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May 04, 2016

California Invests Millions In Cleaning Up Trucks Around Major Ports

California air quality agencies will pour $23.6 million into low-emission and zero-emission trucks to clean up air pollution at state’s ports.

 

The money will pay to deploy 43 zero-emission battery electric and low-emission plug-in hybrid drayage trucks to serve major California port areas.

 

Drayage trucks are short-haul vehicles used in ports, rail yards and surrounding areas to transport goods, often between ships and trains.

 

The project “will accelerate the commercialization of advanced zero-emission truck technologies that are vital to improving air quality in communities near our busy freight corridors,” said Joe Buscaino, a Los Angeles city councilman and South Coast Air Quality Management District board member.

 

“Cleaner truck fleets on our roadways are important for air quality and climate goals, and essential to protecting public health,” he said.

 

Funds for the project are coming come from California’s cap-and-trade carbon emissions reduction program and air quality agencies.

 

The pollution fighting pilot project is “critical for our major ports in California if we are going to meet are air quality and greenhouse gas standards,” Sandra Berg, a member of the California Air Resources Board, told Trucks.com.

 

The program targets drayage vehicles because they are among the oldest and dirtiest on California roads, Berg said.

 

“This project will help put the very cleanest short-haul trucks to work where they are needed most, moving cargo from the state’s biggest ports to distribution centers and rail yards,” said Mary D. Nichols, chair of Air Resources Board.

 

Manufacturers building vehicles for the project include Volvo Group North America’s Mack Trucks, Paccar’s Peterbilt and Kenworth brands and BYD Motors, a Chinese company.

 

“Other fleets will take notice and recognize that battery-powered drayage trucks are reliable and available for wider deployment today,” Stella Li, president of BYD Motors.

 

BYD will deliver its first battery-electric drayage truck this fall, Li said.

 

Volvo is already experimenting with diesel-electric plug-in hybrid big-rig tractors.  One can travel in electric mode with a full load for up to 10 miles, said Dawn Fenton, spokeswoman for the Swedish truck company.

 

Electronics on the truck can switch it from diesel to electric power when it is operating in a port or traveling through a community with poor air quality on its way to a distribution center or railhead.

 

Scrubbing the pollution from California’s drayage truck system is a tall order.

 

“Today’s announcement is a good starting point,” said John Boesel, chief executive at Calstart. “To help these trucks become commercially viable, California will need to sustain investment in this sector over the next several years.”

 

The technology might provide a blueprint for reducing emissions in other large trucks.

 

“We are hoping we can transfer what we learn to long haul trucks,” Berg said. “We know the jury is still out on whether they can perform at such low emission with their heavy duty drive cycles, but know we start to get some real time data on whether that can happen.”

 

Freight transport accounts for about half of toxic diesel particulate matter, 45 percent of the emissions of that form ozone and fine particulate matter in the atmosphere, and 6 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions in California, according to the air resources board.

 

 

California air quality agencies will pour $23.6 million into low-emission and zero-emission trucks to clean up air pollution at state’s ports.

 

The money will pay to deploy 43 zero-emission battery electric and low-emission plug-in hybrid drayage trucks to serve major California port areas.

 

Drayage trucks are short-haul vehicles used in ports, rail yards and surrounding areas to transport goods, often between ships and trains.

 

May 01, 2018

Green Terminals

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In November of 2017, the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and their industry partners, approved an update of the Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) toward further green technology efforts in the region.

"We believe this CAAP update allows us to take the next step in our ongoing efforts to reduce emissions at the ports," says Chris Cannon, Director of Environmental Management at the Port of Los Angeles. "We've now added, Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) as an expressed goal for emission reduction in addition to health risk and criteria pollutants."

The CAAP program started 12 years ago, and since that time, its purpose has been to identify programs to reduce emissions from port-related operations.

The Port is committed to testing all-electric equipment in pursuit of zero emissions. A number of tests have been carried out on small equipment, and now, larger machinery tests are in the prototype phase.

By 2030, the Port is estimating it will have its terminals running at zero emissions, and by 2035, drayage trucks will also operate on zero emissions technologies. "This is something the mayor has said is a top priority here for environmental programs," says Cannon.

Cannon reports that programs to reduce surface water runoff and discharge from various sources into the Bay have been very successful. "As a result of that, and ongoing programs we have working with tenants, we rarely exceed water quality standards here in the harbor. We have a thriving biological habitat for fish and plant life and marine plant life," he adds.

Off-Grid Energy

Two innovative environmental projects are now being implemented. One includes installing solar panels on the roofs of the warehouses at the Pasha Terminal, which is a Green Omni Terminal (accepts container, cargo and bulk freight cargo). Solar power will be harvested and stored in onsite large industrial batteries that can handle up to 2 megawatts, that will enable equipment operating at the terminal to be zero emissions and run 24/7.

