Tuesday, May 19, 2015

TEAMWORK gets the job done!

TEAMWORK:   working together as a team to accomplish a goal.  This past week our goal was to load on "Davenport's" heavy haul trailer a small piece that only weighs 128,000 pounds.  

Customer Service  -- Mike Mustillo
As they unit is coming our of our Heavy Lift Bay

Completely out the gate and moving with police escort

Monday, May 18, 2015

C-TPAT Exporter Entity Program

May 13, 2015
CBP Launches C-TPAT Exporter Entity program
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) recently announced that effective May 17, 2015, U.S. exporters will be eligible to participate in the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (“C-TPAT”) Exporter Entity program.  C-TPAT began as a voluntary program in which importers implement enhanced security measures in their supply chain in exchange for incentives, such as priority service and the expedited processing of shipments.  CBP created the program in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, in order to encourage importers to reduce vulnerabilities in the supply chain.  Participants have met certain criteria to ensure adequate protection of their shipments, allowing CBP to divert its resources to high-risk or unknown importers.
Based on the recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Commercial Operations (COAC), CBP is now introducing an exporter entity to C-TPAT, with the purpose of supporting export growth and increasing the competiveness of U.S. businesses.  The benefits will include prioritized export shipments, reduced examinations, access to an assigned C-TPAT Supply Chain Security Specialist, and global security partnerships. 
There is no cost to join, but exporters must meet the following eligibility requirements:
  1. Be an active U.S. Exporter out of the United States
  2. Have a business office staffed in the U.S.
  3. Be an active U.S. Exporter with a documentable Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Dun & Bradstreet (DUNS) number
  4. Have a documented export security program and a designated officer or manager who will act as the C-TPAT program main point of contact
  5. Commit to maintaining the C-TPAT supply chain security criteria
  6. Create and provide CBP with a C-TPAT supply chain security profile which identifies how the exporter will execute internal policy to meet the C-TPAT exporter security criteria
  7. Have an acceptable level of compliance for export reporting for the latest 12-month period and be in good standing with other U.S. regulatory bodies, such as the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of the Treasury, etc.
For more information on the C-TPAT Exporter Entity program, including access to the application, please click here.  For specific questions, please contact CBP via email atIndustry.partnership@dhs.gov or by telephone at 202-344-1180.

Friday, May 15, 2015

New Cranes for Barbours Cut

Arrival of Four New Super Post-Panamax Cranes Mark New Era for Barbours CutPosted on: May 5, 2015

Four new Super Post-Panamax wharf cranes for the Port of Houston Authority’s Barbours Cut Container Terminal traveled up the Houston Ship Channel today on the last leg of a 73-day journey. The cranes, nearly 30 stories high, were manufactured by Konecranes in Mokpo, South Korea, and left for Houston Feb. 23, 2015.

These new electric Ship-To-Shore cranes can lift and lower a loaded container at twice the speed of the cranes currently in use at the Barbours Cut terminal. They weigh 1,505 tons, compared to 635 tons for the existing cranes. 
These cranes, the largest ever built by Konecranes, are 289 feet high with a lift height of 204 feet. They will handle ships 22 containers wide.
"As part of a significant upgrade of our Barbours Cut Container Terminal, these new Super Post-Panamax cranes will accommodate the significantly larger vessels that will be calling on our container terminals after the expansion of the Panama Canal,” Port Commission Chairman Janiece Longoria said. “International trade, primarily containerized cargo, continues to expand rapidly at our facilities. More trade means more jobs and economic activity for our region and state in support of our mission.”
The growth in container trade through the Port of Houston and the increase in Super Post-Panamax ships coming to the port require faster and larger cranes for even more efficient containerized cargo handling. The expansion of the Panama Canal will be complete in 2016, and this will allow larger post-Panamax vessels to transit the canal and bring more cargo through the Port of Houston.
The nearly $50 million contract for the cranes was approved by the Port Commission in 2013.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Customer Service -- Top Priority

Customer Service is one of the key elements that keep our customers coming back to us.  But the care that we take in handling their material.   Our warehouse facilities handle a lot of tubing for numerous customers and projects.  Some which remain here for a few days and some a year.  But all material is treated with respect and stacked.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Port of Houston Update

Record Cargo and Revenue Continue at Port AuthorityPosted on: April 28, 2015

Port Commission approves contract supporting U.S. Army Corps study of Houston Ship Channel system

The Port Commission, at its regular monthly meeting today, approved several agenda items aimed at further strengthening operations at the Port of Houston Authority.

Port Commissioners awarded a professional services contract to TCB/GBA Joint Venture for professional engineering and planning services in support of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ feasibility study of modifications to improve the Houston Ship Channel system. That system includes the Houston, Barbours Cut and Bayport ship channels.

“This study is critical to the greater Port of Houston and will determine necessary improvements to continue moving commerce in our region,” said Executive Director Roger Guenther. The $3 million contract covers the minimum three-year study period. The Port of Houston is one of three ports in the nation selected for this congressional study.

The Port Commission approved entering into a nearly $120,000, two-year agreement with Versiant Corporation at Port Authority container terminals to better interface with its operating systems and further shorten gate interchange time.

