Port of Oakland takes step to speed up cargo flow

Press Release

For Immediate Release
June 23, 2015

Port of Oakland takes step to speed up cargo flow

Testing Bluetooth sensors that can measure wait-times at terminal gates


Oakland, CA – June 23, 2015: Technology familiar to rush-hour motorists may soon help accelerate containerized cargo flow through the Port of Oakland. The Port said today it’s testing sensors that measure how long harbor truckers wait to enter its marine terminals.

Armed with wait-times, drivers could avoid peak periods and shippers could collect cargo when terminals aren’t crowded. If the test proves successful, the technology may be deployed throughout the Port.

“Our customers want to get in and out of the Port with their cargo quickly,” said Maritime Director John Driscoll. “We think this technology can provide an important component of wait-time metrics to our Port stakeholders.”

The Port said it’s installing Bluetooth sensors this week along thoroughfares in the Outer Harbor area of the Port. The readers will detect anonymous signals emitted from phones or other mobile devices in truck cabs. They’ll measure time between the first and last of each signal to calculate wait times into terminal yards.

It’s the same technology used along major freeways to calculate rush-hour commute times. On roads, overhead signboards tell motorists how long it takes to travel from, say, downtown Oakland to San Francisco. At the Port, harbor truckers and cargo owners will get that information on cellphones or computers.

“This is proven technology for determining travel times and a cost effective approach for determining port drayage truck wait times,” said Taso Zografos of Reston, VA-based Leidos Inc., the firm conducting the test. “If the test is successful, then it would be applicable to implement portwide.”

The Port said the technology will include cybersecurity measures such as network security, access control, and audit and accountability to protect critical infrastructure.

The Port added it may eventually use Bluetooth sensors for turn-time measurement within its terminals. Turn-times refer to the amount of time it takes a driver to conduct transactions once inside terminal gates. Gate waits and turn times are critical metrics for truckers and cargo owners eager to avoid delays at ports.

The Port said its Bluetooth pilot program will last several months. The pilot project is one of several steps the Port is planning to accelerate cargo movement. Others include regular Saturday gate hours, a common chassis pool and off-site locations for container pick-up. The programs are a response to growing cargo volumes testing the efficiency of all major West Coast ports.

About the Port of Oakland
The Port of Oakland oversees the Oakland seaport, Oakland International Airport, and 20 miles of waterfront. Together with its business partners, the Port supports more than 73,000 jobs in the region and nearly 827,000 jobs across the United States. Connect with the Port of Oakland and Oakland International Airport through Facebook, or with the Port on Twitter, YouTube, and atwww.portofoakland.com.

Media Contact:

Robert Bernardo
Communications Manager
Port of Oakland
(510) 627-1401
Click here to contact Robert Bernardo

Marilyn Sandifur,
Port Spokesperson
Port of Oakland
(510) 627-1193
Click here to contact Marilyn Sandifur

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