"They'll be able to plug into this battery storage device and it will allow the terminal to operate completely off the grid, which we believe is a model for all kinds of industrial facilities, not just at a port," says Cannon. "We believe no other terminal in the world will do that. Is under development, and over the next 18 months, we think it will be operational."

In what Cannon believes is another first, the Port will work alongside its Evergreen Terminal to test yard trucks by comparing the use of renewable natural gas versus battery-electric power.

At the same terminal testing the world's first battery-electric top handlers is also being done. "Up until now, it's been thought there's not a battery big enough to do it. We think we've found a battery solution with the help of a battery company from China," explains Cannon. "We think it's going to be one of the most advanced and forward-thinking operations here at the Port as far as testing zero emissions equipment. The micro grid will be able to operate without using any [outside] power, which could also be important in the event of a natural disaster."

BC Power

Next year, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority will celebrate 10 years offering shore power to shore power-enabled cruise vessels, and by the end of this year, two container terminals at the Centerm Terminal at DeltaPort will also offer shore power.

The Port Authority was the first in Canada to install shore power in 2009, and usage has steadily increased over the decade. Approximately 40 percent of total calls use shore power. "There's one plug at each berth, but there's also just one ship at each berth. It works well. We try to align the vessels that are shore-power enabled with the equipment so if they're able to, they can plug in," says Carmen Ortega, Manager of Trade Development.

This year, a new-to-the-port, shore power-enabled Norwegian Jewel is also coming to call. "The ships are all configured differently where the plugs are located, so we just have to do some work on our part to make sure we can make the equipment align with their plugs," says Ortega.

While using shore power is not a Port requirement, programs like the Port's EcoAction Incentive program provide up to 50 percent reduction in harbor dues for marine carriers that participate.

The Port also offers the Blue Circle Award, which recognizes the lines that participate in the EcoAction program. Vessel operators can apply for the program at each call or provide an annual declaration for their vessels.

Since 2009, the Port Authority has seen 493 successful connections out of 624 calls that are able to connect, which equates to a total of 58,000 tons of fuel savings, more than 18,000 tons of GHG emission reductions and 524 tons of air pollutant reductions.

The Port is expecting another successful season, with eight percent growth this year. "The cruise lines in general do a good job of looking into green technologies like scrubbers," says Ortega. "It's great to be able to recognize them through our fees but also through the Blue Circle Awards that we have."

Noise reduction is also a focus in the effort to help the environment. Last year, the Port embarked on a voluntary vessel slow-down trial as part of the Enhancing Cetacean Habitat and Observation (ECHO) Program, initiated in 2014, in order to better understand the impact of shipping activities – the region's at-risk whale population. "There was around a 60 percent participation rate across all our shipping lines," says Ortega. "For a voluntary program, it was quite successful."

Cleaner Air

In late March, the Puget Sound Maritime Air Forum released its emissions inventory report showing that some air pollutants from ocean-going vessels have decreased by 97 percent between 2005 and 2016.

The Forum, which consists of seven Puget Sound ports, three industrial partners, and six government agencies, are working hard to make the region as green as possible.

In 2007, the Port of Seattle seaport, the Port of Tacoma and Port Metro Vancouver, Canada, initiated the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy. The goal of the Strategy is to reduce diesel and greenhouse gas emissions in advance of, and complementary to, applicable regulations.

The ports have worked with the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, the US EPA, Environment Canada, Washington State Department of Ecology, and industry and community stakeholders to craft and implement the strategy. While the strategy outlines shared performance measures, each port has implemented emission reduction programs appropriate to its operations.

Every five years since 2005, the numbers demonstrate that much progress has been made. "With this 2016 report, we've seen reductions in sulphur and associated particular matter emissions that can cause respiratory irritation," says Sara Cederberg, Senior Manager, Air Quality and Sustainable Practices for the Northwest Seaport Alliance.

On the oceangoing vessel side, the North American Emission Control Area came into effect in 2015, mandating that within 200 miles of the US and Canadian coastlines, vessels must burn ultra-low sulphur fuel. "We've measure everything from the J-buoy out at the end of the straight of Juan de Fuca in our inventory," says Cederberg, "and we've seen a huge amount of emission reduction from transiting vessels."

On the land side, there have also been lower sulphur fuel standards put in place for diesel, for both on-road and off-road from truck emissions and also from equipment on terminals.

The Clean Truck program at the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma has shown a reduction of emissions by upgrading trucks to 2007 engine standards which are about 90 percent cleaner than older models.

"Overall, we've seen a huge reduction in particulate matter, so much so that we've met the goals of our Northwest Clean Air Strategy four years ahead of schedule," says Cederberg. "We've also seen a slight decrease in GHG emissions. But those emissions are pretty closely tied to activity levels. As our operations continue to grow, we'll be looking at different strategies to help reduce both diesel particulate matter and greenhouse gas emissions."

This year, for the first time, the inventory includes black carbon emissions, however, additional research is needed on estimating black carbon because there are few widely agreed upon emission factors for mobile sources.

