Maritime Commerce Advisory Committee - November 17, 2016 - Minutes

Meeting Date: 
November 17, 2016 - 11:30am
Pier 1
San Francisco, CA 94111
Shannon Alford Port of San Francisco
Shawn Bennett Baydelta
Joe Bugard Red & White Fleet
Bill Butler Lind Marine
Chris Christensen Longshoremen Memorial Association
Peter Dailey National Park Service
David Gavrich SF Bay Railroad
Michael Gerbracht BAE Systems
Aaron Golbus Port of San Francisco
Bobby Guillory ILWU 10
Carolyn Horgan Blue & Gold Fleet
Kari Kilstrom Port of San Francisco
Cathryn Lucido Metro Ports
Denise Lum Port of San Francisco
Jim Maloney Port of San Francisco
Kent McGrath Blue & Gold Fleet
Pat Murphy Blue & Gold Fleet
Mike Nerney Port of San Francisco
Alexandra Post OES Ships & Ports
Joe Reilly Port of San Francisco
Gerry Roybal Port of San Francisco
Veronica Sanchez Master, Mates, & Pilots
Marina Secchitano Inlandboatmen's Union
Dave Thomas San Francisco Water Taxi
Tom Walker Maritime CAC
Phil Williamson Port of San Francisco
Joe Wyman Hornblower


1.   Welcome

  • Self-introductions by all present.


2.   Maritime Update - Peter Dailey

  • Elaine Forbes was appointed Executive Director of the Port of San Francisco on October 12, 2016, after having served as Interim Executive Director for eight months, following the resignation of Monique Moyer.
  • Former marketing manager Jim Maloney is officially back at the Port as a maritime consultant.  Jim will be working on special projects, primarily freight rail and intermodal issues.
  • The Port entered into a new agreement with the Pasha Group at Pier 80 earlier this year. There have been two shipments of Tesla exports, with a third ship due next Tuesday, November 22, 2016. This totals approximately 4,200 Teslas being exported.  The Port of San Francisco is the closest port to the auto manufacturing facility in Fremont. The Port is hopeful that Pasha signs an agreement with Tesla to become their primary export facility for automobiles. Pasha is also working with City Build at the Mayor's Office to create auto processing jobs for San Francisco residents, particularly those in District 10, where Pier 80 is situated.
  • Marketing Manager Brendan O'Meara and Acting Chief Wharfinger Aaron Golbus, accompanied by Chris Christensen of the ILWU, attended the Breakbulk Americas conference in Houston in September 2016. Chris, who had attended the conference previously, introduced Brendan and Aaron to potential breakbulk customers for Pier 80 and Pier 96.     
  • Peter Dailey and Michael Nerney traveled to Seattle November 1-2, 2016, to visit Holland America Group (Princess Cruises), the Port’s largest cruise client. Stefano Borzone and Rofia Larsson of Metro Cruises joined Peter and Mike and Princess executives for an in-depth review of San Francisco port operations. Princess has a series of metrics in which they measure the performance of their homeport cruise terminals worldwide. Peter reported that Pier 27 is earning 90-95% performance ratings, solidly in the Top Ten, up from 80-85% two years ago when the terminal first opened.
  • The cruise industry continues to see double-digit growth. US West Coast ports should get ready to handle bigger ships in the capacity of 4,000+ passengers in the near future. Currently, ships calling San Francisco carry up to 3,000 passengers, not including crewmembers.  Peter thanked Cathryn Lucido, terminal manager at Pier 27, for Metro’s hard and effective work in achieving such high performance ratings.     
  • Carolyn Horgan, President of Blue & Gold Fleet, is retiring after 40 years of service in the San Francisco maritime industry. Pat Murphy, currently Director of Operations, is her replacement and plans to regularly attend MCAC meetings to represent Blue & Gold.
  • Crab season has begun and the boats are out. There was no crab season last year due to toxins (domoic acid) found in the water.


3.   Report on Waterfront Plan Working Group - Kari Kilstrom

  • Part 2 of the Waterfront Plan Update, “Policy Discussions,” focuses on Land Use, Transportation, and Resilience.
  • All updates on the Waterfront Plan can be found on the Port's website:




4.   Discussion of Maritime Berthing and Public Access - WP Maritime Advisory Team

(Prelude to Waterfront Plan Land Use Committee meeting on Dec. 14, 2016)

  • A draft map of "Maritime Berthing and Public Access" and a draft summary table of "Maritime Berthing - Intensity of Use Varies" was distributed for this topic. The discussion included, but was not limited to, current maritime berths, tenant maritime berths, existing public access, piers for potential berthing and/or public access, and secured berths and aprons.  The committee's comments and feedback were requested to help shape the discussion for the next Waterfront Plan update meeting on December 14, 2016, regarding transportation. The draft map and summary table will be finalized and posted to the Port's website at a later date.


5.   Old and New Business, General Discussion, Agenda topics for future meetings (All)

  • David Beaupre of Planning and Development will be invited to the next MCAC meeting (1/19/2017) to discuss rail issues (freight rail, passenger rail, etc.).
  • Jim Maloney participated on a technical working group for high speed rail. Other participants included the Mayor's Office, SF City departments, and other regional agencies affected by or involved with high speed rail. The group sent a letter to comment on the high speed rail Environmental Impact Report process. They also sent a comment letter to Cal-Train regarding the electrification process, height clearances, operating hours, and South San Francisco cargo staging yard.  
  • Union Pacific (UP) maintains the right to operate freight and any new passenger service and may be willing to invest on rail infrastructure in the future.
  • The Port is supportive of Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) strategic plan to enhance the water transportation in the SF Bay Area ( and water taxi opportunities for operators at new non-Port sites.
  • David Gavrich reported on a short-term opportunity for transporting 200,000 tons of contaminated soil via rail due to the Warriors arena project (equal to 2,000 rail cars which is 40 unit trains) during the months of February-June 2017. However, new tracks would be required to handle these trains. San Francisco Bay Rail (SFBR) is willing to fund this infrastructure, which could potentially be built in a 45-day timeframe, but their lease expires in two years. SFBR would like to extend their lease for another 10 years given this investment.
  • David Gavrich requested a letter from MCAC to the Port Commission in support of freight rail. The committee voted unanimously in favor of this request. David will prepare a draft letter for review by MCAC and distribution to Port Commission prior to next PC meeting (12/13/2016).
  • The San Francisco Planning Department is proposing to demolish part of Interstate 280 at 16th Street to create rail access into Mission Bay neighborhood. It was requested that this topic be presented to MCAC at a future meeting.
  • The Embarcadero Enhancement project is considering closure of a northbound and southbound lane on The Embarcadero to turn it into a bike lane with the expectation that it will improve safety for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers. The general reaction by MCAC was negative due to reduction of traffic lanes for motor vehicles, which would have huge impact on Pier 27 cruise terminal, PIER 39, Fisherman’s Wharf, etc.


6.   Forward Calendar:

  • Next MCAC meeting - Thursday, January 19, 2017, 11:30am - 1:00pm, Pier 1, Bayside Rooms.