Port of Redwood City RePort to the Community 2015

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Port of Redwood City Annual RePort to the Community

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ralph garcia

Ralph Garcia

Dear Community Member,

I am delighted to present our annual RePort to the Community.

The theme of this year’s report is “Mission Accomplished.”  I am keeping this welcome brief so you can get right to it.  What I am pleased about is that if someone ask the question, “Is the Port better off and a better place today than it was yesterday?” the answer is an overwhelming YES.

Let me remind readers that the Port’s business is comprised of three major segments:

  • Maritime – activities related to the import and export of waterborne cargoes.
  • Recreational Boating – activities related to the operation of a public marina, boat launch facility and dry boat storage facility.
  • Commercial – activities related to the leasing of land and buildings not directly associated with Maritime activities.

The Port was established under the City of Redwood City’s Charter as a department of the City and is managed by the Board of Port Commissioners, whose five members are appointed by the City Council.

The Port is one of California’s most diversified small ports and operates on its own revenues.

Thank you for reading.


Ralph Garcia, Chair
Port of Redwood City Board of Commissioners

Highlighting Our Year

Recapping Port’s Year

Public Waterfront Access & Recreation

The Recycling Port

PortFest Oct. 3

Meet Port Commissioners

Meet Port Staff

Recapping the Port’s Year

Last year’s RePort to the Community highlighted the Port’s new $17 million modernized wharf, the first “new” wharf in the San Francisco Bay Area that includes operational, seismic, and sea level impact design requirements for the wharf and adjacent shoreline. The modernized wharf replaced a 60-year old World War II era wharf with a new bulk handling concrete wharf that was designed to meet the present demands for operational and seismic conditions as well as climate change issues.

The wharf is being used to dock dry bulk ships of a size known as “Panamax,” the la

Port ship with tug

Deeper depths helps vessels

rgest ships currently able to pass through the Panama Canal. From the deck of the new wharf, mobile cranes and large hoppers are able to load/unload ships.

With a new wharf accommodating larger ships, it stands to reason that the next challenge for the Port was to secure a deeper navigation channel. Completion of the $12.8 million maintenance dredging at the Port’s Redwood Creek channel by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) contractors is expected to be finished this winter, putting Port’s navigation at its authorized depth of 30-feet for the first time since 2009.

The depth is crucial for Port channel users. Port officials have been working with the USACE to perform this dredging to increase allowable draft for ships. When the first phase started, the safe navigation depth of 22 feet was causing extra costs and logistics problems for the cargo shippers at the port. Increasing the depth of the channel by six feet meant that the cargo carrying capacity of the ships calling at the port increased by 10,000 to 12,000 tons per ship.

Thanks to the support of the port’s Congressional delegation, including Congresswoman Jackie Speier and U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, the City of Redwood City, and Port businesses, the funding for this project was secured through Congress.

Now the Port has its sights on further channel improvements.

New modern wharf

In July the Army Corps of Engineers unveiled a $73 million plan to deepen the Redwood City Harbor and San Bruno Shoal channels – the navigation corridors essential for commerce and the Port of Redwood City – accompanied with a Draft Feasibility Study and Environment Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report. The recommended plan consists of deepening the Redwood City Harbor (known as Redwood Creek until 1949) and San Bruno Shoal Channels from -30 feet MLLW to -32 feet MLLW and slightly realigning the Redwood City Harbor channel to avoid sensitive environmental features of Bair and Greco Islands.

“The existing navigation project channels at Redwood City Harbor and San Bruno Shoal do not allow for the efficient operation of the vessel fleet that calls on the Port,” according to the report. “Seventy percent of vessels calling on the Port have design drafts that are greater than the authorized channel depth of -30 feet MLLW. Having to wait for favorable tide is inefficient, requiring the practices of light loading or lightering to larger vessels and waiting for favorable tide conditions in order to access the Port.”

