Port of Oakland adds gate time to address container backlog

By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer | Monday, December 29, 2014

Ships, longshore workers and truck drivers spent much of the holiday season waiting to be able to unload a growing backlog of imported container goods at the Port of Oakland.

To address the problem, Oakland port leaders have added gate times and will send messages to frequent drayage haulers to convey the status of goods movement.

Port officials have said the recent number of ships waiting in the bay is more than Oakland has seen in the last 10 years.

According to a Port of Oakland news release, the port opened an additional Sunday container gate at one of the port’s largest marine terminals to handle additional cargo imports. The port also added an operational status update sent daily to hundreds of harbor truckers, ocean carriers and shippers to improve efficiency throughout the supply chain.

Port officials say they are also meeting regularly with truck drivers that serve the harbor to address inefficiencies.

“We welcome increased cargo volume at Oakland, and we’ve got to do a better job of managing the flow,” Port Maritime Director John Driscoll said, according to the release. “We’re working every day with the marine terminals, truck drivers and shippers to pick up the pace.”

Oakland’s port has seen increased shipments due to a variety of factors, including a boosted economy, labor issues at several other West Coast ports, and subsequent diversion of cargo to Oakland.

The news release said the port expects to see a slower pace of shipping now that the busy retail holiday season of imports has ended.

Established in 1927, the Port of Oakland covers 20 miles of waterfront and supports 73,000 jobs in the region.

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