Kristen Decas, Port Director & CEO of the Port of Hueneme, a Southern California port, predicts auto shipments and cargo tonnages will rise modestly in 2018.
In an interview with AJOT, Decas noted: Tonnage for commodities will rise in 2018 to 1.51 million tons compared to 1.49 million tons in 2017.
A key element is the import and export of fruit, such as bananas, where the port expects to see tonnage increase to 834,000 tons in 2018 compared to 794,000 tons in 2017.
Throughput of autos and other vehicles is projected to increase by 2,000 units totaling 300,000 vehicles in 2018, an increase from 2017, where vehicles totaled 298,000.
Cars are the leading revenue generator for the port accounting for 49% of revenues followed by fruit, which accounts for 31%.
At Port Hueneme, there are three auto processors:
In 2013, the Port instituted a shore power program for vessels arriving at Port Hueneme. State regulations require certain vessels arriving at California ports, shut off their diesel engines and rely on electricity from the shore via the grid. This requirement reduces air pollution from ships that often burn a highly polluting heavy fuel oil.
The shore power project cost $14 million but the cost was somewhat offset by grants from the State and County governments.
The Port’s shore power system: “has reduced emissions in the Port and in surrounding Ventura County communities.”
Decas said that a more recent clean air initiative is a partnership with Tesla. In this case, the shore power system charge Tesla storage batteries during low peak use period so as to reduce electricity costs. The charged batteries then contribute electricity to Port facilities during the day time when utility costs are the highest:
“The project has been operating for five months and our hope is that it will reduce our electricity bill,” Decas said.