New Cargo Record Set at Port of Heuneme
The Port of Heuneme in Central California continues to ride a wave of growth in the global import/export industry, setting a new cargo record for the 76-year-old Port. The Port reported a total tonnage of 1,438,596 metric tons in fiscal year 2012-13, an increase of 9.2 percent over the previous fiscal year’s tonnage and a 2.8 percent increase over the previous record of 1,399,670 set back in 2005-06.
Growth in freight activity at the Port of Heuneme continues to come in the form of niche markets, including fresh produce and domestic commodities like fish and petroleum products. The Port’s banana imports are up 5.7 percent from last year, and fresh fruits and vegetables handled by the Port have doubled to over 12,000 metric tons. Shallow drift cargo (fish, lube oil, vessel fuel) increased 6.6 percent over last year’s volumes.
The Port’s record year has also been fueled by the fact that it is the key supply point in the western U.S. for Yara North America, Inc., makers of Air1 Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF), a selective catalytic reduction technology that helps diesel engines meet the more stringent emission standards, like those in California. Yara is the world’s largest producer and supplier of this product.
Hours of Service Rule Waived 90 Days for Livestock, Poultry Drivers
While most of the trucking industry waits on the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to take action, or inaction more likely, on a proposed amendment to the new U.S. Department of Transportation’s hours of service rule, at least the nation’s hog, cattle and poultry farmers are celebrating a temporary victory. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced in mid-July that they were granting a 90-day waiver of the new hours of service rule for drivers transporting livestock and poultry.
FMCSA’s latest revised hours of service rule came into effect July 1 and requires truck drivers to take a 30-minute break if more than eight hours have passed since beginning service, which for livestock and poultry drivers includes time loading and unloading animals. The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), along with 13 other livestock, poultry and food organizations petitioned the FMCSA immediately stating that complying with the 30-minute break rule would “place the health and welfare of the livestock at risk” and that would actually decrease safety because it would force livestock drivers to “choose between the humane handling of animals or complying with a FMCSA regulation requiring a 30-minute rest break.”
“America’s livestock and poultry farmers are pleased that the FMCSA recognized that its rule would not be practicable for drivers who transport hogs, cattle and poultry,” NPPC president Randy Spronk said following the announcement. “By granting the 90-day waiver, the FMCSA will ensure that during hot summer months livestock won’t be sitting in the sun for extended periods, with drivers unable to care for them because they’re required to take a 30-minute break.”
Port of Long Beach to Fund Pollution-curbing Technology
The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners unanimously agreed to fund a $2 million pollution-curbing demonstration described as a “wharf-based ‘sock on a stack,’” or Advanced Maritime Emissions Control System. The demonstration will be conducted in two phases, and the Port hopes to show that an Emissions Capture System can link to a ship’s exhaust stack from a barge-based unit safely and successfully.
The technology is touted to reduce port pollution in half by capturing all of a ship’s emissions, but according to Port Commissioner Rich Dines the knowledge gained from the demonstration is the main reason to fund the project.
“This technology will not only support the Port of Long Beach in reducing emissions, but for ports all around the world,” said Dines.
Funding the demonstration is just another one of the Port’s green initiatives enacted to limit pollution, which includes: reduced docking rates for newer, ‘greener’ ships; a Clean Trucks program that outlaws older, more polluting trucks from terminals; and a Green Flag program that rewards operators for slowing vessel speeds.