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Task force meets to help Port of Oakland become more efficient

Press Releases, Seaport
August 7th, 2015

Press Release

For Immediate Release
August 7, 2015

Task force meets to help Port of Oakland become more efficient

Labor, truckers, cargo owners join effort to get cargo moving quickly

 

Oakland, CA - August 7, 2015: Port of Oakland officials have a plan to move cargo more efficiently at their global trade gateway. This week they got expert guidance in implementing the plan. A 30-member task force met here to prioritize efficiency measures and get them launched.

Here's what the group of shipping lines, marine terminal operators, cargo owners, harbor truckers and dockworkers want:

  • An end to vessel backlogs forcing some ships to temporarily anchor in San Francisco Bay instead of berthing;
  • Enough dockworkers, marine clerks and equipment to efficiently manage high volumes of containerized cargo;
  • Extended hours and an appointment system to help harbor truckers get cargo in and out of Oakland quickly.

The efficiency measures are intended to accelerate cargo movement in Oakland. Task force members said they're needed because Port operations have been inhibited for much of 2015.

"You're my port," one cargo owner told Oakland officials. "I want it to work efficiently."

The Port said it's ready to act on the efficiency priorities. "What we needed was the collaborative ideas of our stakeholders," said Executive Director Chris Lytle. "Now we've got them and we're eager to get going."

Port officials told the task force that a two-month old labor shortage is already being addressed in Oakland. About 150 dockworkers and 30 marine clerks are joining the workforce over the next two months.

The Port said it is making significant progress in clearing out a backlog of delayed ships that developed during the labor shortage. Only five vessels were reported at anchor or outside the Golden Gate today awaiting berths. That was down from a high of 13 vessels a week ago.

Next on the Port's list of initiatives: extended terminal hours. According to the Port, a proposal for permanent Saturday operations is under review with the Federal Maritime Commission. The plan would lengthen the work-week to six days in Oakland, easing congestion during peak weekday periods.

The Port said it's also finalizing plans with equipment providers to ensure any chassis can be used by any trucker. By fall, the truck trailers that haul containers over the road will be made available from a common pool. That should make more equipment available to more drivers. The benefit: containers won't be stranded while motor carriers await chassis.

The Port said it's evaluating the benefits of a California Central Valley equipment depot and is talking to potential operators. The Valley's growers are among the biggest exporters at the Port of Oakland. A depot close to home would enable them to pick up empty containers without driving hours into Oakland.

Task force members said they'd like to meet regularly - monthly or quarterly - to ensure Oakland efficiency measures move ahead.

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.

Media Contact:

Robert Bernardo
Communications Manager
Port of Oakland
(510) 627-1401
rbernardo@portoakland.com

Marilyn Sandifur,
Port Spokesperson
Port of Oakland
(510) 627-1193
msandifur@portoakland.com