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Friday, April 19, 2019

West Coast News

Pic: Port of Seattle

Seattle Port Celebrates 20th Year of Cruising

The Port of Seattle, celebrating 20 years as a homeport, welcomes the 2019 cruise season with the arrival of the first ship—Celebrity Eclipse, at the Bell Street Pier Cruise Terminal at Pier 66.“Over twenty years ago this community turned a novel idea into a nearly $900 million industry and helped the Port become the most environmentally progressive home port in North America,” said Port of Seattle Commission President Stephanie Bowman.“Today that economic opportunity reaches all the way from Eastern Washington farms and ranches that provide food for cruise customers…

File Image (CREDIT: Port of Oakland)

Oakland Adds Vietnam Shipping Service

The Port of Oakland will add new direct service to Vietnam by late April. Pacific International Lines (PIL) will launch direct Vietnam links using vessels that can carry up to 11,900 20-foot containers. PIL’s new service is called AC5 and is in partnership with Cosco and Wan Hai.New Vietnam-US West Coast service:•Haiphong, Vietnam loop – Haiphong, Nansha, Hong Kong, Yantian, Long Beach, Oakland, Yantian, Haiphong (AC5)In 2018, Vietnam was the Port of Oakland’s third largest import market and fifth largest export market.

Container operations at the port of Hong Kong, one of the world’s busiest. (Photo: Adobe Stock / © Marco 2811)

Drewry: After the sugar rush

Following the tariff-induced cargo rush of late-2018, container shipments from Asia to West Coast North America dived in Q1, denting carriers’ hopes of securing higher annual contracts.Things can change very quickly in the Transpacific container market. In our previous analysis of the Asia-West Coast North America trade at the end of last year, the market was booming with eastbound spot freight rates at a six-year peak. However, now that the sugar rush caused by the threatened tariffs on Chinese goods has passed…

Pic: Northwest Seaport Alliance

ZIM Returns to NWSA North Harbor

The Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA ), a marine cargo operating partnership of the ports of Seattle and Tacoma, has welcome the ZIM Ningbo to its North Harbor.Zim Integrated Shipping Services (ZIM) is expanding its presence at the NWSA by joining the 2M trans-Pacific service calling at Terminal 46 in Seattle, it said in a press release.ZIM will have four of its own vessels in the weekly ZP9 service with increased capacity to serve the NWSA gateway. This will be the first regular…

Aerial photo by Port of Long Beach

Long Beach Forecast Modest Growth

A slowing domestic economy will likely lead to a moderate uptick in container imports through 2019, following a robust year that was marked by record-high cargo growth amid a trade dispute with China, said Port of Long Beach.North American imports are projected to grow a modest 1.8 percent in 2019, demonstrating a significant slowdown from the 6.1 percent increase reported for U.S. imports last year, said Melissa Peralta, senior economist and forecaster for TTX, a railcar pooling company based in Chicago.Retailers are expected to pump the brakes on imports during the first half of 2019…

Photo: NWSA

NWSA Container Volumes Up

The Northwest Seaport Alliance’s February container volumes reached 269,199 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), a 4.1 percent decrease from last year. Despite the dip, the year-to-date container volumes are up 10.9 percent, with imports and exports growing 10.1 percent and 13.4 percent respectively.As anticipated, import volumes in February were impacted by an early Lunar New Year, resulting in shippers advancing orders ahead of the normal factory closures in Asia during the holiday.

Kotup tugboat maneuvering a container ship. Image:  Boluda Corporación Marítima

Boluda Corporación Goes to N. Europe

Shipping services provider Boluda Corporación Marítima has signed a letter of intent to acquire all the shares, worth 300 million euros, of Kotug Smit Towage.The Netherlands-based towage services provider Kotug Smit Towage is operating in North Sea countries (United Kingdom, Netherlands, Belgium and Germany).Boluda Corporación Marítima is now in talks to acquire 100% of the towage company Kotug Smit Towage created in 2016. The shares are owned equally by the two companies Kotug International BV and Royal Boskalis Westminster NV…

File Image: CREDIT AdobeStock / © Nightman 1965

Imports at Annual Low on Seasonal Lull, Tariff Worries

With the retail industry in its annual lull between seasons and plans for a tariff increase on hold, imports at the nation’s major retail container ports are expected to drop to their lowest level in almost a year this month, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.“Now that the holiday season is over and summer has yet to crank up, this is the quiet time of year for retail supply chains,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said.

Image: Vancouver Fraser Port Authority

Vancouver Port Cargo Volumes Hit Record in 2018

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority has released the 2018 year-end statistics for cargo through the Port of Vancouver. The second consecutive year of record cargo volumes reflects Canada’s growing trade, said a press release.Overall cargo volume through Canada’s largest port reached a record high of 147 million tonnes, up 3.5 per cent from 2017, it said."One of the port’s biggest strengths continues to be the ability to accommodate the most diversified range of cargo of any port in North America.

