Port of Oakland survey: night gates best way to spread workload
Shippers and those moving cargo like second shift to take pressure off dayside
Oakland, Calif. – July 1, 2016: Weeknight shifts are the best way to spread the workload at the Port of Oakland. That’s the view of shippers and those who move their cargo, according to a Port survey released today. The good news: The Port’s Oakland International Container Terminal (OICT) is listening.
OICT, Oakland’s largest marine terminal, introduced Monday-through-Thursday night gates this week for harbor truckers. The second shift is giving drivers more opportunity to move containerized cargo outside hectic 8-to-5 hours. It’s also easing daytime crowding at terminal gates.
“The terminal has extended the workday to improve cargo flow,” said Port Executive Director Chris Lytle. “It’s what our customers and their motor carriers have needed for quite some time.”
The Port’s Efficiency Task Force, a group of 35 Port users, surveyed 1,271 Port customers last month. They found that:
- 78 percent of those responding wanted night gates – not Saturdays – to extend hours for cargo pick-up and delivery;
- 62 percent are already using night gates; and
- Users view nights as a way to beat the crowds on weekdays.
“It’s essential to get the user’s view of Port performance,” said Lanie Moules of Superior Foods, a Port customer and head of the Task Force workgroup on extended gate hours. “Without it, we risk making changes that aren’t helpful.”
The Port asked customers about a $30-per-container fee being charged to finance extended hours. Forty-seven percent of those responding said a fee of $30 or less was reasonable. Twenty-nine percent said they wanted no fee. Those supporting a fee said that in return, terminal transaction times should be no more than one hour.
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, the Port said. But dayside transaction times inside terminals still remain high, according to the Port.
That problem is expected to improve this month thanks to introduction of an appointment system for drivers. Also helpful, night operations now include import pick-ups which should lure more drivers to the second shift. 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 this fund expired, the Board approved an additional $200,000 subsidy to ensure extended gate operation continuity.
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 at www.portofoakland.com.
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