AAPA Seaports Advisory
November 16, 2023

Ports are investigating the pivotal role of technology to optimize operations, foster transparent communication, and stay agile in an ever-evolving maritime landscape. This edition of our newsletter showcases two capstone papers completed for AAPA's Port Professional Manager (PPM®) program by Pavel Skournik and Nimrod Simeon. Pavel and Nimrod wrote papers on the adoption of technology, including artificial intelligence (AI) and social media activities, in the maritime industry.

Pavel’s paper, Applicability of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in the Maritime Industry and Port Management, introduces the concepts of AI and Machine Learning and their potential application in port operations, planning, scheduling, and traffic safety.

Nimrod’s paper, Seaports and Social Media, presents comprehensive research and analysis of four port’s social media policies and activities during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, and discusses the coming storm of AI.

Pavel Skournik is Managing Director of Tidalis Americas LTD, formerly a Saab Group company. Throughout his 25+ year career, Pavel has had the opportunity to shape technology from different angles, in roles such as software developer, deployment engineer, project manager, and business analyst, and has been involved in over 40 port projects in different parts of the world.

Nimrod Simeon is a Cargo Analyst, Global Trade & Business Development and manages a portfolio of more than 100 operator sites for the Foreign Trade Zone 281 under Cargo Development Department at PortMiami. Nimrod is a former Legislative Analyst/Community Liaison for the Office of the Honorable Audrey M. Edmonson, Miami-Dade County, Commissioner District 3.

Pavel and Nimrod’s work inspires us all to embrace the transformative power of technology and social connectivity in charting the course for the future of port management. Port professionals interested in exploring the opportunities provided by AAPA's professional development programs and initiatives can contact Shannon McLeod.

Organizational Development Resource Group, LLC
Center for Advances in Port Management, Lamar University
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ORBCOMM is a pioneer in IoT technology, empowering customers with insight to make data-driven decisions that help them optimize their operations, maximize profitability, and build a more sustainable future. With 30 years of experience and the most comprehensive solution portfolio in the industry, ORBCOMM enables the management of over a million assets worldwide for a diverse customer base spanning transportation, supply chain, heavy equipment, maritime, natural resources and government.
The U.S. Department of Labor kicked off National Apprenticeship Week, November 13-19, 2023, by hosting apprenticeship graduates at U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) headquarters on Monday. Lourdes Zerquera-Ordonez, an AAPA ACCELerate DOL grant recipient and an A&P Mechanic apprentice graduate from AAR, Miami, FL, was invited to attend the special event. AAPA’s ACCELerate program Executive Director Barbara R. Murray also attended the event. Lourdes and other apprenticeship graduates — known as Apprenticeship Trailblazers — and their employer representatives, met with senior DOL leaders, and other “trailblazers” from across the United States.

During this gathering, apprentices had a chance to connect with fellow apprenticeship graduates, high-ranking Administration officials, leaders from the federal government, industry partners, and advocates for Registered Apprenticeship. Some told their stories in-person or via video interviews, sharing their perspectives on how Registered Apprenticeship increases opportunities for underserved communities and has impacted their personal and professional lives. As AT’s, these young people will bring awareness to other career seekers who may be interested in becoming apprentices.
Each day during NAW, ACCELerate will be honoring daily themes with highlights and information about its work and partner companies to promote and grow apprenticeship. For more information and to watch the kick-off video, visit NAW’s website. (Pictured from left: Manny Lamarre, Senior Policy Advisor, U.S. Department of Labor; Dr. Miguel Cardona, Secretary of Education; Lourdes-Zerquera-Ordonez; and Julie Su, Acting Labor Secretary.)
Naylor Association Solutions
After nearly 24 years of attracting private investment, expanding port facilities, and increasing vessel calls, cargo volumes and jobs for Grays Harbor, Port of Grays Harbor Executive Director Gary Nelson has announced he will retire on March 31, 2024.

Nelson was hired as Executive Director in April 2000, when the port had only 21 vessel calls handling 85,000 metric tons of cargo, with an operating budget of just $5.2 million. In contrast, the port is projected to have 100 vessel calls and handle more than 3 million metric tons of cargo with an operating budget of nearly $40 million by the end of 2023. During his tenure, the Port has seen more than $275 million in private investment throughout its facilities. In addition, the Port has diversified to include operations at the Satsop Business Park and recreational facilities at Friends Landing. Nelson’s leadership has secured millions of dollars from federal and state grant sources to modernize and make improvements to the Westport Marina, Marine Terminals, and Bowerman Airport, positioning the Port to accommodate current and future economic growth.

