U.S. Import Trade Expected To Grow At A Slower Pace In 2019
At the Pulse of the Ports Peak Season Forecast event this morning, speakers from the international trade and transportation industries predicted moderate growth in containerized imports to the United States this year. Compared to 2018, during which time imports to the U.S. increased 6.1%, 2019 is expected to close out with 1.8% growth, according to Melissa Peralta, senior economist and forecaster for Chicago-based railcar pooling company TTX. At the event, Peralta attributed the more moderate growth to a slowing U.S. economy. However, she pointed out that West Coast ports may benefit from a new international rule requiring shipping companies to reduce the sulfur content in their container vessels from 3.5% to 0.5%. This rule could cause some shippers in Asia that have been shipping to the East Coast via the Panama Canal to instead choose West Coast ports to cut back on costs. Click here to watch a full webcast of the event.

Local Pollution Abatement Firm Secures
Exclusive Contract With International Pharma Company
Ship & Shore Environmental, Inc., a Signal Hill-based pollution abatement firm, has secured an exclusive contract with “a major multinational pharmaceutical manufacturer,” the name of which remains undisclosed. The client, which is headquartered in India, has contracted Ship & Shore Environmental to provide pollution abatement equipment for a soon-to-open facility in North Carolina. “Pharmaceutical manufacturers have a responsibility to foster environmental sustainability and reduce pollution at the source, throughout their supply chains. This is where we step in,” Anoosheh Oskouian, CEO of Ship & Shore Environmental, said in a press release. Ship & Shore Environmental has signed “a multi-million-dollar deal to custom engineer, design, fabricate, and install a pollution control system to destroy emissions generated from the pharmaceutical manufacturing process,” according to a company statement.

Long Beach City College Holds Orientation Session for New Maritime Center
The Port of Long Beach is holding orientation sessions for the Maritime Center of Excellence at Long Beach City College (LBCC) next week. The sessions, which aim to introduce community members to the center’s short-term, fee-based classes on global logistics and supply chain industries, are being held from 10 a.m. to noon on March 28; 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on April 2; and 10 a.m. to noon on April 9. “The industries selected are expected to have continued growth and demand for trained workers in Southern California with the average annual wage of $63,130, approximately 14 percent higher than all other industries in Southern California,” according to a statement from LBCC. In 2018, the Port of Long Beach became the first industry partner to join the Long Beach College Promise and worked with the college to create the Maritime Center. For more information and to register for classes, visit LBCC.edu/maritimecenter or call 562/938-3248.

Port Of Long Beach Requests Proposals For Park Projects
The Port of Long Beach has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for park concepts that could be built on its perimeter and mitigate air quality and noise issues generated by port activity. The projects are eligible for funding through the port’s Community Grants Program. Concept papers for this RFP must be submitted online by 4 p.m. on May 1. More details are available at polb.com/grantopportunities. The port has committed nearly $65 million to for environmental grants benefiting the community.

Local Charities Form Charity 5K and 10K Series
Jewish Family and Children’s Service (JFCS) of Long Beach and West Orange County, Meals and Wheels of Long Beach, and U.S. VETS – Long Beach have joined forces to create a series of charity 5K and 10K races, according to a press release. Participants of all three events will receive a special medal. The series will be kicked off by JFCS’s “Race With A View” event (Sunday, May 5), followed by U.S. VETS – Long Beach’s “Storm the Beach 5k/10k” (Saturday, June 15) and concluding with the “Meals on Wheels of Long Beach 5k/10k at Long Beach City College” (Saturday, July 13). Participants will receive their special commemorative medal at the conclusion of the Meals on Wheels event on Saturday, July 13. “We hope that through this collaboration there will be increased awareness of each agency, thus growing participation in all three events,” Mark Dressner, chair of the JFCS Resource Development Committee, stated.