Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Oakland Port Plans Anti-Congestion Measures

By Mark Edward Nero

The Port of Oakland has announced three measures that it is implementing to help speed up the flow of cargo traffic. The measures were announced last week by port Executive Director Chris Lytle at the Agriculture Transportation Coalition annual conference in San Francisco.

One measure, a plan to co-mingle truck chassis in a common pool, could be operational by mid-September as part of an effort to assure a continuous supply of the truck trailers. If in place by then, it would come just in time for the annual cargo spike that precedes holiday retail sales.

Additionally, the port is sending a plan to the Federal Maritime Commission this week to begin weekly Saturday operations in Oakland. FMC review is expected to take 45 days, and the port says it expects to begin operations shortly after the Commission completes its work.

If implemented, Saturday operations would spread cargo movement over six days and could ease weekday peak-period demand.

Also, the port says, it is receiving commercial bids this week to open an off-dock container facility in California’s Central Valley.

The yard would be located near most of the state’s largest growers and would enable agricultural exporters to pick up empty containers and chassis without driving all the way to Oakland. The round-trip drive for truckers can be up to 200 miles and take more than three hours. The port says the depot’s expected to open by mid-September.

Also, the port plans to open a new agricultural storage and transloading depot in Oakland within 18 months, Lytle said, which would enable exporters to send bulk grain shipments via rail to the port where they can be transferred to containers for overseas delivery.