A nationally recognized industry leader, Nelson served as AAPA Chairman from 2019 to 2020, chaired the Washington Public Ports Association Legislative Committee, and served on the Pacific Northwest Waterways Association Executive Board. He also oversaw the critical completion of Deeper Draft, the deepening of the Grays Harbor Navigation Channel to its congressionally authorized depth. 

“All good things must come to an end,” stated Port of Grays Harbor Executive Director Gary Nelson. “I have always been taught to leave a place better than you found it and I would like to think that is the case both at the Port and the community as a whole. I look forward to watching the Port continue to grow in the coming years with several exciting projects on the horizon.”
The Port of Redwood City has announced that Executive Director Kristine A. Zortman was named the President of California Association of Port Authorities (CAPA) this month. She will serve a term of two years effective immediately, with Mario Cordero, Port of Long Beach Executive Director, as Vice President.
The Port of Long Beach and the Port of Los Angeles will make $60 million in Clean Truck Fund Rate funding available through the California Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP) for vouchers toward the purchase of zero-emission, Class 8 drayage trucks that operate at the San Pedro Bay ports complex. Each port is providing $30 million through the Clean Truck Fund (CTF) Rate, which collects $10 per twenty-foot equivalent unit from cargo owners on loaded containers entering and exiting the port complex.
The Galveston Wharves Board of Trustees voted on Nov. 7 to approve a $5.3 million engineering and architecture services contract for a fourth cruise terminal at the Port of Galveston, America’s fourth most popular cruise port. Rodger Rees, Galveston Wharves port director and CEO, said, “This vote moves us one step closer to finalizing a budget and construction plans to open a new terminal at Pier 16 as early as 2025.”
Thousands of industry professionals will gather at the Antwerp Expo in the Port of Antwerp later this month for AntwerpXL, the world’s only event dedicated exclusively to the breakbulk, project cargo and heavy lift industry. The award-winning show, which takes place November 28-30, 2023, will feature companies with the latest innovations and solutions from around the world and across the breakbulk supply chain.
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The Port of Hueneme was awarded a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) of the United States and Canada. This award was given to the Oxnard Harbor District, which owns the Port of Hueneme, for its Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR) for the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2022.
North Carolina Ports announced a new partnership with Seaboard Marine that will add new Central American service to the Port of Wilmington’s growing rotation of connections to Latin America. Seaboard Marine’s Wilmington, NC – North Central America service will commence with a weekly Wilmington port call in early December.
Cargo volume at the Port of Long Beach rose in October amid preparations for the holiday season and ongoing efforts to recapture market share. Dockworkers and terminal operators moved 755,150 TEUs last month, up 14.7% from October 2022. Imports increased 23.6% to 363,300 TEUs and exports decreased 24.8% to 90,073 TEUs. As the 2023 cruise season winds down at the Port of Montreal, the port reported a 33% upswing in traffic over last year, with 51,000 passengers and 16,200 crew members. As a source of significant economic benefits for the city, Montreal’s cruise industry is proving that it is back in full swing.
Green Marine
Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company, LLC
Vice President, Engineering and Capital Development, Cleveland, OH; Port of Cleveland

Trade Development Director, Pascagoula, MS; Port of Pascagoula

Executive Director, Olympia, WA; Port of Olympia

Maritime Business Development Manager, Old Saybrook, CT; Connecticut Port Authority

Marine Terminal Superintendent-Security & Safety, Aberdeen, WA; Port of Grays Harbor

Channel & DMPA Development Sr Project Engineer, Corpus Christi, TX; Port Corpus Christi Authority

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

National Park Service Mellon Humanities Postdoctoral Fellowship, American Conservation Experience (ACE), United States; Nationwide
Dec 2023
December 4-6, Barranquilla, Colombia
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April 8-11, 2024, Corpus Christi, TX
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June 10-13, 2024, Miami, FL
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South Jersey Port Corporation
Orion Marine Group