Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Oakland Port Performance Guidelines Proposed

By Mark Edward Nero

A Port of Oakland efficiency task force made up of cargo owners, terminal operators and labor representatives is calling for a 90-minute maximum wait time for harbor drivers.

“If we’re going to be the best port on the West Coast of the US, let’s shoot for this target,” Scott Taylor, head of the task force’s metrics subcommittee and CEO of GSC Logistics, one of the largest trucking firms at the Port of Oakland, said in a Jan. 28 statement. “There’s a lot of work to do, but we can get there.”

The task force was assembled by the port in 2015 to improve cargo-handling performance. Committee members, all of whom are port stakeholders, said measurement standards are needed to improve cargo-handling speed and efficiency.

Trucker wait times was one of several measurement benchmarks proposed by the task force. Among others: a call for at least 80 percent of the port’s chassis fleet to be available at all times. The lack of chassis, trailers that transport containers over the road, contributes to driver delays.

Timely cargo flow has emerged as a concern for importers and exporters as Oakland container volume grows. Some say drivers wait more than two hours at marine terminals to pick up loads.
The benchmark proposed by the task force states that drivers should wait no more than 45 minutes to complete single transactions -- such as picking up imports or delivering exports – and no more than 90 minutes for dual transactions.

The efficiency task force said it’s also exploring a mandatory appointment system for the port’s marine terminals. The system would require truck drivers to schedule a time to pick up or drop off containers. The goal: to shorten queues that often form outside terminal gates.

The port says it will review the proposals in time for the next task force meeting in March.