American Port Access

American Port Access

If three U.S. congressmen have their way, legislation they’ve recently introduced would pave the way for American merchant marine and military vessels, including those in the Jones Act fleet, to bypass the long vessel queues and congestion at major U.S. ports, particularly those on the West Coast. The legislation, HR 8243, also known as the “American Port Access Privileges Act,” was introduced in the House of Representatives on June 29. It would allow U.S. exports to skip to the front of the line at American seaport terminals. “This legislation would put American exports at the front of the line at…
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From the Editor: Contract Negotiations

From the Editor: Contract Negotiations

By the time you read this, the current labor contract between the Pacific Maritime Association—the organization representing dozens of maritime companies—and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union—which represents dockworkers will be about to expire. Or if this issue of the magazine found its way into your hands after June 30, then the agreement has already expired. The good news is that ILWU, which represents more than 25,000 dockworkers at 29 West Coast ports, and the PMA, which represents about 70 companies that the laborers work for, began contract negotiations on May 10. The bad news however, is that if past…
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From the Editor: The Rise of Autonomous Vessels

From the Editor: The Rise of Autonomous Vessels

There’s been much talk over the years about the development and deployment of autonomous vessels—ships that have the capability to fully function without the need for a human crew to be actively involved. Operations of these captain-less ships can be remotely managed by personnel on the shore, or else the ships can have various advanced technologies onboard or elsewhere for performing the operations. For the most part, progress in the realm had been slow but steady, then like much of everything else, things were slowed by the COVID-19 pandemic. But according to a new report, things might be picking up…
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Letter from the Editor: Maritime Cyberattacks

Letter from the Editor: Maritime Cyberattacks

Although large amounts of news and information have been circulating recently pertaining to the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, there’s one nugget of information that’s flown under the radar so far: potential retaliation against the U.S. maritime transportation sector. The remarks didn’t receive much media attention, but national Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Jen Easterly recently said that America’s maritime transportation sector could be an infrastructure soft spot that Russia may try to disrupt via cyberattack. “Given the vital role of the industry, the importance of securing systems and functions that make up the maritime transportation sector cannot be…
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From the Editor: War & Maritime

From the Editor: War & Maritime

As you surely know by now, in late February, Russia significantly escalated what had been an ongoing conflict by launching a full-scale invasion into one of its neighboring countries, Ukraine. And although the conflict is taking place on the other side of the world, some of its effects have definitely impacted the West Coast maritime industry. For those keeping track, here’s some of the major ways in which the industry has reacted to and been affected by the conflict. In early March, union longshore workers up and down the coast, in solidarity with the Ukrainian people, said they were refusing…
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From the Editor: New Features

From the Editor: New Features

I’m happy to announce that we’re soon bringing back a feature that had been a mainstay of the magazine for many years, plus we’re also adding a brand-new column to our pages. Starting with the April issue, we plan to have a vessel feature in each issue of Pacific Maritime, focusing on a new or newly updated marine craft in the maritime operations sector. Writing most of the profiles will be a newcomer to the magazine, Seattle area-based writer Norris Comer. Norris, who regularly contributes to Pacific Northwest-based and national magazines on a variety of topics, is a sometimes-mariner whose…
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From the Editor: New Year’s Resolution

From the Editor: New Year’s Resolution

As we get into the swing of 2022, I’d like to wish you a Happy New Year. I truly hope that this turns out to be a great year for all sectors of the maritime goods movement industry, including shippers, BCOs, 3PLs, longshore workers, boat builders, tug operators, drayage firms, etc. 2021 was actually booming for some sectors in the industry, in particular a number of ports and terminal operators, which experienced record cargo movement. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the past couple of years have been tough on other sectors during COVID, which has shaken up the entire…
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From the Editor: Cargo Dwell Fees

I’ll let you in on a little secret: I strongly dislike taxes and fees. Never have been a fan of them. Yes, I know that various types of seaport-related taxes and penalties, like demurrage, tariffs and wharfage, are very important and in many cases, highly necessary. But I’ve never truly been completely on board with the concept of one party tacking on additional fees on top of standard fees levied on parties that they do business with. That being said, I’m definitely rethinking my position now that the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles have managed to scare companies…
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24/7 Operations

As you probably know by now, President Joe Biden announced in mid-October that the Port of Los Angeles would begin operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week in order to deal with a backlog of cargo that needs to be moved off the docks, and to help reduce a queue of dozens of containerships sitting anchored in San Pedro Bay. And while the announcement was certainly a welcome one for those in the maritime goods movement industry, don’t expect the backlog to be cleared overnight. Or within a week. Or maybe not even by the end of the…
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From the Editor: Floating Parking Lots

From the Editor: Floating Parking Lots

You might want to start your Christmas shopping early. That’s the big takeaway from the ongoing situation at major seaports on the West Coast right now, particularly at Los Angeles-Long Beach, the biggest and busiest port complex in North America. According to reports, shipping traffic is up 50% from pre-pandemic levels, contributing to the bottleneck. Another contributing factor is a shortage of drivers to haul goods away from port terminals, as well as a shortage of trailers to affix containers to and of storage space at terminals. “The American’s buying strength is so strong and epic, that we can’t absorb…
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