Port of Oakland touts accessibility for agriculture

The Port of Oakland’s proximity to California growing areas will continue to benefit agricultural exporters, executive director Chris Lytle told members of the Council of Supply Chain Management of Professionals in late September.

“The Port of Oakland’s proximity to the Central Valley makes us a vital link in the global agricultural supply chain,” Lytle said in a news release. “For our customers, that means greater reliability and reduced travel times through Oakland.”

The port is betting importers will find Oakland’s location increasingly attractive as the economies of the greater San Francisco Bay Area, Northern California and even Nevada grow. More than 80% of the port’s inbound cargo volume goes to those regions.

The port, Lytle said, is the preferred outlet to Asia for Central Valley fruits and nuts, Salinas Valley greens, and wines from across Northern California.

The port is working on a 400,000-square-foot Cool Port cold storage facility for refrigerated export commodities. That’s expected to strengthen Oakland’s role in meat and poultry.

Click Here to Read Full Story

Source: www.ThePacker.com

Shippers incur demurrage as Oakland port wrestles with trucker appointments

Oakland’s largest terminal operator is struggling to find the right formula for its newly-mandated trucker appointment system.

Some truckers and beneficial cargo owners say conditions have improved, although others complain about rising demurrage costs owing to insufficient slots each day for making appointments.

Oakland International Container Terminal’s experience is a development that BCOs who ship through other seaports should follow closely because they will soon be grappling with the same problem.

Cargo volumes have increased to the point where the largest ports cannot handle their traffic in the traditional 40-hour work week. Terminals are responding by adding second shifts, but in order to manage traffic, terminal operators are pairing extended gates with controversial mandatory appointments to spread truck flow out evenly over 16 hours each day.

The problems in Oakland started this spring when the second-largest tenant, Outer Harbor Terminal, terminated its lease and declared bankruptcy. About 90 percent of its container volume migrated almost immediately to OICT. Ed DeNike, chief operating officer of SSA, which operates the terminal, said OICT now handles about 4,600 gate moves each daytime shift, and 1,200 trucks in the night shift. He said that is more truck traffic than any other terminal on the West Coast handles, including those in the much larger Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex.

Click Here to Read Full Story

Source: www.JOC.com

Port of Oakland Approves Five-Year Renewable Energy Purchase

The Port of Oakland approved an existing renewable energy power purchase agreement with East Bay Municipal Utilities District (EBMUD) for an additional five years.

The port purchases renewable energy from EBMUD’s biogas facility at the foot of the Bay Bridge to serve electric customers at its airport and seaport. All of the energy purchased from EBMUD is both renewable and greenhouse gas-free and will help the port meet state renewable energy goals.

The port entered into a five-year contract for the output from this facility in 2012 and the facility has been a reliable source of renewable power. Port and EBMUD staff proposed several modifications to the agreement that will continue the successful partnership, including a price reduction of approximately 20 percent.

Click Here to Read Full Story

Source: www.GlobalTradeMag.com

Donald Trump’s threatened trade war would hurt California

Donald Trump’s realpolitik could do serious damage to California’s economy, a new report says.

Instigating a trade war with China – something Trump has said he would “love” to do – would cripple the surge in jobs in the state, according to the UCLA Anderson Forecast, a study released Wednesday.

“For California a trade war will reduce the demand for labor. There goes that full employment,” wrote Jerry Nickelsburg, an economist at UCLA who cowrote the report.

California is home to the largest port complex in the nation, at the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports, which together bring in nearly 40% of all the cargo that arrives by sea to the United States.

California has added jobs faster than the rest of the country for years. By 2017, the unemployment rate in the state will hit 4.9%, according to the report, which is lower than the current 5% rate of joblessness in the nation.

A tight labor market is good for workers, because it gives them leverage to ask for higher pay. When there are fewer workers available for hire, companies have more of an incentive to try to keep the people they have. Californians should expect a raise in the near future, the report said.

Click Here to Read Full Story

Source: www.latimes.com

Port of Oakland Fights Traffic with Extra Hours

Ports across the U.S. have examined the possibility of extended gate hours to alleviate congestion and improve the flow of cargo. Long turn times cut profit margins for truckers and delay cargo for shippers and vessel operators – and at some ports the traffic jam can extend for hours. “When turn times are more than an hour, to an hour and a half or longer, we have a problem,” said Chris Lytle, executive director of the Port of Oakland, speaking to JOC last year.

The Port of Oakland has the highest rate of truck transactions per gate of any West Coast port, and it has worked hard over the past year to find ways to spread out the concentrated traffic. Oakland announced a gate fee last August, levied during peak hours Monday through Friday, with the resulting funds going to pay for nightttime and weekend gate operations at its largest terminal – following the lead of LA and Long Beach and shifting away from a longstanding American port tradition of five-days-a-week drayage.