The collaboration of stakeholders in this effort has resulted in partnerships that may not otherwise have come to work closely together, says Cederberg. "We've been able to accomplish a lot more through this collaboration."

Carrier Incentives

The Port of Prince Rupert and its partners work closely together to reduce carbon emissions from port-related operations. For example, the Fairview Container Terminal is shore power ready. Terminal partners are continually investing in new green technologies that increase fuel efficiency with vehicles and equipment. And the Port's Green Wave program offers shipping lines financial incentives that reward cleaner and quieter vessels.

In addition, ongoing measurements of particulate matter are carried out regularly at the Port's Westview Terminal, which draws volumes of air in and measures the concentrations of PM10 and PM2.5 in the air. There are many sources of variances in readings due to regional area influences as well as other factors, which requires long term monitoring to assess how best to reduce particulate matter as much as possible.

The Port's Invasive Species program, which began in 2012, is a partnership with the Northwest Community College, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and the Invasive Tunicate Network's Plate Watch program. "To date, we have not seen any invasive species in the harbor," reports Jason Scherr, Manager, Environmental Sustainability. Invasive species have several modes of transport, including Tsunami drift, fishing vessels, tugs, barges and commercial vessels, he points out.

"We use the Plate Watch program to look for tunicates which are sea squirts and some of those invasive species that can impact shellfish harvest operations," he explains. "The other invasive species that we're looking for, with a small boat with traps, is the European green crab, which started down in California and has been working its way up the coast. We have not yet seen any green crab here, but we know they're down in the central coast, so we're keeping an eye out for when they may show up at a certain point."

Scherr reports that a partnership to monitor marine water quality has been in place for six years, that samples approximately 30 sites around the harbour. "We've also been working with other partners to map shorelines on the North Coast, taking high digital imagery and then classifying either physical or biological attributes," he says.

Next year, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority will celebrate 10 years offering shore power to shore power-enabled cruise vessels. Photos courtesy of the Port of Vancouver.

The Port's Marine Mammal program was launched in 2015 with participation from members of the Port Environmental Stewardship Committee. Various partners work to gather data and educate mariners about the dangers of vessel collisions and noise impact on the regions whales, porpoises and dolphins.

In fact, last spring, in partnership with the Port of Vancouver, DFO and the Vancouver Aquarium, the Port released the Mariner's Guide to Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises of Western Canada. The guide also provides information on how to report sightings. In 2017, the Port of Prince Rupert added underwater noise criteria to its Green Wave incentive program.

"There are no regulations around underwater noise," says Scherr. "The addition of underwater noise to incentive programs is something very new. Ourselves and the Port of Vancouver are taking the first steps in terms of leading that."

Print Edition

In November of 2017, the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and their industry partners, approved an update of the Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) toward further green technology efforts in the region.

"We believe this CAAP update allows us to take the next step in our ongoing efforts to reduce emissions at the ports," says Chris Cannon, Director of Environmental Management at the Port of Los Angeles. "We've now added, Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) as an expressed goal for emission reduction in addition to health risk and criteria pollutants."

Jul 25, 2017

Voters Reject Measure to Block LNG Terminal

Print Edition

Voters in Oregon's Coos County overwhelmingly rejected a recent ballot measure that would have blocked the contruction of a natural gas export terminal at the Port of Coos Bay. The measuer, had it passed, would have banend the transportation of any fossil fuels through COos County that were not intended for local consumption. According to Coos County's local government, approximately 76 percent of voters were againsts the measure while 24 percent were in favor of it.

Print Edition

Voters in Oregon's Coos County overwhelmingly rejected a recent ballot measure that would have blocked the contruction of a natural gas export terminal at the Port of Coos Bay. The measuer, had it passed, would have banend the transportation of any fossil fuels through COos County that were not intended for local consumption. According to Coos County's local government, approximately 76 percent of voters were againsts the measure while 24 percent were in favor of it.

Aug 28, 2009

U.S. agriculture secretary Vilsack brings Obama administration's 'Rural Tour' to

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visited the Stanislaus County Agriculture Center and held a 'Rural Tour' community forum to discuss efforts by the Obama Administration to rebuild and revitalize rural America, listen to local residents talk about how the federal government can assist them, and discuss solutions to challenges facing their communities. This is the seventeenth similar forum Secretary Vilsack has led since being sworn in.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visited the Stanislaus County Agriculture Center and held a 'Rural Tour' community forum to discuss efforts by the Obama Administration to rebuild and revitalize rural America, listen to local residents talk about how the federal government can assist them, and discuss solutions to challenges facing their communities. This is the seventeenth similar forum Secretary Vilsack has led since being sworn in.

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Jul 01, 2016

Merger Mania

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Oversupply and low freight rates are continuing to fuel mergers in the container sector, with CMA CGMN on France taking over Neptune Orient Line (NOL) after the latter’s majority shareholder, Temasek, elected to accept an all-cash offer. The purchase has boosted CMA CGM’s ownership of the Singapore based company and its wholly-owned subsidiary, APL, to over 78 percent, with CMA CGM planning to delist NOL from trading on the Singapore Stock Exchange once it acquires 90 percent.

