LONG BEACH, California — There was much to celebrate at the ITS 35th Anniversary gala event held on October 16, 2006 at the Renaissance Long Beach Hotel in Long Beach, California.
Not only was ITS celebrating 35 successful years of business but also commemorating 20-years of on-dock DST operations and the signing of the first full 20-year “Green” lease with the Port of Long Beach.
On hand for this grand celebration were government officials, customers, employees and supporters from around the United States as well as “K” Line’s office in Tokyo.
Mr. Hiroyuki Maekawa, President and CEO of “K” Line spoke of the importance of strengthening ITS’ infrastructure as “K” Line introduces larger and larger vessels into their West Coast services. Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster congratulated ITS on being a valuable, long-term business and community member and he is looking forward to many successful and “environmentally green” years with ITS. Mr. Dick Steinke, Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach and Mr. Jim Hankla, President of the Board of Long Beach Harbor Commissioners, presented ITS with a beautiful plaque commemorating the signing of the new 20-year Green Lease along with an exquisite vase as an anniversary gift.
Mr. Sho Ishitobi, President of ITS, walked the visitors through the pages of the Company’s history and he began the journey with the groundbreaking phase by Mr. Abe, the first president of ITS. He continued with the next 18-years of growth under Captain Shinta Asami, second president of ITS, and moved through the 1990s under the direction of Mr. Masaaki Fumoto, third president of ITS. Mr. Ishitobi concluded with ITS, “K” Line, and the Port of Long Beach signing the historic 20-year “Green” Lease positioning ITS for the future.
ITS has always been a pioneer in the Maritime Industry along with a challenging spirit that invested in new ventures and introduced many “first” concepts that are now common features of a modern container terminal. In 1972, ITS introduced transtainers as a key component of a terminal’s fleet of equipment. Another major first was bringing on-dock double stack train (DST) operations to Southern California. That step into the future 20 years ago in 1986 is now considered one of the most significant terminal operations to handle ongoing growth and environmental issues.
The new 20-year “Green” Lease includes several environmental covenants that are listed below:
- The use of cleaner quality fuel by vessels calling at ITS
- The use of clean diesel fuel or implementation of other clean technologies for terminal cargo handling equipment
- The acceleration of replacement of ITS’ terminal equipment with cleaner burning new equipment
Through this agreement, ITS, “K” Line and the Port of Long Beach have committed to significantly reduce emissions of NOx, SOx, and Particulate Matter from both ship and terminal equipment.
The event was made complete with a traditional Sake Ceremony. Dressed in their Happi Jackets and using hammers, Messrs. Steinke, Hankla, Maekawa, and Ishitobi broke the sake barrel and guests raised their Masu cups filled with Sake in a final toast to ITS’ commitment to excellent customer service and their pledge to protect the environment.