Letter to the Readers from the Port Authority
Dock Talk News
I recently came across something Vince Lombardi said, “Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” In my opinion, it’s also what makes our Port work.
Every day, I see individual companies as well as individual people – from customers to longshoremen – doing their absolute best, resulting in the greater good for all of us at the Port of Hueneme. It’s what has made us successful so far, with more than $9 billion worth of goods passing through the Port each year. And, it’s what I believe will continue to sustain our businesses and future growth.
This issue aims to bring you recent news from in and around our Port as well as to highlight and celebrate the successes of our collective efforts both in business and in our community.
You’ll meet Mark Walsh, who has led the BMW Oxnard Vehicle Distribution Center for more than 10 years. He’s been a marked leader, and helped to grow the company’s business here in Oxnard which today processes more than double the number of vehicles it did in 1988 when it first starting processing and distributing vehicles out of the Port of Hueneme. Today, BMW is a world class customer of the Port and a key employer and economic engine for the region both socially and economically.
The Port of Hueneme witnessed a number of milestones this past summer which you can read about in the following pages. In August, the very first Post-Panamax ship was welcomed to the Port by Wallenius Wilhelmsen Lines (WWL) and Port officials. With the widened Panama Canal, many of us are excited about a new class of high-efficiency vessels designed to increase capacity and flexibility all with fewer emissions. The start of the summer saw a successful World Trade Week part of the Oxnard World Trade Center. With more than 70 attendees, the event featured speakers including Mexico’s Deputy Trade & Investment Commissioner Ignacio Sanchez, Ecuador’s Consul General Diego Jaramillo and Richard Swanson from the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Those of us who work at the Port understand our customers are a source of sustainable jobs and significant economic growth, but it’s always wonderful when this is underscored by third-party analysis. In a new Economic Assessment prepared by Martin Associates, it reports jobs related to Port business climbed 25 percent from 2012 to 2015. Showing a total 13,633 jobs in 2015, the study also revealed the same year’s marine cargo activity to support a totally of $1.5 billion of the total economic activity in the region. That’s not something achieved by one customer or one company – that’s truly a group effort.
We continue to work to do our part at the Port, with all objectives pointed squarely at creating a better environmental framework for our customers. We’re proud to announce the Port recently approved a $17,000 grant to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office to even better protect and secure the Port and its surrounding area with more efficient tools and faster response times. We also remain committed to making the Port as energy efficient as possible, employing LED energy everywhere we can from mast heads to parking lots.
Part of bettering our environment includes a pledge to supporting and enhancing the greater community in which we work and live. I’m excited about the success we’ve seen in the Port’s Global Trade & Logistics class offered to local high school students. The program which partners with local universities works to develop maritime education programs, giving students an up close and personal look at real maritime businesses. Separately, I hope you’ll join us for our upcoming MAST Open House and Technology Expo which includes both information on how to leverage current technologies and knowledge as well as a job expo for those exploring the maritime industry.
As part of our ongoing committed to the community around us, we also look forward to upcoming events such as the 5th Annual Banana Festival which the Port sponsors as well as the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation “Walk the Coast” event which are always very fun.
Finally, I want to thank my hardworking team for everything they do, and of course, thank you, the customers of the Port. I’m confident when I say our strength in is our customers, and as long as we continue to support each other, I see only a positive trajectory of growth. The future is bright with a number of projects on the horizon such as the deepening project that promise an increase in economic potential and a step toward securing future growth.
CEO and Port Director