Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Oakland Survey: Night Gates Desirable

By Mark Edward Nero

A majority of shippers and those who move their cargo at the Port of Oakland believe that weeknight shifts are the best way to spread the workload, according to results of a new survey released July 1.
The port’s Efficiency Task Force, made up of a group of 35 port users, surveyed 1,271 port customers in June. They found that:
  • Seventy-eight percent of those responding wanted night gates – not Saturdays – to extend hours for cargo pick-up and delivery;
  • Sixty-two percent are already using night gates, and;
  • Users view nights as a way to beat the crowds on weekdays.

Oakland began experimenting with extended hours three months ago in response to concerns about crowding and cargo delays. By going to a second shift, long lines of trucks waiting at daytime gates have dwindled, but dayside transaction times inside terminals still remain high, according to the port.
That problem is expected to improve this month thanks to the introduction of an appointment system for drivers. Also, night operations now include import pick-ups, which could lure more drivers to the second shift. Surveyed customers told the port that import pick-ups will be essential to the success of a second shift.
The port financed the start-up of night gates with a $1.5 million subsidy fund. When the fund expired, the port approved a new $1.7 million subsidy, including a $200,000 increase to ensure extended gate operation continuity.
In addition to gate hours, the port also surveyed customers about a $30-per-container fee being charged to finance the extended hours. Forty-seven percent of those responding said a fee of $30 or less was reasonable, while 29 percent said they wanted no fee.
Those supporting a fee said that in return, terminal transaction times should be no more than one hour.

Tags: Port of Oakland, Efficiency Task Force, Oakland International Container Terminal