Maritime Commerce Advisory Committee - January 18, 2018 - Minutes

Meeting Date: 
January 18, 2018 - 11:30am
1 Todd Barbee Red & White Fleet
2 Diana Bartram Port of San Francisco
3 Shawn Bennett Baydelta
4 Joe Burgard Red & White Fleet
5 Brandon Chapman Port of San Francisco
6 Chris Christiansen ILWU Local 10
7 Tom Escher Red & White Fleet
8 Robert Estrada Inland Boatmen's Union
9 Aaron Golbus Port of San Francisco
10 Dan Hodapp Port of San Francisco
11 Ellen Johnck Ellen Joslin Johnck, RPA
12 Cathyrn Lucido Metro Cruise Services
13 Denise Lum Port of San Francisco
14 Ryan  Martin SF Bay Railroad
15 Kent McGrath Blue & Gold Fleet
16 Michael Nerney Port of San Francisco
17 Ray Paetzold SF Bar Pilots
18 Anita Yao Port of San Francisco
19 Marilyn Yeh Port of San Francisco
20 Ming Yeung Port of San Francisco


  1. Welcome
  • Self-introductions by all present.


  1. Maritime Update (Michael Nerney)
  • The Port had an all-staff meeting (Breakfast of Champions) where Maritime Director Peter Dailey received his 30-year service pin.
  • Michael Nerney is the new Assistant Deputy Director for the Maritime Division. Aaron Golbus, who was Acting ADD for the past year, is now Senior Wharfinger.
  • Other members of the maritime staff include Anita Yao and Brandon Chapman (Wharfingers); Joe Monroe (Harbormaster at South Beach Harbor); Gerry Roybal and Brendan O'Meara (Marketing Managers); Marilyn Yeh (Principal Analyst); Shannon Alford (Dredging and Environmental Manager, with Planning and Environment Division); Denise Lum (Administrative Assistant); and Edgar Alvarado (Public Service Aid at Fisherman's Wharf office).
  • The Port of San Francisco had 81 ship calls and 280,000 passengers in 2017.  The forecast for 2018 is 77 ship calls and 270,000 passengers, and in 2019, there will be 83 ship calls and 290,000 passengers. Grand Princess homeports year-round with 35 calls this year. She is currently doing Mexico and Hawaii cruises, with the Alaska season beginning in May. Norwegian Bliss, the largest cruise ship ever to call San Francisco, will make her maiden call in October 2018.  The ship is 1,069 feet long, 168,000 gross tons, and carries up to 4,000 guests and 2,100 crew members.
  • In August 2016, the Port entered into an agreement with the Pasha Group to turn Pier 80 into an auto import/export facility. In 2017, the first full year of operation, there were 37 auto ship calls and approximately 32, 000 autos handled, 65% export and 35% import. Ford import service started in late 2017 which will even out the import/export volumes for 2018. Each car carrier discharges and loads an average of 800 units at Pier 80.  The forecast is four Ford ships a month along with additional calls for Tesla exports.
  • The Port is acquiring a new low-emission “Tier 4” green locomotive, currently being manufactured out of state. It is expected to be operating at the SF Bay Rail Yard, adjacent to Pier 96, by the end of this year.
  • In August 2017, the Port issued a Request for Proposal for a new shipyard operator.  We received three responses but only one was deemed viable. It was determined that it was in the Port’s best interest to talk to more than one bidder. At the January 9 Port Commission meeting, it was announced the Port will reissue the RFP to broaden its parameters and potential tenant outreach. The new RFP will allow the possibility of public investment in the shipyard's infrastructure, as well as consideration of capital equipment ownership transfer to facilitate financing of needed facility improvements. The target date to seek Port Commission approval to reissue the RFP is February 27.
  • Anita Yao reported on the retail fish sales pilot program at Fisherman’s Wharf, approved by the Port Commission in September 2017. A similar policy was in place in 1999-2000, but it expired. Commercial fishers (permanent berth holders only) are now allowed to sell their catch to retail customers right off their boats in Fisherman's Wharf. To participate, fishers must (1) possess a Retail Fish License and Boat License; (2) possess a San Francisco Business License; (3) have a scale registered with the City of SF; and (4) pay annual permit fees. Giuseppe Pennisi was the first to obtain a permit for his boat, Pioneer. The first retail sales took place in October 2017, but only 320 pounds of fish were sold. However, since then Pioneer has sold nearly 100,000 pounds of fish. Mr. Pennisi has had to increase his crew from four to ten to handle the additional business. A second fishing boat, Semegal, will obtain a retail fish sales permit upon acquiring an SF Business License.
  1. Update on Red & White Lease Improvement Project (Joe Burgard & Todd Barbee)
  • In 1892, Thomas Crowley (Tom Escher's grandfather) began providing tendering services throughout the bay. The first bay cruise started in 1913, but it was in 1939 when bay cruises flourished. Crowley's fleet of ships offered breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Bay Bridge. This popular excursion is now known as the Red & White Fleet's Golden Gate Bay Cruise.  In 1997, Tom Escher purchased Red & White Fleet, becoming the third generation in his family to own and operate the business. In response to the growth of ridership, new vessels were added to the fleet, with the latest being Enhydra, due to arrive in the summer of 2018. Enhydra will be the first 600- passenger hybrid vessel operating in the United States. The shore and waterside improvement project at Pier 43½ will feature a new vibrant, bright and distinct ticket structure, while preserving the primary iconic tri-pod feature. Bollards will be added to provide illumination during the evening hours. Limited seating will be added. Queuing has been a huge issue but should be improved by using removable stanchions. A major improvement will be the addition of a third gate, which will aid ingress and egress, and provide a much faster pace in queuing. The project is currently in the permitting stage but Red & White hopes to complete the shoreside part in spring of 2019 and waterside in 2021. MCAC co-chair Ellen Johnck suggested sending a letter of support for the Red & White project to the Port Commissioners, which was approved by consensus.
  • Shore and Waterside Improvement Goals Handout:


  1. Earthquake Report (Diana Bartram)
  • On January 18, there was an earthquake in Berkeley stemming from the Hayward fault.  The Port's emergency response team met at Pier 50 the next day at 7:00am and formed teams to assess for damages.
  • The earthquake presentation is available here:


  1. Waterfront Plan Working Group Update (Anne Cook)
  • Part 2 Policy Discussions Subcommittees was recently completed.
  • All updates/meeting agendas/minutes/presentation/supporting documents on the Plan can be found on the Port website:


  1. Old and New Business; General Discussion; Agenda Topics for Future Meetings (All)
  • MCAC co-chair Marina Secchitano is now the President of the Inlandboatmen’s Union (IBU). Bob Estrada is the new Regional Director.
  • The late Mayor Ed Lee, who passed away suddenly in December 2017, was remembered fondly by MCAC members as a big supporter of the Port who was personally involved in many of our key projects.


  1. Forward Calendar
  • Next MCAC meeting – Thursday, March 15, 2018, 11:30am-1:00pm – Pier 1