 

The CMA CGM and APL fleets have a combined capacity of about 2.4 million TEUS.

 

At the same time, shareholders of United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) have given their support to a proposed merger with Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd which would create a combined company with over 1.45 million TEUs of capacity. UASC’s shareholders, which include Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, will make a final vote on the proposal later this summer.

 

Hapag-Lloyd concluded an earlier merger with Chilean container carrier CSAV last year and in 2005 took over CP Ships, itself a combination of several previous mergers. China Cosco Shipping Corporation, now China’s largest container carrier after the merging of China Ocean Shipping Company with the China Shipping Group, has become the world’s largest shipping company in terms of total vessels and the fourth largest container carrier. It follows Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping Company and CMA CGM in TEU rankings but plans to increase its box capacity to over 2 million TEUs within the next three years.

 

 

Print Edition

 

Oversupply and low freight rates are continuing to fuel mergers in the container sector, with CMA CGMN on France taking over Neptune Orient Line (NOL) after the latter’s majority shareholder, Temasek, elected to accept an all-cash offer. The purchase has boosted CMA CGM’s ownership of the Singapore based company and its wholly-owned subsidiary, APL, to over 78 percent, with CMA CGM planning to delist NOL from trading on the Singapore Stock Exchange once it acquires 90 percent.

 

May 27, 2016

Free Trade Agreements Seen as Good for U.S., But Concerns Persist

Online Edition

As Congress considers a major new trade pact with Asia, there is broad public agreement that international free trade agreements are good for the United States. But fewer Americans express positive views of the impact of trade deals on their personal finances.

And, as in the past, far more say free trade agreements lead to lower wages and job losses in the United States than say they result in higher wages and job gains.

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted May 12-18 among 2,002 adults, finds that 58% say free trade agreements with other countries have been a good thing for the U.S., while 33% say they have been a bad thing.

Majorities across income categories say free trade agreements have been a positive thing for the U.S., but there are much wider income differences in opinions about the personal impact of free trade agreements.

Overall, somewhat more say their family’s finances have been helped (43%) than hurt (36%) by free trade agreements. Among those with family incomes of $100,000 or more, far more feel they have been helped (52%) than hurt (29%) financially. But among those in the lowest income group (less than $30,000), 38% say their finances have benefited from free trade agreements, while 44% say they have been hurt.

Notably, there are only modest partisan differences in views of the impact of free trade agreements on the country and people’s personal finances. About six-in-ten independents (62%) and Democrats (58%) say free trade agreements have been good for the U.S., as do 53% of Republicans. Nearly half of independents (47%), 42% of Democrats and 39% of Republicans say their family’s finances have been helped by free trade agreements.

The new survey finds that overall views about whether trade agreements are good for the U.S. are 10 percentage points higher than in 2011 (58% now, 48% then).

Moreover, the share of Americans who say their finances have been helped by free trade agreements has risen since 2010. At that time, negative impressions of the financial impact of trade deals outnumbered positive ones by 20 points (46% to 26%). Today, 43% take a positive view of the financial impact of free trade agreements, up 17 points since 2010, while 36% take a negative view (down 10 points).

In addition, a greater share says that trade agreements lead to economic growth than did so five years ago. About a third (31%) say that free trade agreements make the economy grow, while 34% think they slow the economy down; 25% say they do not make a difference in economic growth. In 2010, more than twice as many said they made the economy slow (43%) than grow (19%); 24% said they made no difference.

On the other hand, there has been no improvement since 2010 in opinions about the effect of free trade agreements on wages. Currently, 46% say free trade deals make the wages of American workers lower, while just 11% say they lead to higher wages (33% say they do not make a difference). The share saying that trade agreements drive down wages is largely unchanged since 2010, when 45% said they made wages lower.

In addition, trade agreements continue to be seen as doing more to cost jobs than create them. In the new survey, 46% say free trade agreements lead to job losses in the United States; just 17% say they create jobs in this country. That is only somewhat more positive than five years ago, when 55% said trade deals cost jobs and 8% said they create jobs.

As in past surveys on trade, most Americans think that people in developing countries benefit from free trade agreements. Nearly six-in-ten (57%) say they are good for the people of developing countries, 9% say they are bad and 23% say they do not make a difference. These opinions have changed little since 2006.

More Americans say free trade agreements lower prices in the U.S. than raise them. Currently, 36% say they make prices lower, 30% say higher, while 24% say they don’t make a difference. The share saying free trade agreements make prices lower in this country has risen five percentage points since 2010 (from 31%).

Views of Impact of Trade Agreements

Overall, 58% of Americans say that free trade agreements between the U.S. and other countries have generally been a good thing for the U.S., while 33% say they have been a bad thing. These views are little changed over the last year, but are more positive than in 2011 (when 48% said they were a good thing).