On Monday, Oakland International Container Terminal announced that it would offer full night operations, even after the end of a port subsidy program, and would expand them to include more labor-intensive import cargo pickups in addition to export drop-offs. Night gates will run Monday through Thursday; to pay for the added hours and the added labor, the terminal will charge a $30 flat fee on all loaded import and export boxes.

Click Here to Read Full Story

Source: www.Maritime-Executive.com

Port of Oakland phone app alerts truckers to waits at the gate

An old-line business, the Port of Oakland, is using one of the world’s newest technologies, an app designed to help truckers cope with busy cargo gates at the shipping hub, the port said Wednesday.

 “This could definitely be helpful and would be worth it,” said Bruce Gill, owner of Union City-based Bay City Express, a trucking firm.
 The app is available on the Google Play store for Android phones and the Apple store for the iPhone, the port said.
 “There’s no more guesswork for truckers picking up or delivering cargo in Oakland,” said John Driscoll, the port’s maritime director. “Now they can plan their days with real-time information.”
The software application arrives at a time when the Port of Oakland has undertaken a far-reaching transformation to operate more efficiently. The port has been opening gates at night and on weekends to help unclog backlogs of cargo being delivered or picked up by truckers.
The app tells truck drivers how long it takes to enter terminal gates and calculates how long drivers must wait to complete transactions. The free app for truckers is called DrayQ and can be found on the app stores under the DrayQ name.
Source: East Bay Times

West Coast Ports Lose Ground on Imports

Ports along the West Coast handled their smallest share of container imports in March than at any point since last winter’s labor strife, reflecting slumping trade with China.

The ports, including the nation’s two busiest at Los Angeles and Long Beach, imported just 43.6% of containerized goods, down from about 50% in the previous few months, according to trade data analyzed by Beacon Economics.

A decline in Chinese trade hits ports on the West Coast harder than other regions, said Jock O’Connell a trade economist with Beacon. China’s cooling economy, along with sluggish global growth and persistent high inventories among U.S. retailers and manufacturers, have taken a toll on trans-Pacific trade. . The drop was particularly steep in March because many Chinese factories had closed for the Lunar New Year in February, reducing the flow of goods across the Pacific.

Click Here to Read Full Story

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Driver creates app to get truckers out of line at Port of Oakland

Another mobile phone app has been developed to get truckers out of line at the Port of Oakland. The difference this time: it’s the invention of a harbor driver.

Filex Fok, a licensed motor carrier at the port, introduced the new app last week, noted port officials.

Called Jupigo, his technology helps harbor truckers exchange empty cargo containers without ever entering the port. The objective: keep truckers on the road, not waiting at busy terminal gates.

The app is the third introduced at the Port of Oakland this month to shorten lines at terminal gates. The others, called DrayQ and DrayLink, gives drivers real time metrics on gate queues and terminal transaction times. They were developed for the Port by Reston, VA-based tech firm Leidos.

Jupigo functions like a “dating app” for truck drivers who have equipment needs. Drivers with empty containers to return post their equipment availability on Jupigo. Truckers searching for empties post their requirements as well. The app automatically alerts both drivers, who can then initiate a container exchange.

Click Here to Read Full Story

Source: Logistics Management

Appropriators back transportation spending bill with trucking fix

The Senate Appropriations Committee easily advanced a transportation spending bill on Thursday containing a trucking provision safety advocates have been pushing against this week.

In a 30-0 vote, lawmakers reported a measure out of committee that would provide $56.5 billion in discretionary spending to the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and other related agencies in fiscal 2017.

The figure is $2.9 billion less than the president’s budget request and $827 million less than the current funding level.

The spending bill contains a technical fix to a drafting error made in last year’s government spending bill. A provision in that bill said proposed changes to the hours of service rule for truck drivers — which were enacted in 2013 but later suspended — cannot be implemented until the DOT proves the regulation would improve driver health and safety.

But legislators left out essential language clarifying what would happen if the agency fails to find that the rule is beneficial for drivers, which would force the DOT to revert to rules put in place more than a decade ago.

Click Here to Read Full Story

Source: www.TheHill.com

Port of Oakland launches smart phone apps for harbor truckers

The Port of Oakland today introduced two smart phone applications that could transform containerized cargo handling at seaports. The apps provide a highly anticipated tech-based calculation of harbor trucker turn times – an elusive industry metric.

“We know of no other port measuring trucker transaction times with this precision,” said Port of Oakland Executive Director Chris Lytle. “This takes the myth out of measurement and gives us a window into port performance.”

That performance metric, however, may be compromised by factors beyond the reach of drayage drivers, however. Port analysts suggest that dockworkerdisruptions may continue to haunt West Coast gateways.

The apps, DrayQ and DrayLink, employ Bluetooth, WiFi and GPS technology. They tell drivers how long they’ll wait to enter marine terminal gates and how long their transactions will take. They give shippers a glimpse of the location and productivity of the drivers they hire.

Click Here to Read Full Story

Source: www.LogisticsMGMT.com