Photo courtesy of NWSA

NWSA Container Cranes to Arrive in Tacoma

A ship carrying four super-post-Panamax container cranes is scheduled to travel through Puget Sound March 5 to Tacoma.Among the largest on the West Coast, these cranes are identical to the four that arrived in the Pacific Northwest last year.Puget Sound Pilots are scheduled to board the Zhen Hua 31, a 771-foot-long heavy-lift ship, Tuesday morning in Port Angeles and begin the journey to Tacoma. he ship will sit at anchor in Commencement Bay for a day or two before delivering…

Photo: Foss Maritime

Keel Laid for Foss Tier IV Tugboat

Foss Maritime announced the keel laying of the first of its new class of ASD 90 tugboat, to be built at Nichols Brothers Boat Builders in Freeland, Washington.Nicole Engle, one of the principals of Foss’ parent company, Saltchuk, made the first ceremonial weld of her initials into the keel, assisted by journeyman welder Justina Mackie.Speaking after the ceremony, John Parrott, President and CEO of Foss Maritime, said "The new tugs are designed to upgrade our fleet and improve the company’s ability to provide timely harbor and port services to a variety of customers.

Photo: Port of Oakland

Fitch Affirms Port of Oakland at 'A+'

Fitch Affirms Port of Oakland, CA's Sr. Revs, Intermediate Revs and Bank Bonds Underlying CP Notes.Fitch Ratings has affirmed the following Port of Oakland, CA bonds:$637 million of senior lien revenue bonds at 'A+';$218 million of intermediate lien revenue bonds at 'A';Underlying bank bonds for the port's commercial paper (CP) notes at 'A'.The Rating Outlook on all of the bonds is Stable.Key Rating DriversThe ratings reflect diverse revenues from the port's aviation, maritime, and Commercial Real Estate (CRE) operations.

National Geographic Venture 1 (Photo: Inmarsat)

Fleet Xpress on New National Geographic Ship

Inmarsat was chosen to provide connectivity through Fleet Xpress for Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic’s new adventure cruise ship, National Geographic Venture.The expedition ship, designed to explore the coastal waters, shallow coves and fast-moving channels where wildlife congregates, completed its first cruise around the Galapagos Islands in December 2018 before moving to Baja California. It is also destined for the Pacific North West coast and Alaskan cruising in the next few months.Built by Nichols Brothers…

Image: MJM Group

MJM Bags Largest-Ever Cruise Contract

Global marine outfitter, MJM Marine is undertaking its biggest-ever project which will see a team of 1,400 people spend more than a month working on a cruise liner at locations including China and the US.The company been appointed as the main outfitting contractor by Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) to completely refurbish the Norwegian Joy, as the company repositions the ship to the West Coast of the United States.In a multi-million dollar project, MJM Marine will play the lead role in the design…

Image: ZPMC

Port of Oakland Gets Giant Cranes

SSA Terminals, the operator of Oakland International Container Terminal, submitted last week a $30 million order for three 300-foot-tall gantry cranes, which are expected to be delivered in 18 months.The cranes will go to Oakland International Terminal on Oakland Estuary and will become the tallest on the West Coast, port officials said.The project aims to prepare the port to handle the world's largest container ships, which can be up to 1,300 feet long and carry nearly 23,000 cargo containers.

Book Review: Casey the Container

Bringing the world of containerized cargo to young readers.This rhyming children’s book follows Casey the Container, a new shipping container, along her journey on her first day in port. Casey meets new friends, experiences the workings of the waterfront, and learns the important role containers play in our world. The story, as told from Casey’s perspective, provides operational insight about the movement of containerized cargo. Eighty-five percent of goods used within the world are transported in shipping containers arriving on container ships.In sharing Casey’s journey…

Ecochlor Wins BWMS Contract with ATC

Alaskan Tanker Company (ATC) will retrofit the Ecochlor ballast water management system (BWMS) on board their fleet including three VLCC crude oil tankers and an option for one additional vessel. Each of these vessels are U.S. flag tankers with Zone 1 and Zone 0 hazardous areas.The Ecochlor BWMS is approved for installation in both US Flag and International vessels in hazardous areas rated Zone 1 or Zone 0 through their U.S. Coast Guard Type Approval certification. The installations will start in the fall of 2019 and run through 2021 at the Sembawang Shipyard…

Branton B. "Bal" Dreyfus (Photo: Matson)

Matson Names Dreyfus VP, Alaska

Matson has announced that Branton B. "Bal" Dreyfus has been appointed vice president, Alaska, succeeding Kenny Gill, who has resigned from the company.In his new role, Dreyfus has management responsibility for all Matson operations in Alaska, including terminal operations, customer service, sales, and financial performance of the company's terminals in Anchorage, Kodiak, and Dutch Harbor. Dreyfus reports directly to Chairman and CEO Matt Cox.Dreyfus joined Matson in 1993 as General Manager…