Younger adults and Hispanics continue to be particularly likely to view free trade agreements positively: Today, 69% of those under 30 say trade agreements have been good for the U.S., while just 24% say they have been bad for the country. By comparison, about half of Americans 50 and older (51%) evaluate trade agreements positively, while 39% say they have generally been bad for the country.

While slim majorities of whites (55%) and blacks (53%) say free trade agreements have been good for the country, Hispanic views are more positive (71% say they have been good for the U.S.).

There are few differences in overall views of free trade by education, income or party. Those with post-graduate degrees hold slightly more positive views of free trade than those with less education (63% vs. 57% among those without a graduate degree).

And while there are no significant differences between Democrats (58% good thing) and Republicans (53% good thing) on this issue, conservative Republicans are somewhat less likely than others to say that free trade agreements have been good for the country. Still, the balance of opinion among conservative Republicans is more positive than negative (50% say good thing, 38% bad thing).

On balance, more Americans say free trade agreements have helped, rather than hurt, their family’s financial situation. Current attitudes reflect a substantial shift over the last several years. Today, 43% say these agreements have helped their families; in November 2010, just 26% said this.

Opinions about the personal impact of trade agreements have grown more positive among all demographic groups, although the shift is most pronounced among more educated and higher income Americans: Today, about half (52%) of Americans with family incomes of $100,000 or more say these agreements have helped their financial situation, while just 29% say they have been hurt by free trade agreements. In 2010, views among higher income Americans were more divided (33% helped, 30% hurt, 26% volunteered they had no impact).

Though the views of Americans with annual family incomes of less than $30,000 have also grown more positive, they remain skeptical about the personal financial impact of free trade agreements. Currently just 38% say free trade agreements have helped their family finances, while about as many (44%) say they have hurt their finances.

By a wide margin (51% to 29%), more of those with college degrees say these agreements have helped, rather than hurt, their family’s financial situation. By comparison, the views of those who have not attended college are considerably more negative (37% helped, 44% hurt).

As with other attitudes about trade agreements, there are only modest differences between Republicans, Democrats and independents in views about the personal impact of such agreements. And, as is the case with views about the impact on the nation, young people express more positive opinions about the effects of trade agreements on their own finances. Those under 30 are the only age group in which a majority (56%) say their finances have been helped by free trade agreements.

Modest Partisan Differences over Effects of Trade Agreements

Though views about the overall effects of free trade agreements on the country and people’s personal financial situations are generally more positive than negative, when it comes to some specific domains, the public is more critical.  But as in the case of overall views of free trade agreements, there are only modest partisan differences.

Nearly half (46%) of Americans say trade agreements lead to job losses, more than twice the number (17%) who say they create jobs (28% say they do not make a difference). Similarly, 46% say free trade agreements make the wages of American workers lower, while just 11% say they make wages higher (33% say they do not make a difference). On both of these questions there are no significant differences in the views of Republicans, Democrats and independents.

When it comes to the impact of these agreements on the nation’s economy, Americans are about equally likely to say they lead to growth (31%) as to say they slow the economy down (34%).  There are only modest partisan differences on views of free trade agreements’ effects on economic growth, with Republicans somewhat more likely (40%) than either Democrats (30%) or independents (32%) to say they slow the economy.

And across the political spectrum, majorities say free trade agreements are generally good for the people of developing countries: 62% of Republicans say this, along with 55% of Democrats and 58% of independents.

Personal Financial Ratings Affect Views of Free Trade Deals

More adults rate their personal financial situations as excellent or good today than did so in November 2009 (43% now, 35% then). And among those who have positive opinions of their own personal financial situations, there has been a sharp improvement in how they view the impact of free trade agreements on their finances.

Currently, 52% of those who rate their financial situations as good or excellent say their finances have been helped by free trade agreements, up from 37% six years ago.

By comparison, there has been a smaller increase in positive views of the impact of free trade agreements among those who rate their own finances as only fair (41% today vs. 34% in November 2009).

Those who rate their finances as poor continue to say free trade agreements have had a negative effect on their financial conditions. About twice as many people who say their finances are in poor shape say they have been hurt than helped by free trade agreements (55% vs. 27%). That is little changed from the way people who saw their financial situations as poor viewed free trade agreements six years ago; at that time, 50% said their finances were hurt by free trade and just 24% said they were helped.

