By Mark Edward Nero
A third marine terminal operator at the Port of Oakland now wants truckers to make appointments before picking up cargo. On Dec. 1, Wilmington, California-based TraPac said it is requiring appointments for all import container pick-ups.
The appointment system, which begins December 6, is expected to reduce waiting times by more evenly distributing truck arrivals throughout the day, according to TraPac.
TraPac is now the third of four terminals at Oakland to require appointments, with the others being Everport and Oakland International Container Terminal. Together they handle more than 90 percent of the containerized cargo moving through the port.
“We commend TraPac for taking this step,” Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll said in a statement. “It’s not easy introducing new operating procedures, but customers and harbor truckers benefit whenever we can speed up container throughput.”
Oakland is one of only a handful of ports nationwide with an appointment system.
TraPac said truck dispatchers can now log on to the nationwide port information system eModal to make appointments for Dec 6 and beyond. The requirement for appointments applies only to loaded import containers, for now.
TraPac said truck drivers won’t need reservations for export deliveries, or to pick-up or return empty containers, and that it would communicate “well in advance” when it plans to expand appointments to all transactions.
Appointments are the second measure implemented at TraPac this fall intended to improve terminal performance. In October, the terminal began opening selective night gates to ease daytime crowding. That same month, port commissioners approved a new lease enabling TraPac to double its Oakland footprint next year.