Port of Benicia Devastated by 4 Alarm Fire

Port of Benicia Devastated by 4 Alarm Fire

The Port of Benicia, a small, privately operated port in the San Francisco Bay area, was devastated by a four-alarm fire this past weekend. The port, which is operated by Amports, a Maryland-based auto processing company, saw the blaze erupt in the early afternoon of Saturday, April 9, according to media reports, in the 1000 block of Bayshore Boulevard, next to the Amports port terminal. Benicia Fire Chief Josh Chadwick, according to local reports, said that when fire crews arrived, the blaze was burning upward from a conveyer belt toward a docked tanker ship. The fire initially began  at the…
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From the Editor: Salmon in the Seine

From the Editor: Salmon in the Seine

FYI, one of Maritime Publishing’s terrific freelance journalists, Seattle-based writer and author Norris Comer, has a new book coming out. “Salmon in the Seine: Alaskan Memories of Life, Death, & Everything In-Between,” is his debut memoir and chronicles his time working as a commercial fisherman in the Great White North aboard a highliner salmon purse seiner while in his teens. “I was 18 years old and fresh out of high school when I ventured north to Cordova, Alaska, in 2008 to kick off my Gap Year before college,” he wrote. “What started as an aspiration to make good money and…
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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 print edition of Pacific Maritime for many years, plus we’re also adding a brand-new column to our pages. Starting with the April issue, the plan is 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 the majority 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…
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From the Editor: Seafarer Pay

From the Editor: Seafarer Pay

These are very interesting times we’re living in. In another sign that COVID has turned the world upside down, there are now reports that some of the lowest-paying jobs in the maritime industry are suddenly becoming some of the better compensated jobs in the maritime industry. “Several of the world’s largest shipping lines, worried they will be unable to recruit and retain workers, have begun offering unprecedented incentives for a job known for notoriously bad working conditions and low pay,” according to a story by tech reporter Nicolas Rivero, published Jan. 25 on the global business news and insights website…
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From the Editor: New Year’s Resolution

From the Editor: New Year’s Resolution

As we all get into the swing of 2022, I’d like to wish you a very happy and prosperous new year. I truly hope that this turns out to be a wonderful year for all sectors of the maritime goods movement industry, including shippers, BCOs, 3PLs, longshore workers, boat builders, tug operators, drayage firms, etc. Due to the pandemic, the past couple of years have been tough on some of the above sectors, as COVID has shaken up the entire world. Even as we’ve managed to get things back on the right track, obstacles keep popping up. But these things…
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From the Editor: Cargo Dwell Fees

From the Editor: Cargo Dwell Fees

I’ll let you in on a little secret: I strongly dislike taxes and fees. I’ve never 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, absolutely 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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San Pedro Bay Ports’ Cargo Dwell Time at a Record High: PMSA

San Pedro Bay Ports’ Cargo Dwell Time at a Record High: PMSA

Last month, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach saw a record high in the length of time that containers dwell at their terminals, according to new data released by the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association. In October, containers leaving marine terminals by truck lingered for an average of 7.64 days at the twin ports, higher than the previous month’s 5.9 days. Meanwhile, the average dwell time for containers improved significantly month over month, with average time down from 5.5 days in September to 3.9 days in October. “Terminals are not designed to be a long-term storage facility for cargo,”…
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From the Editor: 24/7 Operations

From the Editor: 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 the 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…
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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 all this cargo into the domestic supply chain,” Port of…
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