About the Survey

The analysis in this report is based on telephone interviews conducted May 12-18, 2015 among a national sample of 2,002 adults, 18 years of age or older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia (700 respondents were interviewed on a landline telephone, and 1,302 were interviewed on a cell phone, including 750 who had no landline telephone). The survey was conducted by interviewers at Princeton Data Source under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International. A combination of landline and cell phone random digit dial samples were used; both samples were provided by Survey Sampling International. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish. Respondents in the landline sample were selected by randomly asking for the youngest adult male or female who is now at home. Interviews in the cell sample were conducted with the person who answered the phone, if that person was an adult 18 years of age or older. For detailed information about our survey methodology, see http://www.pewresearch.org/methodology/u-s-survey-research/

The combined landline and cell phone sample are weighted using an iterative technique that matches gender, age, education, race, Hispanic origin and nativity and region to parameters from the 2013 Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and population density to parameters from the Decennial Census. The sample also is weighted to match current patterns of telephone status (landline only, cell phone only, or both landline and cell phone), based on extrapolations from the 2014 National Health Interview Survey. The weighting procedure also accounts for the fact that respondents with both landline and cell phones have a greater probability of being included in the combined sample and adjusts for household size among respondents with a landline phone. The margins of error reported and statistical tests of significance are adjusted to account for the survey’s design effect, a measure of how much efficiency is lost from the weighting procedures.

The following table shows the unweighted sample sizes and the error attributable to sampling that would be expected at the 95% level of confidence for different groups in the survey:

Sample sizes and sampling errors for other subgroups are available upon request.

In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.

Pew Research Center is a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization and a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts, its primary funder.

 

Online Edition

As Congress considers a major new trade pact with Asia, there is broad public agreement that international free trade agreements are good for the United States. But fewer Americans express positive views of the impact of trade deals on their personal finances.

And, as in the past, far more say free trade agreements lead to lower wages and job losses in the United States than say they result in higher wages and job gains.

Apr 04, 2016

Jobs aren't enough to keep Los Angeles

Online Edition

Los Angeles and its harbor commissioners were so enamoured of a proposed $500 million rail yard, they skirted environmental rules and downplayed hazards to residents. Not anymore.

This week a judge in Contra Costa County put the brakes on a 153-acre Wilmington rail yard near homes, schools, transitional housing for veterans and parks in West Long Beach and surrounding communities.

Judge Barry P. Goode knocked down Los Angeles’ plans to go ahead with the project, delivering a victory for environmental justice advocates.

The move should send a message to Los Angeles and its port that diminishing the health needs of a community to create more jobs or move more cargo is unacceptable.

More than a decade in the works, the project was envisioned as a massive freight-to -rail facility to be run by Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Co. The project was expected to handle 2.8 million cargo containers annually.

It would generate thousands of truck trips daily and massively increase the capacity to process cargo at the nation’s busiest port complex with a 24-hour operation to move goods east. More jobs, Los Angeles touted. A greener port.

That was bunk. What about the communities that would live in the project’s shadows?

Situated four miles from the LA port, the Southern California International Gateway project would reduce truck traffic by diverting cargo that would otherwise head 20 miles north up the 710 Freeway to the railroad’s Hobart railyard, according to BNSF and the port.

But Los Angeles never fully accounted for the secondary effects of building the project and the pollution it would create by increasing capacity at Hobart. 

Worse, the city was happy with a plan that would have, as the judge said, “left outdated technology locked into a project for fifty years.”

Without any enforceable way to curb pollution, the project was nothing but a win for the railway and port and a loss for the families that had to breathe the air with more ozone-forming pollutants. Those living in communities around the proposed railyard already suffer from higher rates of asthma.

Long Beach, its school district, the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the Natural Resource Defense Fund and four other groups who filed the lawsuit had complained about the potential health impacts and the failure to acknowledge the volume of pollution the project would generate. 

But BNSF, the city and port insisted for years that wasn’t the case, wasting time and money instead of offering to do this project right.

This ruling turns the tables. Los Angeles officials now must answer for the false claims that they accepted to push this project through.

Real and more comprehensive mitigation measures, including committing to the goal of zero-emissions transportation, need to be adopted. There should be tangible benefits to the communities that will now have a global operation in their backyard.

And there should be a real accounting of the pollution, including an increase in ozone, forming toxins that the whole region will pay for.

Los Angeles needs to come to the table honestly, with more than mere slogans for jobs.

Editor’s note: This editorial was corrected to fix the name of the Natural Resources Defense Council

Online Edition

Los Angeles and its harbor commissioners were so enamoured of a proposed $500 million rail yard, they skirted environmental rules and downplayed hazards to residents. Not anymore.

This week a judge in Contra Costa County put the brakes on a 153-acre Wilmington rail yard near homes, schools, transitional housing for veterans and parks in West Long Beach and surrounding communities.

Judge Barry P. Goode knocked down Los Angeles’ plans to go ahead with the project, delivering a victory for environmental justice advocates.

Jul 01, 2016

Cargo Handling 2016

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Advanced container handling technologies are making operations more efficient while reducing emissions and extending equipment lifecycles. The terex Brand, Fuchs, recently unveiled a new high-capacity material handler built specifically for the high production needs of scrap recycling operations and port applications in North America. According to Fuchs, the material handler offers outstanding lift capacity, a powerful but ultra-efficient engine, solid undercarriage for excellent stability and massive axles for high reliability. The model was conceptualized from customer requests and feedback.

