Hanjin ship begins unloading cargo at Port of Long Beach

A vessel stuck off the Southern California coast was the first Hanjin ship in the U.S. to start unloading since the company’s financial collapse last week.

The Hanjin Greece, which had recently been parked near the Mexican border, docked early Saturday at the Port of Long Beach’s Total Terminals International, where Hanjin owns a majority stake.

The movement came after a U.S. bankruptcy judgeissued an order allowing the financially ailing Hanjin Shipping Co. provisional protection from creditors so vessels could dock and unload products, and retailers could begin selling those products in stores.

It’s the first visible sign the standstill from the of the seventh largest shipping company could be easing.

“This is a big relief for cargo owners and good news for the American consumer just in time for the holiday shopping season,” said Noel Hacegaba, the Port of Long Beach’s chief commercial officer and director of operations.

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Source: Press Telegram

Port of Los Angeles Issues $35.2 Million in ‘Green’ Bonds

The Port of Los Angeles has expanded its commitment to sustainability by issuing $35.2 million in green bonds as part of a larger debt refinancing successfully completed this week. The move marks the first time a U.S. port has entered the growing sustainability bond market where investors support projects and companies making positive social and environmental change.

“Running a competitive and environmentally responsible port permeates every facet of our operations,’’ said Marla Bleavins, the Port’s Deputy Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer. “This bond offering and the unprecedented savings it yields speak volumes about the value of this approach.”

The green bonds are part of an overall $201.6 million bond issue that will net the Port a record present value savings of $32.5 million, an average of $1.9 million annually through 2040. During the process, all three top credit rating agencies – Standard & Poor’s (S&P), Moody’s Investor Services and Fitch Ratings – reaffirmed the Port’s “AA” and “Aa2” investment rankings, the highest ratings given to a port without taxing authority.

The Port’s top credit ratings reflect its strong market position, resilient revenue stream, strong financial management, superior infrastructure, cash reserves and manageable debt.

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Source: Business Wire

Port of Long Beach top executive Jon Slangerup announces he is leaving

After two years on the job, Port of Long Beach’s CEO Jon Slangerup abruptly announced late Thursday he would step down effective Oct. 31.

Slangerup, who earns $350,000 a year as head of the nation’s second largest port, will accept a job as chairman and CEO of “a leading aviation technology company,” according to a statement from the Port of Long Beach that offered no further specifics.

“I leave my post content in the knowledge that the Port’s greatest years lie ahead,” Slangerup said in a statement. “The experience of helping guide the Port through our industry’s swiftly changing and often uncharted waters has been both an exciting challenge and a great honor.”

His announcement comes as one of the nation’s busiest seaports faces a crisis after the seventh largest carrier company Hanjin Shipping Co.’collapsed last week, leaving the future of its assets, including a stake in the port’s largest terminal, unclear.

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Source: Press Telegram

U.S. wants to force lower highway speeds on truck and bus drivers

The U.S. is seeking to forcibly limit how fast trucks, buses and other large vehicles can travel on the nation’s highways.

A new proposal Friday would impose a nationwide limit by electronically capping speeds with a device on newly made U.S. vehicles that weigh more than 26,000 pounds. Regulators are considering a cap of 60, 65 or 68 mph, though that could change. Whatever the speed limit, drivers would be physically prevented from exceeding it. The proposal, which comes from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, does not force older heavy vehicles to add the speed-limiting technology, but the regulators are still considering it.

The government said capping speeds for new large vehicles will reduce the 1,115 fatal crashes involving heavy trucks that occur each year and save $1 billion in fuel costs.

While the news is being welcomed by some safety advocates and non-professional drivers, many truckers said that such changes could lead to dangerous scenarios where they are traveling at much lower speeds than everyone else.

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Source: www.ChicagoTribune.com

Kenworth receives grants for projects at CA ports

Kenworth has been awarded three government grants totaling $8.6 million that will support low-emissions projects involving Kenworth T680 Day Cabs targeted for use as drayage tractors in Southern California ports.

The first two projects are funded at $1.9 million each by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), with Southern California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) as the prime applicant. Kenworth will build two, proof-of-concept T680 Day Cab drayage tractors to transport freight from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to warehouses and railyards along the I-710 corridor in the Los Angeles basin.

The first T680 Day Cab will be a hybrid electric drayage truck producing near-zero-emissions utilizing currently available compressed natural gas (CNG) engine to generate electrical power. The second T680 Day Cab will feature a hydrogen fuel cell offering true zero-emissions operation. These trucks are expected to be identical, except for their power generation systems. Both trucks will have an all-electric range of 30 miles, as well as on-board CNG and hydrogen capacity, respectively, of 100 diesel gallons equivalent.