The plan and an eventual “final” EIR/EIS will be coming up over the next several months. Learn much more by clicking this link:



After three years of annual double digit growth in Port of Redwood City tonnage from 2012-2014, the fiscal year 2015 Port tonnage declined slightly by 3.8 percent. However, the total tonnage for the year ending June 30, 2015 was the fourth highest in Port history at 1,715,633 metric tons. This reflects the MSI loading
continuing strong demand for construction materials in Silicon Valley and the South Bay, the high quality sand and aggregates shipped to the Port from British Columbia. Approximate percentage breakdowns by commodities: imported sand 47%, imported aggregates 31%, exported scrap metal 14%; imported bauxite 2%; imported gypsum 3%; domestic sand 1%, and imported ground slag 1%. To read more:http://www.redwoodcityport.com/p7iq/html/PR_AnnualTonnage072015.pdf


The Port’s budget for fiscal year 2015-2016 projects operating revenues at $6,897,000 and operating expenses at $4.5 million. The budget projects a $413,845 subvention to the City of Redwood City from the Port’s net income, which is projected at $1,743,886 after subvention and non-operating expenses. The budget projects tonnage of 1.8 million metric tons of cargo, a relatively small increase over the prior year compared to three years of double digit increases during the economic recovery.


Improvements to the Port’s public access and landscape areas between Seaport Conference Center and

Public Access Improvements 3

Improvements to Port’s public access

the Fishing Pier were completed. These included:

  • Reconstruction of the sidewalks, viewing areas, and parking to improve connectivity and views of the waterfront.
  • Reconstruction of the wooden boardwalk adjacent to the shoreline overlooking the guest dock with a concrete sidewalk and viewing area with an American Disabilities act (ADA)-compliant seating bench.
  • New landscaping which reduces water consumption, discourages flocks of Canadian geese, and adds new palm trees.
  • Installation of bicycle racks, picnic tables, and informative signage.


The Port is saving money by refinancing bonds issued in 1999 to remediate hazardous waste left in petroleum storage tanks on Port property by a prior tenant. It is essentially like homeowners who refinance their house when interest rates drop. By refinancing the current outstanding $7.75 million balance, the Port will save an estimated $655,222 over the bonds’ remaining 15 year life. This savings is 8.45 percent of the amount of refunding bonds sold, nearly triple the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) recommended “best practices” of three percent minimum savings.


The Port received a $328,750 grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for an inter-agency operations center (IOC) and maritime security training and exercise support. The grant requires the Port to contribute 25 percent toward the project– $109,583 – for a total cost of $438,333. The project is expected to begin this fall.

The IOC will be developed by refurbishing available office space within the Port’s administration building. The completed project would include such items like an upgraded Port computer network, video walls, IOC laptops, inter-operable radios and enhanced telephone system. The training and exercise grant will provide training support for U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Maritime Administration approved training to enhance maritime domain awareness for port staff, tenants, and first responders to protect Port infrastructure and personnel.


The San Mateo County History Museum unveiled two new murals depicting historic scenes at the Port of Redwood City as part of its “Ships of the World” exhibit that depicts the maritime history o f San Mateo County, including the Port, using historic model ships, paintings, maritime artifacts, videos, and murals. The new 12-minute video on the Port of Redwood City features pictures from the historic Port through activities at the Port today. Learn more at:


Parsons Ships of the World

Children Enjoy Museum Maritime Exhibits

Public Waterfront Access & Recreation

This is from the San Francisco Chronicle, which last year published an articled entitled Sunday Drive: Port of Redwood City.  http://www.sfgate.com/outdoors/sundaydrive/article/Sunday-Drive-Port-of-Redwood-City-5196945.php

Port boat launch ramp

Port of Redwood City Marina

The Port operates a modern 190-berth marina facility.  For berthing information, contact Spinnaker Sailing at 650-363-1390. The Sequoia Yacht Club (www.sequoiayc.org) has its nautical-themed clubhouse and deck overlooking the Marina. They offer a junior sailing program to teach young people sailing and navigation. Also located at the Marina is Spinnaker Sailing School

youth sailing classes

Youth sailing a the Port

(www.spinnakersailing.com), offering internationally certified sailing courses.