Port Commissioners also amended a one-year contract with Navis for a Vessel Berth Management system, which replaces manual processes, allowing greater visibility and transparency to berth schedules, both internally and externally.

In addition, the Port Commission approved a professional services contract to John C. Martin Associates for the development of a new economic impact study for the Port Authority. The latest study, released in 2012, revealed an economic impact of $178.5 billion, generating more than 1 million jobs each year in Texas alone.

The Port Commission approved the Port Authority’s Strategic Plan, which establishes a long-range plan for the organization, with a horizon of more than a decade. The plan was created through collaboration with external and internal stakeholders. Nick Davidson and Richard Batty from Leigh/Fisher, Inc. consultants gave a summary of the Strategic Plan.

The Port Commission also voted unanimously to amend and extend Guenther’s contract through January of 2018. The current contract would expire in January of 2016.

In his monthly financial report to the Port Commission, Guenther said that the Port Authority’s Barbours Cut and Bayport container terminals were particularly busy in March. A combined 40 percent more loaded containers were handled in March, compared to a year ago. The record amounts of freight were moved, despite issues associated with a ship channel closure earlier in the month, Guenther reported. He again lauded the collaborative effort, led by U.S. Coast Guard in the response and recovery resulting from the collision that caused the closure.

Through the first quarter of 2015, loaded container units increased by 24 percent over 2014, Guenther reported. Import steel continues to exceed projections, up by more than 66 percent for the year, he said. He reiterated that steel increases are expected to taper off over the next several months, as indicated by discussions at the Steel Roundtable held in March.

It was also another record month in revenue for the Port Authority.

Although cargo volumes and cash flows are doing well, Guenther emphasized the challenges with funding that the Port Authority will face over the next decade to build new facilities and maintain existing infrastructure to meet demands. “It is essential that we have public support for our infrastructure needs as we move forward,” he said.

Guenther gave an update on the progress of the new super post-panamax cranes destined for Barbours Cut Terminal, which are expected to arrive and begin offloading to the dock in early May. The cranes are currently in the Caribbean Sea and ready for the homestretch across the Gulf into Houston, he said.

Chairman Janiece Longoria noted some key visits to the port in March, including newly appointed Texas Secretary of State Carlos Cascos. A delegation from Colombia was also hosted.

Longoria cited the efforts of U.S. Reps. Gene Green and Brian Babin and Sen. John Cornyn to ensure that the U.S. Army Corps has the legal directives it needs to address the Bayport Flare. The Port Authority has been working with the Corps to improve both the safety and navigability of the Bayport Flare, which the Houston Pilots have identified as their top safety concern in the Houston Ship Channel system.

Longoria also said she was thrilled to host EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, who visited the port last Thursday and conducted a press conference to highlight the EPA’s awarding of two significant environmental grants administered by the Port Authority. The Port Authority received two Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) grants in amounts of nearly $900,000 each. The most recent grant includes a private $1,680,142 match for a total amount of more than $2.5 million. The port earlier this year was awarded a DERA grant for almost $900,000 in funding to replace 14 older drayage trucks.

Chairman Longoria also noted her participation with Guenther in a Port Region Transportation Committee meeting, hosted by the Economic Alliance.

“We emphasized the need to promote projects that make the entire region more competitive economically, and this meeting set the groundwork for us to move forward as a region with one voice on critical transportation improvements,” she said.

Friday, May 08, 2015

A little extra help

There are times,  when our overhead Heavy Lift Capacity is just not quite enough.  for this 225,000 pound piece,  we teamed up with Consolidated Crane Services to get the job done in a timely manner while taking all safety precautions.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

ISF Enforcement

Thank you to our friends at Roanoke Trade for this update:

ISF Enforcement – The Time Has Come! 
May 5, 2015
A week from tomorrow marks the end of the final one-year limited liquidated damage (LD)/”three strikes” phase of a six-year evolution of ISF enforcement. In summary, here is what will change:
  • CBP Ports, who will continue to have flexibility in their processes, may commence issuing LD without HQ review and approval.
  • Ports will no longer be under HQ mandate to issue three warnings before assessing LD.
  • Craig Clark is replaced by Peyman Jamshidi as Program Manager, Cargo and Conveyance Security, Office of Field Operations, CBP.
CBP is conducting a “last educational outreach” via Webinar later today. Because this event reached maximum capacity almost immediately after being announced by the NEI and via Cargo Systems Messaging Service (CSMS), CBP has indicated they will post a recording of the Webinar to cbp.gov and will also publish a further CSMS on full ISF enforcement, both later this week. These links will be posted to our website for easy access in the Emerging Matters, ISF section. In case you have not already done so, we strongly recommend that you subscribe to receive CSMS email notifications, here is the link.
Certain matters (among them, full vessel departure reporting, the future of ISF-5 filings, publication of a final rule) remain unresolved and CBP has yet to commit publicly to routinely provide copies of LD notices to filers. 
CBP’s overall common-sense approach to enforcement has continued to prevail over the past two years. It is the hope of all concerned that this attitude will persist in the final enforcement phase upon which we now embark. Still, CBP’s new posture on LD is certain to yield higher claims output. Roanoke looks forward to working with you to underwrite responsibly and control claims exposures sensibly.