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Source: Fleet Owner

Digitized Trucking to Rely on Precision Mapping, Smart Roads and On-Board Analytics

Trucking companies are increasingly investing in intelligent tracking technologies that allow shippers and carriers to better monitor and manage drivers, vehicles and their cargo.

Mapping now transcends basic routing from Point A to Point B – instead, it’s much more precise and interactive. And there are to-the-second analytics and on-board telematics, which can pinpoint the exact location of a load at all times and even specify how it should be transported.

In the near term, this means better efficiency, safety and savings, according to proponents.

But with even the physical infrastructure starting to communicate with vehicles, some say that the roads and everything on them are on the verge of full automation.

“Ultimately, you reach this full autonomy where the network is constantly feeding data into the vehicle and there is no need for a driver at all,” said John G. Larkin, a logistics analyst at Stifel Financial Corp. “You can run the vehicle 24-7, 365 days a year.”

In late July, fleet management software company Gorilla Safety unveiled its Gorilla Trax GPS device, which transmits information on vehicle location and operational state.

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Source: www.Trucks.com

ILWU caucus to determine future of West Coast labor peace

A historic International Longshore and Warehouse Union caucus that could solidify the role of the West Coast as the preferred and natural gateway for U.S. trade with Asia will convene Wednesday in San Francisco.

About 100 ILWU delegates will decide in the coming three days if the union will join the Pacific Maritime Association in early negotiations for an extension of the existing contract that is set to expire on July 1, 2019.

Highlighting the importance of the caucus, 128 organizations representing beneficial cargo owners and logistics providers urged the ILWU and PMA to consider a new bargaining model based on “early and continuous dialogue.” The coalition of manufacturers, farmers, agribusinesses, wholesalers, retailers, importers, exporters, distributors, transportation and logistics providers said early contract negotiations would avoid the disastrous labor problems and port congestion that accompanied the 2014 and 2015 coastwide negotiations on the West Coast.

“You have both recognized the negative economic impact of disruptions and slowdowns that occurred during the last negotiations. We believe starting negotiations early will help avoid a repeat of that experience,” the BCOs and other transportation groups stated in the letter.

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Source: www.JOC.com

West Coast ports must improve throughput

In a recent letter to the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America transportation committee NVOCC sub-committee chairman Richard Roche responded to the Department’s request for public comment on U.S. seaport efficiency and competitiveness issues for its “21st Century U.S. Port Competitiveness Initiative.”

“Having attended numerous meetings and forums on the challenge of port congestion, you may not be surprised to hear that many of the themes are common from one meeting to the next,” wrote Roche, adding that congestion is still periodically wreaking havoc with fragile supply chains and needs to be fixed once and for all.

Likening it to a championship boxing campaign, Roche said that shippers are really just between “bouts” of transport gridlock. “Time has proven that we are constantly in a delicate balance of all the factors necessary to keep ports running smoothly until such time as some outward force throws everything off, whereupon we quickly spiral downward,” he added.

Among the issues contributing to congestion is the new generation of mega vessels calling on Pacific Rim ports. These are the ships that are simply too massive to transit the newly expanded Panama Canal—which at first glance seems to be a good thing. But there’s some question as to whether the ports have the necessary analytics and infrastructure to accommodate such enormous inbound discharge.

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Source: Logistics MGMT

Port business leaders urge early contract talks

Among the most highly paid blue-collar workers in the United States, West Coast dockworkers will decide next month whether to enter labor talks three years before their contract expires.

The unusual push for early negotiations comes amid pressure from manufactures, retailers and other local, regional and national groups dependent on the ports to move everything from flat-screen TVs from China to Central California grain for export as consumer demand for fast, cheap products continues.

Delegates representing 20,000 International Longshore and Warehouse Union workers at 29 ports will meet at district headquarters in San Francisco from Aug. 10-12 to discuss whether to extend their current five-year contract, which expires on July 1, 2019.

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Source: Daily Breeze

Truck corridor planned for Wilmington Avenue affront to residents

OPINION —

Compton residents may not be aware of a plan and grant proposal by Mayor Aja Brown and the City of Compton in conjunction with the County of Los Angeles to rebuild two bridges along Wilmington Avenue to bear the weight of large trucks from the Port of Los Angeles — the busiest container port in the U.S. It’s called the Compton Ports Access Connector Plan.

In view of this plan, one is compelled to ask if there was a vote in the City of Compton to make Wilmington Avenue a major truck route for the Port of Los Angeles that will run directly through the residential area of Compton to the 91-freeway and Carson?

The cost of the project is estimated at $14 million. The grant proposal was for $10 million with $4 million in funding pledged by the County of Los Angeles Department of Transportation ($1,505,000); County of Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority ($1,499,000); and the California Department of Transportation  ($996,000).

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Source: Compton Herald