Vigor selects Vancouver, Washington site for a state-of-the-art, all-aluminum fabrication facility. Rendering courtesy VIGOR

Shipbuilding: Vigor Picks Expansion Site

West Coast U.S. shipbuilding and repair powerhouse Vigor has selected a Vancouver, Washington site to be the home for its new  all-aluminum fabrication facility.With a nearly billion dollar contract in its hip pocket to build the U.S. Army’s new landing craft over the next 10 years, Vigor is expanding it's shipbuilding operations to a new state-of-the-art aluminum fabrication facility with this project serving as the anchor for production.The facility as formerly the home of Christensen Yachts, deemed by the company as the best location to build the U.S.

Graphic: Freightos

Weekly Freightos Baltic Index Update

Highlights of the Freightos Weekly Baltic Index Report ...Just as the January 1 GRIs were losing traction, the mid-month round lifted transpacific prices back up again. The net impact was a 4% week on week rise for both lanes. China-West Coast went up from $2,031 to $2,110, and China-East Cost went up from $3,171 to $3,292.Having lost ground following January 1’s GRIs, the mid-month GRI picked up transpacific prices again. The net effect of dipping, then rising prices last week…

Photo: Jensen Maritime

Jensen Maritime Provides Design for Shaver's New Tugboat

Jensen Maritime, Crowley Maritime Corp.’s Seattle-based naval architecture and marine engineering company, has provided the detailed design for Shaver Transportation Company’s new, Z-drive tug – Samantha S. The multi-purpose tug was built at Diversified Marine Inc., in Portland, Ore., and is operating along the West Coast. The tug is ABS-classed and carries a FFV1 firefighting notation.The 112-foot by 44-foot tug has a 22-foot draft, was built for escort, ocean towing and ship assist, and has firefighting capabilities if needed. The tug features a raised pilot house and a squared forward end.

File Image: Evergreen Marine Corp

Taiwan's Evergreen Opens Four New Offices in Latin America

Taiwanese container transportation and shipping company  Evergreen Marine Corp. is expanding its operations into Central and South America this year following the recent opening of four new agency offices in the region."In view of the growth potential in Latin American trade, Evergreen Line is continuing to establish its own offices at main service locations in the region. The move will strengthen the effectiveness of the line’s operations, improve its capability to react to market opportunities…

A local barge underway near the port of Everett (CREDIT: port of Everett)

Port of Everett Earns Marad Short Sea Shipping Designation

The Port of Everett has achieved another vital step in reducing congestion on the I-5 corridor while moving more freight in the region. The Port was notified this month that it received designation by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation as a Federal Maritime Administration Marine Highway Project for the Puget Sound Container on Barge Service under the America’s Marine Highway Program.The Port is one of 25 marine highway projects in the nation, and the only marine project designation on the West Coast.

Photo: Evergreen

Evergreen Opens Four Offices in Latin America

In view of the growth potential in Latin American trade, Evergreen Line is continuing to establish its own offices at main service locations in the region. Evergreen Line has opened its own agency in Colombia following the establishments of other offices in Peru, Chile and Mexico over the past few months. In setting up these offices Evergreen confirms its continued commitment to serving the trade and economy of Latin American west coast region. The dedicated personnel at these locations will have responsibility for local marketing and sales…

Peter Sand, BIMCO’s Chief Shipping Analyst

BIMCO: US Box Imports Break Records Despite Uncertainty Ahead

Container imports on both the US East Coast (USEC) and West Coast (USWC) had a strong year in 2018, growing 3.7% and 8% respectively in the first 11 months of the year compared to the same period in 2017.Record high levels of inbound laden containers were experienced on both coasts in October with the USWC at 1.09 million TEU and the USEC at 0.91 million TEU according to BIMCO’s own data.The first two months of 2018 saw the USWC coast’s laden imports increase 11.7% from the start of 2017, with the accumulated growth rate then stabilising to around 4% for the rest of the year.

Local workers unload new automobiles from the WWO vessel at the Port of Hueneme  (Photo: Port of Hueneme)

Automotive Customers Recommit to the Port of Hueneme

Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean (WWO) joins BMW North America (BMW) and GLOVIS America (GLOVIS) to secure their presence at the Port of Hueneme with long-term contracts.Representing over half of the Port’s cargo revenue, the automobiles being imported will reach more than 13 states. In addition, the Port also exports globally multiple OEM brands manufactured in the United States, acting as Ventura County’s international commerce gateway.“In a time of uncertainty from ongoing global trade talks and a watchdog approach to the tariff discussion…