AAPA Seaports Advisory
April 27, 2023
AAPA’s Board of Directors has announced the association’s President and CEO Chris Connor plans to retire at the end of September and has initiated a search process to identify a successor. In a letter, Chairman of the Board Sean Strawbridge shares the tremendous impact of Chris’ service and outlines AAPA’s CEO departure and search process to name a permanent replacement, while ensuring a successful transition. The Board and entire association are deeply grateful to Chris for his leadership during his four-year tenure at AAPA. An announcement for the CEO opportunity has been posted in the AAPA Career Center and employment section of this week’s Advisory.
Center for Advances in Port Management, Lamar University
Port leaders must be able to navigate many challenges — including increased competition from other ports around the world, limited funding for infrastructure improvements, and changing global trade patterns — and develop strategies tailored to the unique needs of their ports. Last week, AAPA held its first Port Leadership Summit (formerly the Executive Management Conference) in Portland, Oregon, to provide a forum for future port leaders to learn from port CEOs and AAPA’s Port Professional Executives (PPXs) — individuals with 10+ years of port or supply chain management experience. This executive development event is a cornerstone of AAPA’s Port Professional Manager (PPM) program.
Attendees explored the challenges facing port and supply chain leaders today, including crisis management, digitalization, environmental sustainability, effective board management, and public and media relations. Attendees learned how to become stronger leaders, manage a wide range of stakeholders, maximize human potential, make tough decisions, prioritize resources, build consensus, negotiate effectively, and manage conflict when necessary. Speakers included Mario Cordero, CEO, Port of Long Beach; Diahann Howard, Executive Director, Port of Benton; Larry Kelley, Executive Director/CEO, Port of Port Arthur; Gary Nelson, CEO, Port of Grays Harbor; Daniel Stahl, CEO, Port of Longview and Paul LaMarre, Executive Director, Port of Monroe, to name just a few.
Participants also had many opportunities to network and build relationships with their peers throughout the program. They toured the ports of Vancouver USA and Portland, attended receptions, went on a dinner cruise on the Willamette River, and the PPM candidates learned lessons in leadership from axe-throwing. Developing these relationships is key so that when participants have issues or problems in the future, they have a core group of industry colleagues and friends they feel comfortable reaching out to for help, and these activities help to establish those bonds.
Leadership Summit attendee Anna Silva, HSE & Cruise Ops Manager at Port Everglades, said it best on her LinkedIn page when she posted, “This week’s Port Leadership Summit through American Association of Port Authorities was probably the best I have ever experienced. We dealt with leadership through the head AND the heart.” To learn more about AAPA’s professional development opportunities to grow in your career, please reach out to Shannon McLeod, Senior Director of Member Services.
The Ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland, Hueneme and San Diego signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in Sacramento on April 26, launching the California Port Data Partnership alongside state and federal partners. The MOU outlines an agreement among the five ports to jointly advance computerized and cloud-based data interoperability with a common goal of supporting improved freight system resilience, goods movement efficiency, emissions reduction, and economic competitiveness.
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach, with the support of C40 Cities, signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a green and digital shipping corridor between Singapore and the San Pedro Bay ports complex to support the decarbonization of the maritime industry and improve efficiencies through digitalization.
Georgia Ports Authority shared how it is growing with more than $1.8 billion in improvements underway. In the latest installment of its Growing Big video series, Georgia Ports Executive Director Griff Lynch discusses the new Savannah Transload Facility.
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The Port of New York and New Jersey introduced a new series, Breaking Waves Conversations: An Insightful Interview Series, to highlight and explain operations of the port. In each episode, key members of the Port of New York and New Jersey discuss capacity and fluidity initiatives, technological innovations, and long-term goals for the port.
The Port of Oakland free harbor tours return after a three-year hiatus. The narrated tours highlight port facilities, including the marine terminals, seaport operations, iconic giant container cranes, and history as a major economic engine.
The Georgia Ports Authority has achieved eight consecutive months of growth for Roll-on/Roll-off cargo. The Port of Brunswick handled 62,100 units of vehicles and heavy equipment in March, while Savannah’s Ocean Terminal added another 1,700 units, for a total of 63,800. March volumes increased 22 percent over the same month last year.

The Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) set a passenger record in March 2023 for oceangoing and river cruises, topping pre-pandemic levels with 155,225 passenger movements and 39 cruise vessel calls at the Port for the month.

The Port of Oakland’s March total container volume increased 10.7% over February 2023 volume. Overall exports (loaded and empty containers) rose 13.1% compared to February 2023. Overall imports also rose by 7.9%.
The Port of Montreal unveiled its vision and Strategic Plan 2023-2027, which will guide the Port of Montreal’s future actions and objectives for the next five years. MPA’s Strategic Plan 2023-2027 is structured around six main priorities, namely innovation and mobilization of its personnel, community relations, asset management, competitiveness, decarbonization, and completing the expansion project in Contrecœur. 
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority welcomes the Government of Canada’s decision to approve the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project, following a rigorous environmental assessment process that started in 2013. The decision comes as Canada’s container trade remains on a long-term growth trajectory, with west coast marine container terminals forecast to hit capacity by the mid- to late-2020s.
Green Marine
Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company, LLC
President and CEO – AAPA, Washington, DC; American Association of Port Authorities

Director of Commercial Development, Mobile, AL; Alabama State Port Authority

PAMP Project Controls Engineer, Anchorage, AK; Port of Alaska

Electronics Officer, U.S. Merchant Marine, Nationwide; American Radio Association
Jun 2023
June 6-7, San Pedro, CA
Jul 2023
July 19-21, Boston, MA
Oct 2023
October 22-25, Aurora, CO
Dec 2023
December 4-6, Barranquilla, Colombia
Save the Date!
South Jersey Port Corporation
Orion Marine Group