AAPA Seaports Advisory
April 9, 2020
On April 5, each year, Ports Day typically is a time to commemorate the maritime industry’s role in job creation and economic prosperity. This year focused on the efforts of ports and their workforce in the current COVID-19 global pandemic response and recovery. From videos and news releases to social media and blog posts, Ports Day honored the women and men on the front line of the supply chain.
The day’s celebration included three distinctive video clips shared by Port of Everett, Port of Los Angeles and Port of Palm Beach; five news releases from Port of Brownsville, Ports of Indiana, Port of Nanaimo, Port of Oakland, and Port Tampa Bay; a Port of Coos Bay blog post; and many more tributes flowed on social media @AAPA_Seaports.
Nucor Skyline
Center for Advances in Port Management, Lamar University
AAPA’s Seaports Advisory this week offers another perspective of a port industry executive’s leadership in the face of one of the world’s worst pandemics. In this Caller-Times video and pictorial, Sean Strawbridge, chief executive officer of Port Corpus Christi, leads his port’s work to provide much-needed hand sanitizer to first responders at a time when it’s a rare commodity, especially in the volumes necessary to adequately address the medical community’s needs.

“It’s an effort for us to try and get sanitizer out to the first response community who needs it most,” said  Strawbridge in his video interview. “You know in this COVID-19 environment that we’re in, it’s extremely important that we continue to demonstrate all the necessary social distancing, isolation and sanitizing to ensure we can beat the scourge of this virus.”
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The Naval hospital ship USNS Mercy, docked at the Port of Los Angeles, is serving as a referral hospital for patients not infected with COVID-19, to allow local hospitals to focus on the treatment of coronavirus patients.​ While the port continues to move cargo at all of its terminals, the port is also working to assist Southern California during the public health crisis. The Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka, who has also taken on additional duties as the chief logistics officer for the City of Los Angeles, is coordinating an effort to get critical health care and emergency supplies into the hands of health care providers. Watch this video to learn more.

“There is a critical need in Southern California for N95 masks, other masks, ventilators that are both intrusive and non-intrusive, IV-drip apparatus and other medical supplies,” said Seroka. “We are trying to move these supplies quickly to hospitals and health care providers. If you can offer these supplies, please email LoVLA@portla.org.”
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) announced the availability of nearly $9.5 million in grant funding for the America’s Marine Highway Program (AMHP) that supports port and landside infrastructure development and expansion projects. Eligible projects for grant awards are Marine Highway Projects previously designated by the Secretary of Transportation. Applications for the grants are due by 5:00 p.m. EDT on April 24. Additional information is available in the Federal Register notice or by contacting Fred Jones, Office of Ports and Waterways Planning, at Fred.Jones@dot.gov or 202-366-1123.
The Alabama State Port Authority Board of Directors named John C. Driscoll as director and chief executive officer for the port authority effective June 1. Driscoll most recently served as maritime director at the Port of Oakland, Calif., where he had operational and marketing responsibility for one of the nation’s top 10 container seaports. The Port of Corpus Christi Authority’s newest commissioner, Dr. Bryan Gulley, was sworn in on March 24. Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales administered the Oath of Office after Commissioner Richard Bowers participated in his final Port of Corpus Christi Commission meeting. During its annual meeting, the Duluth Seaway Port Authority Board of Commissioners elected officers for the fiscal year beginning April 1. The board re-elected Rick Revoir to serve his second year as president. Other appointments included Tony Sertich as vice president, Patrick Boyle as secretary, Norm Voorhees as treasurer and Mike Jugovich as assistant treasurer. The Port of Stockton Commission welcomed two new commissioners appointed by the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors. William R. Trezza will serve his first four-year term and Dr. Elizabeth Blanchard was appointed an additional two-year term on the Stockton Port District Commission.
The North Carolina State Ports Authority is ready to welcome the largest containerships calling on the United States East Coast following the completion of Phase II of the Turning Basin Expansion Project at the Port of Wilmington. The expansion allows the port to accommodate ultra-large container vessels (ULCVs) with a length of 1,200 feet.
A new throughput-maximizing facility that opened in early April at Port Manatee is helping speed shipments of fresh produce to consumers of Florida and beyond. Port Manatee’s newly unveiled transfer facility, with room for 120 trailers, optimizes capabilities for expediting movement of cargo by freeing up near-dock yard space for stacking as many as 300 containers at a time.
The Port of Long Beach continued to feel the economic effects of COVID-19 in March with more canceled sailings and a decline in cargo containers shipped through the nation’s second-busiest seaport. Terminal operators and dockworkers moved 517,663 TEUs last month, a 6.4% decline compared to March 2019. The Port of Los Angeles moved 449,568 TEUs in March, a 30.9% decrease compared to last year. For the first quarter of 2020, volumes have decreased 18.5% compared to 2019. It was the lowest amount of monthly cargo moving through the port since February 2009. The Port of Virginia’s® March cargo volumes were down nearly 9% when compared with last year as the shipping industry continues to grapple with the negative effects of COVID-19 on world trade.
Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch in a video update reported GPA continues steady operation of Georgia’s ports amid the COVID-19 public health crisis and thanked the employees, the state, federal agencies and partners for their dedication to keep the ports operational. The Port of Seattle will temporarily suspend approximately 20 current construction projects from April 9 to April 13 to complete reviews and updates of contractors’ jobsite safety plans, an action necessary to protect workers and slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Green Marine
The Port of Corpus Christi is accepting applications for its Community Sponsorship Program for the second half of 2020, offering nonprofit organizations an opportunity to apply for sponsorship funding.