Port Bureau Updates
April 2016 Commerce Club
April Feick, Vice President of Global Supply Chain
ExxonMobil Chemical Company
April has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering. She started her career with Exxon in Baytown manufacturing where she held multiple positions in technical, business coordination, turnarounds/projects, maintenance, and operations. April has worked in both the Chemical and Downstream headquarters where she has held positions in sales and product management, product optimization, and strategic planning. April was most recently the Fawley Chemical Plant Manager where she also served as the Chairman of the Board for ExxonMobil Chemical Limited and Advanced Elastomers Systems (AES) in the UK, a director for the ExxonMobil UK Pension Trust Fund, and a member of the UK Chemical Industry Association.
Thank you to our Annual Sponsors: Houston Pilots, Richardson Companies, Odfjell, and West Gulf Maritime Association. Register now by visiting www.txgulf.org/commerceclub or by calling the Port Bureau at (713) 678-4300.
Argosy Transportation Group (ATG) Celebrates its 20th Anniversary.
As part of their 20th anniversary celebration, Argosy is sponsoring various professional events, and contributing toward initiatives in education within the maritime industry. Argosy appreciates the importance of investing in young professionals, and they remain committed to developing a platform for the future of the industry.
Argosy’s commitment to trust and performance in transit is evidenced by its 20-year history. Argosy can trace its roots back to 1996 when Argosy Shipping was established by Rider Griswold, moving their first 76-ton shipment from Antwerp to Houston. At the time, the West Gulf had urgent need for a brokerage firm that could provide multi-purpose ships to project-cargo owners, and to the freight forwarding community. Argosy Shipping spearheaded the way, enabling freight forwarders to charter ships by offering industry leading contractual, and operational chartering services.
During the following 20 years, Argosy evolved from a shipping brokerage firm, to becoming a diversified maritime transportation and logistics company. Now operating three main divisions: barging, shipping, and technical services, Argosy ensures that their clients receive industry leading, customized, and competitive solutions, both domestically and internationally.
Maritime Community Turns Out for “The Finest Hours” Movie Event
CAPT Bill Diehl, president of the Greater Houston Port Bureau, and his wife joined officials and dignitaries at an advanced screening of “The Finest Hours” movie at the Houston Museum of Natural Science on January 21, 2016. Produced by Disney, “The Finest Hours” recounts the February 1952 ripping apart of two oil tankers off the coast of Cape Cod during one of the worst storms ever to hit the East Coast and the four USCG crewmen’s daring rescue of the 30 stranded mariners from the disaster.
The advanced screening event was intended to raise awareness about construction of the country’s first National Coast Guard Museum. Many members of the barge and waterway sectors turned out to attend the evening hosted by President George H.W. Bush, who worked closely with the Coast Guard to establish the South Florida Drug Task Force during his term as vice president under Ronald Reagan, golf immortal and sportsman Arnold Palmer, and James David Power III, founder of the marketing research company, J.D. Power & Associates. Both Palmer and Power served in the USCG. To date, the National Coast Guard Museum Association, Inc. has announced commitments of over $4 million in pledges for the project. Organizers hope to open the museum by 2020.
SOLAS Container Weight Regulations Still a ‘Go’ for July 1
The U.S. Coast Guard will not delay implementation of the container weight verification rule and it will not play a role in penalizing shippers or enforcing compliance. Press sources cited RADM Paul Thomas, Commandant, USCG, as saying delay of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) rule “is not an option” at a Federal Maritime Commission hearing Thursday, February 18, 2016, in Washington, D.C.
“Even if the U.S. were to delay implementation,” a Journal of Commerce article noted, “other [countries] would still be enforcing the mandate on U.S. goods.” Thomas said a U.S. delay would thus have little effect except “sending a message around the world that U.S. cargo can’t be loaded safely.”
At this time, the IMO’s Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) verified gross mass (VGM) certification will be the responsibility of ocean carrier, its shipper customers, and the container terminals. The SOLAS container weight rules go into effect July 1, 2016.
2016 Brings Changes, New Faces, and Opportunities to Port Bureau
2015 was a banner year for the Greater Houston Port Bureau. We had our most successful Maritime Dinner ever, our golf tournament and Commerce Club lunches were wildly successful, and we crossed 200 members for the first time.
2016 is shaping up to be even more successful. We have implimented changes to provide new opportunities to better serve our members and grow the Port Bureau.
The changes begin with our Board of Directors. The Port Bureau is proud to welcome three new members. First, Captain Robert Shearon the new Presiding Officer of the Houston Pilots is taking the place of Capt. Mike Morris. Todd Stewart, President of Gulf Winds International, is replacing his father, Steve Stewart. Finally, William Paterson joins us from Watco Terminal & Port Services, where he serves as their Sr. Vice President, Marketing & Sales, and is taking the place of Tim Haas. We are looking forward to working with Bob, Todd, and Will. - We also take this opportunity to say thank you to Mike, Steve, and Tim for their service and contributions to the Port Bureau.
The Board of Directors is not the only change taking place within the Port Bureau. Over the last few months, we have been taking steps to create a greater member experience and enhance the way we deliver our services.
The first step in this process is the launch of a newly designed website at www.txgulf.org. The Port Bureau’s website, last updated in 2009, has many new features that enhance the user experience, and provide a source of information for “all things port” in Houston.
The first thing users will notice are the enhanced graphics and increased use of colors throughout the pages. Users will have a more visual experience that will increase as the website grows and opportunities for more interactivity present themselves. Users will also notice our site has easier readability and functionality on mobile devices.
The biggest feature currently available is the digital version of the magazine. The Port Bureau News online version has grown immensly over the last serveral years and a change was needed to provide easier access to content and a greater user experience.
Visitors to our website will find the Port Bureau News is easier to find, with a separate link on the menu and a slide on the home page. Each edition is broken out by month and within each month users can access each story directly as an individual page, making it possible to share links to specific stories. Along with the individual stories, users will still have the opportunity to download a PDF copy of the magazine to a laptop or mobile device.
As we continue to make changes the magazine section will grow with our complete archieve of back issues. Our monthly features, such as “Port Watch” vessel arrival updates or Bill’s “Captain’s Corner” editorials, will have separate sections just for those collections.
Other features coming online throughout the year include: an expanded member directory showcasing member companies and serving as a portal for users to see what services they provide, an enhanced event registration, and an online member application to smooth out the process of joining the Port Bureau member and gaining access to all of the services we provide.
Other changes are also on the horizon. In 2016, our popular Dredging and Traffic Efficiency committees have become members only. This allows us to better serve the needs of our members and the port community as a whole.
The services we provide will soon be expanding, along with the knowledge we are able to share through our staff.
2015 may have been the Port Bureau’s best year to date, but 2016 is already on track to exceed it as we continue to grow and provide our members up and down the Houston Ship Channel, and beyond, with everything they need to succeed in their business.
Correction: Last month we listed USD Group LLC as a new member, their membership should be TDWP Partners LLC. The Port Bureau would like to welcome them on board.
- Date March 3, 2016
- Tags March 2016