While considerable attention has been paid to the remarkable performance of our San Francisco Giants in recent times, additional excitement is brought to town by a sacred tradition.

Until October 10, we are celebrating Fleet Week San Francisco, which has been recognized by the United States Department of Defense as the model for Fleet Weeks across the country. It’s the 39th anniversary of the modern version of the event, but the origins are much older.

San Francisco and Fleet Week share a long and rich history that began in 1908 with the arrival of President Theodore Roosevelt’s “Great White Fleet” in the Bay on its round-the-world trip. Comprised of 16 battleships from the Atlantic Fleet and various smaller ships, this legendary flotilla featured white painted hulls except for the golden scrolls on their prows. The 14-month trip from Hampton Roads, Va. To San Francisco was a showcase of US maritime power with ships piloted by 14,000 sailors. The fleet has sailed 43,000 miles and has stopped at 20 ports on six continents.

Andre Coleman was the port’s maritime director throughout the pandemic. In his current role, he is responsible for the strategic oversight and implementation of the port’s maritime portfolio, including assets, services, operations, and workforce and customer relations for the 71 ⁄2 miles from the San Francisco waterfront.

In this exclusive interview, he shares his vision for cargo operations and the supply chain benefits the port hopes to improve.

Supply Chain Management Review: What do you think are the main challenges of your new job?

Andre Coleman: Revitalization of the shipyard. With the increase in the size of cruise ships and cargo ships coupled with the competitive demands of the ship repair industry, it has been difficult to attract a viable long term shipyard operator. However, the port has entered into several short-term leases for parts of the site as we continue to explore options to secure a new term operator.

SCMR: Please explain how the free zone (foreign trade zone) allows bay area shippers?

Coleman: The free zone status allows shippers in the Bay Area to avoid paying tariffs or duties on products imported and then exported without ever participating in the domestic market. Shippers can also benefit from duty deferral or reduced duty on the basis of several products produced in a single final product whose overall duty is lower than that of each of the parts used. All of these benefits encourage shippers and manufacturers to continue the movement of goods and national operations, which maintains local jobs.

SCMR: How well does San Francisco collaborate with other ports in the bay?

Coleman: The Port of San Francisco regularly collaborates with other ports in the bay. The maritime division’s collaborations include the Port Security Committee, the San Francisco Bay Area Maritime Stock Exchange, and various port security working groups. In addition, the Port of San Francisco actively contributes to defending the best interests of the maritime community through the California Association of Port Authorities (CAPA), which represents the eleven commercial ports of California.

SCMR: How is the port coping with rising sea levels and other consequences of climate change?

Coleman: The Port of San Francisco manages 7.5 miles of bay shoreline that’s home to some of the area’s most popular open spaces and attractions, a National Historic District, hundreds of small businesses, nearby accommodations, and restaurants. maritime and industrial uses. The port’s jurisdiction includes transportation networks such as BART and Muni, essential public services including potable water and sewage, and key emergency response facilities. The efforts of the Port’s Waterfront Resilience Program ensure that the waterfront and its important regional and urban assets are resilient in the face of risks such as earthquakes, floods, sea level rise due to climate change, coastal erosion and others.

SCMR: Can you deepen the framework of the Waterfront Resilience Program?

Coleman: The port has developed a waterfront resilience framework to address immediate risks, including earthquakes and floods, as well as longer-term risks such as sea level rise. This adaptive planning framework enables the port to act now to address risks to human safety and emergency response, while planning for medium and long-term risks. It also allows the port to be responsive to community priorities, scientific changes, and funding and partnership opportunities.

SCMR: Will the port become an export gateway for automobiles?

Coleman: Pier 80 became an auto import / export facility in 2016. And from year one to year three, the port has seen significant growth in operations serving over 140,000 units. In the last fiscal year, the port handled just under 80,000 units and we expect to exceed that number in the new fiscal year. The largest and most consistent business has been with the local electric vehicle manufacturer which has exported over 120,000 units from Pier 80 with unloading ports in Asia and Europe.

About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Editor-in-Chief Mr. Burnson is a widely published writer and editor specializing in international trade, global logistics and supply chain management. He is based in San Francisco, where he provides a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. He can be contacted at his office in the city center: [email protected]

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