PacMar Retro: The United Fruit Company Steamer Talamanca

PacMar Retro: The United Fruit Company Steamer Talamanca

Called “the most attractive ship to ever visit the port,” the United Fruit Company’s Talamanca made her maiden arrival at the Port of Los Angeles on Jan. 13, 1932.  The ship docked at Berth 188 in Wilmington with 100 passengers and 45,000 stems of ‘Grade 9’ bananas, 19,000 of which were discharged at the company’s facility.  In the years prior to World War II, the port served as the West Coast’s primary unloading spot for bananas shipped from Central America and the Caribbean. In 1937, off-loading at the port using slings and pallets was replaced by specially designed conveyor equipment…
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Pacific Northwest Ports: Transition and Transformation

Pacific Northwest Ports: Transition and Transformation

More than a century ago, the bustling Port of San Francisco dominated the U.S. West Coast’s international and domestic intercoastal deep-water trade. Meanwhile, the ports of Washington and Oregon were busy handling export cargoes such as lumber, agricultural products and coal.  Japan’s NYK steamship line had begun service between Japan and Seattle in 1896, but 13 years later a unique agreement between the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway Co. and Japan’s Osaka Shoshen Kaisha (OSK) Line created what was the very first ship-to-train trans-shipment agreement. It would revolutionize the international movement of goods.  Under the terms of the agreement,…
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Ocean and Coastal Towing News: 2022 In Review

Ocean and Coastal Towing News: 2022 In Review

Maritime shipping volumes stalled at some West Coast ports in 2022, but even still, there remained a large need for ocean and coastal towing services to guide commercial vessels of all sizes to shore. In fact, according to an analysis released in March by the global firm Technavio Research, the tugboats services market is expected to grow by $2.42 billion between now and 2026, with 33% of that growth originating in North America. The report, titled “Tugboats Services Market by Application and Geography—Forecast and Analysis 2022-2026,” states that the market will witness a year-over-year growth of 14.24% in 2022 and…
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WCT Barges Pilings from  Astoria for I-205 Bridge Work

WCT Barges Pilings from Astoria for I-205 Bridge Work

The Oregon Department of Transportation’s I-205 Improvements Project involves some challenging engineering on the Abernethy Bridge, across the Willamette River south of Portland. This stretch of I-205 carries more than 100,000 vehicles daily and needs a major upgrade to become a “seismically resilient lifeline” in the event of a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake, according to the Oregon DOT. Many local contractors are delivering large amounts of material and equipment by road to designated drop-off zones, but WCT Marine, at the Hyak Tongue Point shipyard in Astoria, is using the river itself to ship dozens of steel pilings to support temporary…
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Smart Technology Leads the Way in New Navigation Solutions

Smart Technology Leads the Way in New Navigation Solutions

Maritime navigation has gone from a sailor finding his way with a sextant and the stars to technology so advanced that artificial intelligence can chart a precise course without a human being on board a vessel. Companies around the world have developed a variety of smart solutions and services in recent years that support seafarers and marine vessels in achieving safer, more accurate and efficient voyages. Industry-wide, there’s a focus on autonomous control, reducing human error, increasing connectivity, improving route planning and overall digitalization.  Industry leaders shared some of their latest innovations, including the use of artificial intelligence (AI), with…
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Shoreside Power: To Plug or Not to Plug

Shoreside Power: To Plug or Not to Plug

In 2008, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) laid out new regulations that mandated strict reductions in air pollutants produced by container, cruise and refrigerated cargo ships docked at the busiest ports in the state. Scaled upward over the following years, the key requirements of the regulation called for a minimum cut of 80% in emissions starting in 2020. The directive—the strictest such pollution control guidelines in the country—has sped the implementation of so-called “cold ironing,” in which ships damp their main and auxiliary engines while at berth and “plug-in” to power onboard generators and other equipment with high-voltage electrical…
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Regional Report:  Alaska & Hawaii Maritime

Regional Report: Alaska & Hawaii Maritime

As the global economy continues to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, maritime firms remain steady in their investment in Alaska and Hawaii.  Whether they’re upgrading vessels and/or building facilities and other infrastructure, companies and public agencies in the region are working on various initiatives and projects to cement their footing in the two states and bring opportunities to far-flung communities. Here’s a sample of what some companies and other entities are up to in the Alaska and Hawaii region: PASHA Business is going well across the board in the Hawaii/Mainland trade lane, said George Pasha IV, president and CEO of…
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Deck Machinery in 2022

The region’s deck machinery industry examined. The deck machinery industry directly impacts working life for maritime industry professionals. New iterations of winch models or power blocks can make the difference on the job and informs new purchasing decisions. Here are developments from some of the West Coast’s major deck machinery manufacturers.  LA CONNER MARITIME – La Conner and Mount Vernon, Wash. La Conner Maritime was founded by Ed Oczkewicz in 1978 to make deck gear for commercial fishing boats. The company started providing field service in Bristol Bay around 1984. Ed’s son, Isaac Oczkewicz, carries on the tradition as La…
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Diving  and Salvage: Beneath the Surface

Diving and Salvage: Beneath the Surface

It is easy to see a company’s successes above water, but there’s also some quality work happening beneath the surface. Whether it is pulling wreckage from seemingly unreachable depths or laying down hundreds of miles of cable that would provide internet access to remote Alaskan communities, these companies and their talented workforce of experienced divers, salvage experts and support staff are the industry’s underground workhorses. Here is a look at what these diving and salvage companies are accomplishing along the West Coast: AMERICAN MARINE CORP. 2022 has been a busy year for longtime West Coast specialty marine contracting, commercial diving…
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Vessel Profile: R/V Resilience

Vessel Profile: R/V Resilience

The Department of Energy anticipates its first hybrid-electric research vessel. The r/v Resilience is a hybrid electric research vessel being built by Seattle-based contractor Snow & Company, is expected to join the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory-Sequim (PNNL) fleet in April 2023. The PNNL is one of the United States Department of Energy’s national laboratories, managed by the DOE’s Office of Science. The laboratory houses several scientific user facilities and research facilities. “They (PNNL) have a fleet of two boats right now and they wanted to expand with (the addition of) a larger vessel with more capabilities,” Snow & Company Project…
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