 

Additionally, Fuchs has recently introduced a re-engineered operator’s cab specially designed for purpose-built material handlers. Features include standard joystick steering, which improves machine responsiveness to operator commands, while large windows provide enhanced visibility of the operating area.

 

“Facilities running mega shredders who require a high-capacity, extremely efficient material handler with long reach will especially benefit from this new material handler model,” said John Van Reuitenbeek, North American Business Line Director for Fuchs in a statement.

 

Set for delivery in August this year is crane spreader manufacturer Bromma’s first order of six units of Automated Lashing Platforms (ALPs) for the Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT) in Melbourne, Australia. Extensive collaboration between Bromma, VICT and other parties has resulted automation of processes and communications with the crane automation, Terminal Operating System (TOS). The ALP will allow it to become an integrated part of the Neo-Panamax Ship0toShore (STS) crane movements.

 

 The design of the new ALP purported to a first in the industry, means one of the most dangerous jobs within a container terminal – that of human placement and removal of twistlocks from heavy suspended loads, will be eliminated. “The ALP was the missing piee in our ambition to achieve the safest, most automated terminal in the world,” said Anders Dommestrup, CEO of VICT in a statement.

 

The ALP has the capacity to handle 20, 40, 45, and twin 20-foot containers. During operations, it efficiently stores the twistlocks and under-deck pins within the unit for discharge and re-use when backloading an entire vessel bay on 14,000 TEU vessel. The current system is tested and designed as a stand-alone unit that will sit in the back reach of the STS crane. Bromma is also planning to develop the ALP to be fully integrated to for a Crane Lashing Platform.

 

On the container handling front, Hyster’s H1050-1150HD-CH series is one of the most advanced on the market, with the capacity to lift containers at 59 feet per minute (unladen) and 51 feet per minute (laden) and can lower at speeds of 98 feet per minute (unladen or laden).

 

The series provides up to 88,000 lbs. of lifting capacity and has been designed to reduce the time in the shop, and increase customer productivity. “When it comes time for service, the aluminum cover plates are easily removed using quick disconnect latches, providing access to all major components including the drivetrain and hydraulic system,” explains Brett Schemerhorn, President of Big Trucks. “And with extended service intervals of 500 hours on major engine and drivetrain components, trucks remain in operation longer.” Additionally, the optional automatic greasing system provides greasing for the chassis, the mast and the spreader, eliminating manual greasing of all greasing points throughout the truck.

 

The Hyster cab’s structural design and curved windshield create all around visibility, optimal for container stacking, and the sloped counterweight design allow for excellent rearward visibility. Advanced ergonomics help make the job easier for operators with power steering and lever controls, push-button parking break and autothrottle-up, as well as responsive, fully hydraulic brakes. Optional air-conditioning and soundproofing of the cab are additional features that can help create a quiet, relaxed working environment.

 

Hyster’s model RS45-46 ReachStackers first came to market with Tier 4 Final engines in 2014. Hyster’s Tier 4 Final powertrain technology utilizes Cummins cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and variable geometry turbocharging (VGT) in the engine along with a diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) for particulate matter removal.

 

A selective catalytic reduction (SCR) based after treatment system was also added to achieve Tier 4 Final compliant NOx reduction levels. The injection of diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) into the exhaust stream in the decomposition reactor tube (DRT) reduces the NOx gases to harmless by-product. Advanced electronic control is used to ensure particulate matter is oxidized by a continuous process of passive regeneration.

 

In addition to these powertrain advances, Hyster has deployed technology to not only reduce emissions but also fuel consumption. “Using less fuel not only saves fossil fuels, but also results in a direct reduction of CO2/greenhouse gases and puts money back into the owner’s pocket,” says Schemerhorn.

 

Hyster trucks have seen up to a 20 percent reduction in fuel consumption during extensive testing compared to Tier 3 trucks, depending on rating and duty cycle due to design features that include on-demand hydraulics, on-demand cooling and automatic throttle-up.

 

The RS45-56 series also boasts an adjustable turning radius that reduces stress on the axle and improves tire life by reducing tire scrubbing. Oil-bathed wheel bearings are used to ensure bearings are constantly lubricated for long life under heavy-duty operating conditions.

 

In addition, the series features selectable operating modes, automatic throttle-up and idle management, which lowers engine RPM and reduces fuel usage and emissions by 20 to 30 percent. As well, the empty seat aengine shutdown option with adjustable time delay shuts the engine down a few minutes after the operator leaves the seat of the truck, further reducing emissions.

 

“We only offer one powertrain and worked very closely with the engine and transmission suppliers to ensure we have the ebst integration,” says Schemerhorn. “The engine, frame and hydraulics are all designed to work together. That enables us to achieve higher productivity while delivering better fuel economy.”

