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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Grays Harbor, Wash. Labor Leader Sworn Into Federal Maritime Commission

Grays Harbor, Wash. Labor Leader Sworn Into Federal Maritime Commission

Longtime Grays Harbor, Wash.-area labor leader Max Vekich is the newest member of the Federal Maritime Commission. Vekich, nominated by President Joe Biden in June, was sworn in on Feb. 15 for a commission term that expires June 30, 2026. Port of Grays Harbor Commission President Tom Quigg congratulated Vekich on his appointment to the five-member commission. “Having someone at the table that understands the role that small and large ports play in trade will be valuable,” Quigg said. “International trade is the cornerstone of our mission at the port, and we have no doubt that Max’s leadership and decades…
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BC Ferries Names Sixth Island Class Ferry

BC Ferries Names Sixth Island Class Ferry

In a nod to the ‘Namgis First Nation, BC Ferries has named its newest Island Class vessel  Island Gwawis. The name was announced at Victoria’s Point Hope Maritime, at an event which also drew representatives from Damen Shipyards and the Province of British Columbia. Gwawis, which translates to “raven of the sea,” honors the ‘Namgis First Nation and the “cultural connection between the original mariners of the coastal waters and the communities the vessel will soon serve,” according to BC Ferries. As the sixth and last in the Island Class series vessels to join the fleet, Island Gwawis is expected…
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Vancouver Fraser Port Authority Creates Temporary Storage for Empties

Vancouver Fraser Port Authority Creates Temporary Storage for Empties

To bolster its regional and Canada’s supply chains, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is establishing a temporary storage site for empty shipping containers in Richmond, the port authority announced Feb. 25. The news comes months after torrential rains shut down the rail service that linked the port to the supply chain for eight days. Situated on Portside Road at the end of No.8 Road in Richmond, work on the temporary site started in January and is expected to be fully completed in early March and remain in service until July, the port said. “As partners throughout the Port of Vancouver…
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USCG Cutter Active Returns to Washington Homeport

USCG Cutter Active Returns to Washington Homeport

After 55 days supporting counterdrug missions off the Central American coast, crew members with the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Active returned to Port Angeles and their loved ones earlier this month. During their patrol on the 55-year-old medium-endurance cutter known as “Li’l Tough Guy,” crew members also took part in helicopter training and proficiency operations that resulted in qualifying and certifying eight pilots. Eighteen shipboard aviation support crew members also received certifications. Active also teamed up with the Florida-based Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron and Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco. “The crew performed superbly in every assigned mission during this…
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Port of Hueneme Receives COVID-19 Recovery Help

Port of Hueneme Receives COVID-19 Recovery Help

The Port of Hueneme will be able to recoup some of the revenue it lost in the 2020 fiscal year, early in the COVID-19 pandemic. The port, located in Ventura County, Calif., is expected to receive more than $2.3 million from California’s American Rescue Plan Act, which was created to help ports impacted by COVID-19, it was announced in February. For example, the port’s auto manufacturing sector took a hit during the pandemic when auto manufacturers encountered production setbacks. The port saw the number of auto ships drop from up to six vessels weekly to two, and in some cases…
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Port of Oakland Creates New Maritime Division Role

Port of Oakland Creates New Maritime Division Role

Jason Garben has become the Port of Oakland’s project management services manager, a newly created role that is expected to be key in helping to “spearhead the port’s seaport development and modernization efforts,” officials said. Garben, a former development services director for the Northern California city of Suisun, came to the port as a senior maritime project administrator in 2017. In his new role, he reports to Maritime Director Bryan Brandes and oversees a four-member team tasked with planning infrastructure projects within the port, including marine terminals and support facilities. He also will work with revenue and operations management teams…
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Demolition of POLB’s Gerald Desmond Bridge to Begin in May

Demolition of POLB’s Gerald Desmond Bridge to Begin in May

An iconic Southern California bridge that served as a vital freight transportation link for decades is set to start coming down this spring. The Port of Long Beach is expected to begin demolishing the Gerald Desmond Bridge in May, work that would necessitate closing the waterway under the bridge to all vessel traffic from May 7-9. Vessel operators should anticipate the closure of the Back Channel from 6 a.m. on May 7 to 6 a.m. on May 9. During that time, crews are expected to dismantle the 527-foot-long main span of the bridge before it’s lowered onto a barge, according…
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California Port Leaders, Lawmakers Discuss Global Supply-Chain Crisis

California Port Leaders, Lawmakers Discuss Global Supply-Chain Crisis

On Wednesday, Feb. 16, Danny Wan, president of the California Association of Port Authorities and executive director of the Port of Oakland, presented state lawmakers with a five-part plan to help ease congestion at West Coast ports. The plan includes identifying and allowing staging areas away from terminals for empty containers to ease bottlenecks and creating a California Office of Freight with a coordinator that could partner with the industry stakeholders. The goal is to develop a state freight-and-goods movement policy and add oversight for the deployment of federal infrastructure investments. “California lawmakers must take a holistic approach to addressing…
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Seaspan Implementing  Changes to its British Columbia Tug Services

Seaspan Implementing Changes to its British Columbia Tug Services

Seaspan Marine Transportation confirmed in late February that its lease of the Roberts Bank tug basin at the Port of Vancouver in British Columbia will cease effective July 18, and that operations are relocating to a new facility. Seaspan has provided tugboat services at Roberts Bank for the Westshore and Deltaport terminals since 1975. However, from this July forward, Seaspan says, it will provide tug services to its customers at Westshore and Deltaport Terminals from its new facility. “Our modern, powerful ship docking and escort tugs will continue to be crewed and available 24/7 for ship docking, ship escort and…
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