The Chronicle says this about the Port:

What you’ll see: The Port of Redwood City solves the access problems that plague many recreation sites along southern San Francisco Bay. There is more than a mile of shoreline access for walks and picnics. It has a boat ramp, a fishing pier, a deep-water channel so boats can venture out – regardless of tides – and there is plenty of parking. 

Waterfront Festivals and Public Events

 Public events and festivals during the Fiscal year 2014-2015 included visits by historic ships and sailing vessels. Tallships frequently visit the Port, offering public tours and special educational events for Redwood City schools. Each spring the Port is the location for the “Opening Day” of the boating season with a decorated boat parade.

Crew boat races,

Lady Washington visits Port

   Hawaiian Outrigger canoe races, sailing regattas, & PortFest are regularly held on the Port’s waterfront.  PortFest is held the first Saturday in October of each year. PortFest is scheduled for this Oct. 3.  Redwood City’s famous Fourth of July parade and celebration caps off with a spectacular fireworks show from the Port.

fireworks 2


  Meet Some Port Businesses

  • CEMEX is a global building materials company that has purchased two companies that provided similar services at the Port for more than 50 years. It is one of the leading cement manufacturers in the world, the world’s leading supplier of ready-mix concrete and one of the world’s largest suppliers of building material aggregates. CEMEX operates on approximately 17 acres of Port property under two land leases. CEMEX also leases a wharf on submerged land where the Port and CEMEX jointly developed a modern bulk cement ship unloader. CEMEX imported 1.5 million tons of construction aggregates in 2014, which over the last five years has been the fastest growing commodity by tonnage handled at the Port. The Port and CEMEX expect to enter into another long-term lease which will enable expanded use of the newly reconstructed Wharves No. 1 and 2 by CEMEX. This will enable CEMEX to more efficiently serve the growing construction market in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area. http://www.cemexusa.com/
  • Sims Metal Management is the world’s largest metals and electronics recycler. Sims has been a key Port tenant since 1975 (formerly Levin Metals Corp.) and is Northern California’s leading

Sims for annual report

Sims crushing operation now under cover

  • recycler of ferrous and other metals. From its operations on 13.2 acres of Port property, Sims recycles more than 300,000 vehicles per year and exports the shredded scrap metal primarily to Asia. Since its initial 1975 lease and subsequent renewals, Sims has spent more than $4 million on facility improvements. http://www.simsmm.com/
  • Univar USA (formerly Basic Chemical Solutions) operates a state-of-the-art chemical facility on an approximately four acre site at the Port that provides industrial chemicals throughout the Silicon Valley. Univar USA is the leading chemical distributor in the United States and in 2011, generated net sales of $9.7 billion. Univar’s lease was assigned when it acquired Basic Chemical Solution in 2011. In addition to land rent on the Univar facility, Univar pays the Port cargo fees for shipping of certain chemicals and railcar fees for use of the Port-owned rail spur track.http://www.univarusa.com/
  • International Materials, Inc. imports nearly 100,000 tons of bauxite from Australia to the Port for use in local cement kilns. Bauxite is an essential component in the production of cement. IMI ships products to more than 45 nations. These products include natural and synthetic gypsum, bauxite, iron ore and iron fines, cement, clinker, coal, pet-coke, bio-fuels, slag and salt. IMI leases a 4.2 acre site from the Port to store the materials after unloading from ships. The materials are imi logodelivered by truck to IMI’s customers, primarily the Lehigh Southwest cement plant in Cupertino. http://www.imius.com/
  • Clean Harbors Environmental Services, Inc. transships millions of gallons a year of recycled industrial fuel at the Port. Clean Harbors is the leading provider in environmental, energy and industrial services throughout North America. At the Port, Clean Harbors delivers recycled industrial fuel that is transferred into rail tank cars and shipped to customers across the United States. Its facility has two parallel rail tracks that are totally contained to prevent any contamination from spills. http://www.cleanharbors.com/
  •  Monolith Matrials Inc. (formerly Boxer Industries) is a new industrial business at the Port. They have recently built a new pilot plant to develop a new, environmentally beneficial process for the manufacturing of carbon black.  http://monolithmaterials.com/

