Port Of Oakland Goal: Get Cargo In And Out Faster
April 14, 2015
Saturday Gates, Chassis Pool, Wait-Time Metrics Under Study
Oakland, CA - April 14, 2015: Port of Oakland officials said today they’re developing proposals to accelerate containerized trade flow through their five marine terminals. The goal: faster delivery of cargo and less waiting for harbor truckers who haul it.
The Port said it’s developing plans on four fronts that include:
- Saturday operations every week to alleviate weekday crowding inside terminals;
- Locations outside terminals where cargo could be dropped off or picked up after hours;
- Electronic monitoring to measure wait-times at terminal gates;
- A “gray” chassis fleet which permits harbor truckers to use any chassis at any terminal to haul cargo over the road.
All four plans could be implemented, or at least pilot-tested, within two months, the Port said. If successful, they could address a major desire of importer importers and exporters: faster cargo movement.
“Our customers don’t want to wait for their cargo when it comes off the ship,” said Port of Oakland Executive Director Chris Lytle. “We hear them and we understand their urgency, so we’re acting on it.”
The Port said a cargo glut in recent weeks has slowed deliveries to some importers. That’s the result of vessels reaching Oakland off-schedule and in bunches after delays at congested Southern California ports. Harbor truckers report that in some instances, they’ve waited two hours or more to pick up containers.
The Port’s cargo acceleration program is intended to address slowdowns and long waits. Regular Saturday gates would spread cargo pickup and delivery over an extra day each week, relieving stress on terminal operations. Offsite locations would enable truckers to transact business without entering terminals. Monitoring would provide drivers with up-to-the-minute wait times so they could avoid peak periods of activity. The gray chassis pool should minimize periodic shortages of chassis that delay cargo delivery.
The Port said cargo acceleration is the latest in a series of steps taken to improve customer service. Already this month, the Port reported that it has cleared out a backlog of ships awaiting berths. It also announced that vessel schedules are normalizing after two months of disruptions caused by a waterfront labor dispute. Faster cargo movement is viewed as the last big hurdle in correcting marine terminal delays.
About the Port of Oakland:
The Port of Oakland oversees the Oakland seaport, Oakland International Airport, and 20 miles of waterfront. Together with its business partners, the Port supports more than 73,000 jobs in the region and nearly 827,000 jobs across the United States. Connect with the Port of Oakland and Oakland International Airport through Facebook, or with the Port on Twitter, YouTube, and at www.portofoakland.com.