PTA Stages Annual Steamship Night

The Pacific Transportation Association will be staging its annual Steamship Night dinner on Thursday, September 18 at the San Francisco Marriott.

By Paul Duclos
Published: August, 2008 

For those not familiar with this event, itís the biggest social gathering of the year for Bay Area professionals working in the transport and trade community. Founded in the 1920s when San Francisco was regarded as a major seaport and gateway to the Far East, the PTA now functions chiefly as a networking group for executives in every aspect of the industry. The current board of directors, for example, includes leaders from container lines (or steamships in the old vernacular); railroads; seaports; insurance; freight forwarding and customs brokerage; trucking; container leasing; and even trade publishing. Given the concentration of market intelligence and demonstrated competence, part of the PTAís mandate is also to stage informational seminars and to heighten public awareness of issues related to shipping and international commerce. Check out for more details, including contact information for the groupís annual party. Meanwhile, itís important to add that Steamship Night does not involve speeches or any other nonsense related to work. Itís a great party with plenty of good food, adult beverages, live music, and fellowship.


Maritime Academy Announces LNG Program

The California Maritime Academy of Vallejo, CA, a member of the California State University, and Clearwater Port LLC, have announced the creation of a joint program to expand West Coast training in the handling and transport of liquefied natural gas (LNG) products.  The program puts in place the first formal continuing education LNG training available from a nationally recognized institution on the West Coast.  Cal Maritime is one of seven maritime academies nationwide and the only one on the West Coast. Clearwater Port is proposing the conversion of an operating offshore oil platform, located 12.6 miles off the coast of Oxnard, CA, into a state-of-the-art LNG re-gasification terminal to meet Californiaís need for affordable, reliable clean-burning natural gas. Clearwater Port officials said the decision to help underwrite continuing education of personnel working in the field reflects its commitment to sustaining the industryís outstanding safety record for the transport, handling and distribution of this vital commodity. The new program, to be developed and implemented by Cal Maritimeís Office of Special Projects and Extended Learning, will include the development of curricula and the delivery of LNG training and continuing education services for personnel working in the fields of maritime and shore-side transportation and handling of LNG products. Initial program funding for course development is being provided by Clearwater Port.


Railway Association Celebrates 40th Anniversary

The Port of San Francisco played host to the Railway Industrial Clearance Association (RICA) last month, attracting hundreds of business leaders involved in a highly specialized segment of the shipping industry. Most people wonít recognize the association name, observed Jim Maloney, maritime marketing manager for the port. But it serves some of the biggest Ďmega moversí in the western hemisphere. While most RICA members came to help celebrate the groupís 40th anniversary with parties, a golf tournament, and other social diversions, substantial attention was given to issues and trends having an impact on global trade. With U.S. exports now surging, these shippers will play a major role in reviving the nationís moribund economy. Maloney pointed out that the group is made up of short line railways, third-party logistics companies, trucking companies, barge and/or shipping companies, and heavy crane and rigging companies.  Many U.S. ports are also members. The one thing they have in common is that they are involved in moving the biggest, longest and heaviest of any item you can imagine, he said.