 

 

 

 

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Dec 23, 2016

With freight rail industry, competition is good

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A dozen or so harbor seals sun themselves on a bank of rocks on a bright autumn day. Others dive into the shallow waters nearby, looking for fish. Tufts of kelp flap above the water line, dancing with the harbor’s low current.

The scene? It isn’t the rocky coastline, far from mankind. This idyllic nature scene is just beyond Los Angeles’ outer port harbor, the nation’s busiest container port. Just around the bend, every year massive cargo ships unload $270 billion worth of goods into a vast industrial stretch built to handle the needs of the United States’ voracious consumer markets.

Once inhospitable to sea life, the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports have slowly wooed marine life to return, thanks to decades of tough environmental regulations.

“We see healthy communities,” said Kat Pricket, a biologist at the Port of Los Angeles. “We see improving communities.”

The ports’ 2013-14 survey of biodiversity shows how far they have come from decades ago, when canneries regularly dumped waste into the waters and ship mechanics toiled on engines not far from the docks.

“We are seeing fewer invasive species, higher number of biodiversity and we have seen more marine mammals,” said Justin Luedy, a biologist at the Port of Long Beach. “We see our water quality has improved, there’s lower metals and higher oxygen — those things that sustain life.”

While the outer harbor has been a refuge for sea life for years now, the dirtiest waters in the port along the inner harbor are getting cleaner.

For example: One of the report’s key findings measures the frequency of bottom-dwelling species, such as worms.

In 2008, the most common bottom-dwelling organism in the port could not tolerate the heavily polluted waters. But in the latest survey, carried out by Costa Mesa-based environmental consultants MBC Applied Environmental, scientists found a surprisingly abundant species of worm, the amphideutopus oculatus. It cannot thrive in heavy pollution.

“This discovery is a first for the harbor,” Luedy said. “It means that our water quality is improving. The health of the ecosystem is improving as well.”

So-called pollution-sensitive species made up six of the 10 most commonly found bottom-dwelling organisms found by scientists during the survey.

In all, there were more than 264 clams, snails, worms and other types of species found, along with 96 types of birds.

Both ports have attempted to foster this abundance by creating habitat for fish and other marine organisms in shallow waters and along the coastline. The survey provides clear evidence that those efforts have begun to yield results.

But there’s still work to be done. “Everything isn’t roses,” Pricket said.

“The biggest challenge now is runoff from storm drains,” said Dan Podella, director of the Southern California Marine Institute.

There are hundreds of storm drain outlets that lead into the harbor. After it rains, brake-pad dust, oil and other toxins slip out into the harbor and foul the water.

Accidental spills also are a problem. In March, two oil spills in the ports’ inner harbor blackened the waters, covered birds in goo and served as another reminder of how quickly the ports’ gains can be reversed.

Work to clean the water isn’t new. The federal Clean Water Act in 1972 signaled the beginning of decades of efforts. At the ports, a crackdown on seamen washing vessels in the harbor helped to prevent toxic chemicals from spilling into the harbors, Luedy said.

But the biggest improvements came from tougher state and local regulations on storm runoff.

“A lot of effort has been put into cleaning things up. All those things have slowly worked,” said Chris Lowe, director of Cal State Long Beach’s Shark Lab. “I have seen fish in the harbor that I would never think I would see.”

Lowe knows the harbor well. He’s visited it for more than 30 years, first as a young biologist, now as a professor and researcher.

The clearer waters have even attracted baby white sharks that take laps through the harbor, Lowe said.

Cleaner waters, Lowe said, mean more food to sustain such life.

“I am finally excited to see us make so much progress,” he said.

And it’s all around. Scientists documented an explosion of eel grass and 132 acres of kelp. In 2008, biologists counted only 80 acres of kelp.

Seals munch on kelp, just as they were probably doing on that autumn day as they dove beneath the waters where massive vessels pass.

“The main challenge will be maintaining this,” Luedy said, “and getting better water quality as we grow.”

 

 

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A dozen or so harbor seals sun themselves on a bank of rocks on a bright autumn day. Others dive into the shallow waters nearby, looking for fish. Tufts of kelp flap above the water line, dancing with the harbor’s low current.

Dec 01, 2017

Single Ship Record at los Angeles

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Not one of the worlds largest container ships, Maersk Lines' 13,492-TEU Maersk Evora nevertheless set a new container handling record at the port of Los Angeles in October when it discharged 24,846 TEUs, a new world record for a single vessel port call. All of the boxes were handled at APM Terminals' Pie 400 between October 18 and October 22, with the 366-meter vessel then proceeding on to Yokohoma, Japan.

Print Edition

Not one of the worlds largest container ships, Maersk Lines' 13,492-TEU Maersk Evora nevertheless set a new container handling record at the port of Los Angeles in October when it discharged 24,846 TEUs, a new world record for a single vessel port call. All of the boxes were handled at APM Terminals' Pie 400 between October 18 and October 22, with the 366-meter vessel then proceeding on to Yokohoma, Japan.