 The Port of Redwood City is one of the

leading recycling ports in the nation.


ship at port at night

Twilight at the Port of Redwood City

Public Waterfront Event Set for Saturday, Oct. 3

 PortFest is Saturday, Oct. 3

Join Us this October 3

at Redwood City PortFest!

Saturday, October 3 is your opportunity to explore the Port of Redwood City during the sixth annual Redwood City PortFest, a free community festival to celebrate the working and recreational waterfront. PortFest is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

PortFest highlights:

  • Boat Rides & Harbor Tours with Marine Science Institute. These low-cost tours always sell out, so reservations are strongly recommended. Go to the PortFest website for the link for online reservations.
  • Local celebrity Chef Steve Cortez will be providing chowder & fish tacos for sale and a free fish cooking demonstration.
  • Live Music featuring two groups.
    • Live Wire from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. playing an eclectic mix of the best party music from the oldies through the latest hits.    http://www.lwband.com/
    • West Grand Boulevard from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., an Oakland band featuring classic Motown, R&B and soul. http://www.westgrandblvd.com/
  • Community bands also will be playing throughout the day.
  • Working Waterfront Trolley Tour–go behind the scenes for a guided half-hour tour of the Port’s industrial businesses.
  • Beer Garden and Tiki Bar presented by Sequoia Yacht Club.
  • Children’s and Teen’s Activities.
  • Food booths & food trucks

 For more activities, vendors, sponsors, and updates, visit www.rwcportfest.org

For more information about the Port of Redwood City, visit  www.redwoodcityport.com 

Meet Port Commissioners

 A five-member Port Commission is appointed by the Redwood City Council.  The Commission regularly meets on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month at 8 a.m. at the Port offices, 675 Seaport Blvd. All meetings are open to the public.  You can get agendas and minutes from the Port’s website.

Port Commissioners are:


  • Dick Claire:  a financial and accounting professor at Canada College in Redwood City. He also is a former Redwood City mayor. Serving since 2007.
  • Simms Duncan:  senior director of project finance with Hanwha Solar in San Francisco. Appointed to his first term in August 2014.
  • Richard “Dick” Dodge: owns an office supply business, T.H.E. Office City. Serving since 1980.
  • Ralph Garcia: owns a vacuum and sewing center in Redwood City. Serving since 2005.
  • Lorianna Kastrop: vice president and controller of The Kastrop Group, Inc. Architects in Redwood City. Serving since 2008.


dick dodge

Dick Dodge

lorianna kastrop

Lorianna Kastrop

ralph garcia

Ralph Garcia

Simms Duncan

Simms Duncan

dick claire

Richard Claire

Meet Port Staff

* Michael J. Giari, Executive Director

Michael J. Giari

Executive Director Mike Giari celebrated 20th year as ED this year.

 * Rita Artist, Executive Assistant/Clerk of the Board

*Rajesh C. Sewak , Director of Finance and Administration

* Donald K. Snaman, Manager of Operations

* Chris Fajkos, Manager of Environmental, Security, & Safety

* Linda Hawkins, Accountant

* Margaret Astesano, Executive Assistant/Administration

* Santiago Talamantes, Port Maintenance

* Jorge Ganoza, Port Maintenance


Port of Redwood City  |  675 Seaport Blvd  |  Redwood City, CA 94063

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