…

A small California port battles through the downturn

Posted to Martin Rushmere (by Martin Rushmere) on June 29, 2012

Fifteen hours (slow) steaming from LA/Long Beach is the port of Hueneme, which mainly depends on vehicle imports for business. Because of the extended national economic slowdown, it has suffered as much as everyone else. Revenue from vehicles dropped precipitously in 2009 to $3.6 million…

Long Beach stands toe-to-toe with its bigger neighbor

Posted to Martin Rushmere (by Martin Rushmere) on June 28, 2012

A dramatic shift in financial bulk is taking place at the two main Southern Californian ports over the next 18 months. For the first time, Long Beach will be looking its neighbor, Los Angeles, in the eye. The two ports are standing virtually…

APM wants to be a winner at Hampton Roads

Posted to Martin Rushmere (by Martin Rushmere) on May 31, 2012

Terminal operations management has been given a new shake up in the US with the surprise bid from APM to operate all of Virginia's Hampton Roads terminals. So far, so what? A recap is needed to put it into perspective. The Virginia Ports Authority…