Thursday, August 22, 2013

Truckers Shut Down Oakland Port Terminals

An estimated 100-plus drayage truck drivers staged a several-hour protest at the Port of Oakland on Aug. 19, resulting in terminal closures and backlogs.

The truckers, who are non-unionized, said they staged the one-day action to show their displeasure with their treatment by the port when picking up and dropping off containers.

The drivers managed to shut down five berths during the day and began blocking other terminals before police were able to restore access in the afternoon.

The protest was against the delays the truckers say they sometimes experience during the drop-off and pickup process. Some drivers say they have spent hours in line at times, which winds up costing them money, since they’re paid by the load. The truckers have also said they’re concerned about the costs associated with retrofitting or obtaining new trucks to comply with port emissions requirements.

Long wait times have been at problem at the Port of Oakland for years; several shipping customers also have complained about the backlogs, particularly at the SSA terminal. The port’s executive director, Chris Lytle, eventually met with truckers Aug. 19 to discuss their concerns. The truckers have said that the protests are not planned to be on ongoing occurrence.