AAPA Seaports Advisory
October 12, 2023


The dynamic interplay between modernization and aging infrastructure is a challenge many ports grapple with daily. In this edition, we highlight the capstone projects completed by Nicholas Pestello and Brandon Bergeron through the Port Professional Manager (PPM®) professional development program, where they delve into the unique challenges and lessons learned from revitalizing outdated structures to accommodate modern vessels and cargo.

Nick Pestello is the Director of Engineering, Maintenance, and Development at the Port of Lake Charles where he is responsible for all capital and maintenance projects, future project development, and grants management. He has been at the port for the last ten years working closely with numerous engineers, consultants, and contractors to plan, construct, and deliver the port’s projects.

Brandon Bergeron is the Director of Engineering at the Port of Beaumont. With nearly 20 years of experience in the ports and maritime industry, he previously worked as Engineering Manager for Lanier & Associates Consulting Engineers, Inc. where he served as an engineering consultant and senior project manager.

For their PPM capstone, Nick and Brandon teamed up to write a paper on Blending New Development with Aging Infrastructure based on the experiences of their two neighboring ports on the Gulf of Mexico. Their paper offers guidance on whether to maintain, upgrade, or replace a facility; presents real-world case studies of successful projects that enhance customer service and drive regional economic development; and discusses financial challenges faced by Ports and proposes solutions for undertaking large-scale infrastructure projects within existing constraints. The paper includes example projects that guide readers through decision-making, design, and construction phases.

By bridging the gap between theoretical knowledge and real-world challenges, the PPM equips port professionals with the skills needed to tackle the complexities of the modern port landscape. Port professionals interested in exploring the opportunities provided by AAPA's Professional Development Program and initiatives can contact Shannon McLeod.

There are only 10 days until the start of this year’s 112th Annual Convention & Expo at Port Aurora. The 2023 program has something for everyone! There will be a first-ever Commissioners Symposium which includes a full day of tailored sessions and networking.

There will also be keynotes, panels, roundtable discussions, and interactive workshops on the port industry’s most important issues: Smart Ports, Federal Funding and Private Investment, Green Ports and Sustainability, Crisis Communications, Big Data, Digitalization, Women in Leadership, Artificial Intelligence, Electrification, and Workforce Development. 

Bring a companion to enjoy the fun guest program including shopping at Southlands and a Mixology Class at Old Hickory Steakhouse. You can still register online or register onsite in the Colorado Pre-Function area of the Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center. See you soon!
Organizational Development Resource Group, LLC
Center for Advances in Port Management, Lamar University
October’s Networking Thursdays meeting is being rescheduled for Friday, October 27, at 3:00 p.m. ET / 12:00 p.m. PT, to avoid a scheduling conflict with AAPA's Annual Convention & Expo taking place October 22-25 in Aurora, CO.

Register in advance to join AAPA’s Virtual Networking with port industry peers from around the Western Hemisphere.
For the first time in its history, Port of Corpus Christi customers have moved more than 50 million tons of goods through the Corpus Christi Ship Channel in a single quarter, setting a record for the sixth consecutive quarter. The 52 million tons moved in Q3 2023 was a 7.7% increase from the same period last year and 4.5% higher than the prior record set in Q2 2023.
Ports of Indiana has issued a Request for Information (RFI) to gauge interest and availability from manufacturers that could bid to construct and deliver a Buy America-compliant crane to Ports of Indiana-Mount Vernon. The official RFI document includes a questionnaire that must be filled out completely and returned to Ports of Indiana by November 22 at 3:00 p.m. (EST). Questions and clarification are encouraged and may be asked up until EOB on November 3, addressed via email to bids@portsofindiana.com.
Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation (GLDD) announced the delivery of two Damen 3013 Multi Cats, the Cape Hatteras and the Cape Canaveral, built by Conrad Shipyard in Morgan City, LA. Chris Gunsten, Great Lakes’ Senior Vice President of Project Services and Fleet Engineering, said “The Multi Cat brings step change safety improvements to Great Lakes’ dredge pipeline operations, which was a prime driver for the investment. Pipe handling and connection work can now take place securely on deck, which will greatly reduce the risk of man overboards.”
Liebherr USA Company
Naylor Association Solutions
The Port of Hueneme held its 10th Annual Banana Festival complete with yellow banana wigs, boat rides, sounds of a tropical steel drum band and perfect late summer weather. Eager festivalgoers were excited to take part in the port’s famous boat tours of the harbor to get a behind the scenes look at port operations.
Green Marine certified the Port of Oakland recently through its environmental program. The certification process supports the port’s transition to zero emissions operations. The port doubled down on its commitment to the environment by joining Green Marine earlier this year.
The Port of Montréal welcomes the $150 million allocated to the container terminal project in Contrecoeur through the National Trade Corridors Fund (NTCF) announced on October 10, by Canada’s Transport Minister, Pablo Rodriguez. This strategic investment is a giant step toward improving the fluidity of Canada’s supply chain.
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A strategic partnership at the Port of Vancouver USA represents a substantial expansion of global export capacity in the world’s fastest-growing soda ash production region. Solvay, a global leader in the soda ash market, and Vancouver Bulk Terminal, a bulk commodity shipping and logistics expert, announced their alliance on the redevelopment of Terminal 2, Berth 7 at the Port of Vancouver USA, in Washington state.
The Port of Oakland has appointed Emilia Sánchez as its new Director of Engineering. Sánchez joined the port in February as an Engineering Project Manager. She is the first woman and first Latina to serve in this leadership position at the port. Ms. Sánchez spent over a decade at BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit), where she served in various positions.
The Galveston Wharves has been awarded a $1 million grant for a shore power pilot project in partnership with Texas A&M University at Galveston to reduce emissions from cargo shipping operations. Funded by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), the pilot will include establishing an onshore electricity microgrid to provide a clean portable power source to a docked ship as an alternative to using the ship’s diesel-fueled auxiliary engines.
Green Marine
Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company, LLC
Channel & DMPA Development Sr Project Engineer, Corpus Christi, TX; Port Corpus Christi Authority

Director of Program Management, Long Beach, CA; Port of Long Beach

Director of Government & Environmental Affairs; Duluth, MN; Duluth Seaway Port Authority

Manager of Marine Assets, Corpus Christi, TX; Port of Corpus Christi Authority

Chief Financial Officer, Corpus Christi, TX; Port of Corpus Christi

Chief Financial Officer, Wilmington, NC; North Carolina State Ports Authority

Senior Planner, Maritime, Seattle, WA; Port of Seattle

Manager of Business Development & Int'l Marketing, Oakland, CA; Port of Oakland

GIS Manager, Corpus Christi, TX; Port Corpus Christi Authority

Port Engineer, Riviera Beach, Florida; Port of Palm Beach

Business Services Analyst, Senior (Internal Budget and Financial Analyst), Tacoma, Washington; City of Tacoma

Maritime Public Works / Rail Safety Specialist, Oakland, CA; Port of Oakland

Procurement Manager, Longview, WA; Port of Longview

Port Director & CEO, Brownsville, TX; Port of Brownsville
Chief Financial Officer, San Diego, CA; Port of San Diego

Registrar, Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada; Mount Allison University
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South Jersey Port Corporation
Orion Marine Group