Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Oakland Port Testing Night, Weekend Hours

By Mark Edward Nero

Despite a plan by the Port of Oakland to open all gates for night and Saturday hours not yet being approved by the Federal Maritime Commission, one port terminal has already moved forward with a trial version of the program at one of its terminals.

Oakland International Container Terminal, the port’s largest facility, said it is testing increased hours of operations for specific transactions. So far, extended gate transactions have included empty container returns and pick-ups and loaded container export drop-offs.

Specialized import pick-ups known as ‘one stop free-flow delivery’ have also been part of the trial program.

The trial basis program, an experiment to accelerate containerized trade flow, precedes a port-wide plan for Saturday operations that was announced last August and that the port expects to put in place in the first quarter of 2016.

“This is a service for all customers and drayage companies that can utilize the transactions,” Oakland International Container Terminal General Manager Jim Rice said. “We know this may not fit everyone’s business needs, but it has a positive impact on the overall flow of transactions during the day. We will continue to operate night and weekend gates if the demand is there.”

Under the off-hours program – which began the first week of November – drivers receive weekly broadcasts from the terminal advising them of the dates and times for the extended gates. Transaction types may vary depending on the demand.

The Port of Oakland says it has among the highest concentrations of truck transactions-per-gate at any West Coast port, including those in Los Angeles and Long Beach.

The marine terminals are working on a collaborative plan to open permanent Saturday gates for all transactions in 2016. Under the program, which has been dubbed “OakPass” and is modeled after the PierPass program at the Los Angeles-Long Beach ports complex, Oakland terminal operators would charge container fees during peak hours.

The plan’s currently under review by the Federal Maritime Commission.