Oakland port terminals plan PierPass-style program

Oakland port terminals plan to subsidize Saturday operation of truck gates by imposing a weekday gate fee modeled on one pioneered by the decade-old PierPass program in Southern California.

The terminal operators asked the Federal Maritime Commission to approve their planned OakPass program, which they said would reduce truck delays by adding gate hours. The proposed agreement is subject to a 45-day FMC review.

The filing contained no details on the planned fees. However, a spokesman for the terminals said the tentative schedule would be $17 per 20-foot container and $34 for other sizes of containers

The fee would apply to trucks using terminal gates between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Trucks hauling empty containers, bare chassis, and transshipment cargo would be exempt.

August 17, 2015 – Marine Traffic

Archived live image via MarineTraffic of anchored and moving cargo vessels surrounding the Port of Tacoma.

Tacoma 8.17

East Coast ports thrive after West Coast shutdown

What’s been bad for West Coast ports has been good for their East Coast counterparts. Earlier this year, after a labor standoff dragged out for months and debilitated delivery of cargo bound for California, shippers began diverting seaborne containers east.

Even as West Coast port activity has normalized, some of the new trade routes have stuck. In the first half of 2015, West Coast market share slipped to 50 percent of overall U.S. import volume, versus a 55 percent stake during the same period in 2014, according to the Piers waterborne trade database owned by IHS. East Coast market share jumped to 43 percent, 3 percentage points higher than the prior year’s first six months.

But as peak shipping season gets underway, the multibillion dollar question everyone in this industry is asking: Can the Eastern hubs hang onto the business?

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Source: www.CNBC.com

Seattle, Tacoma Ports Vote to Form Alliance

The ports of Seattle and Tacoma formally united Tuesday, creating the third-largest marine cargo complex in North America, in a move seen as critical to fending off competition from nearby Canadian ports.

Commissioners of the two ports voted unanimously to create the Northwest Seaport Alliance, which aims to nearly double cargo volume by 2026. The agreement is a rare move for neighboring ports, particularly two such as Seattle and Tacoma that have been fierce competitors over the years.

However, it’s emblematic of broad changes occurring in international shipping. With the advent of ultra-large ships, some of which can carry up to 20,000 cargo containers, ports everywhere have had to dig deeper waterways and expand their facilities to remain competitive—all of which comes at great cost. Smaller ports like nearby Portland, Ore. are struggling to match the level of investment and breadth of infrastructure required to compete for new, supersized global trade.

 

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Source: The Wall Street Journal

Back-to-School season means more work for Truckers

Import volume at the busiest U.S. container gateways during July is expected to rise 7.3 percent from a year earlier as retailers prepare for back-to-school sales, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report.

U.S. consumer spending rose by 0.9 percent in May, the largest increase since August 2009, the Commerce Department said.

That indicates that consumer confidence is returning — a positive sign for imports, said Ben Hackett of Hackett Associates, which produces the monthly Port Tracker for the National Retail Federation.

Ports covered by Global Port Tracker handled 1.61 million 20-foot-equivalent units in May, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available. That was up 8.2 percent year-over-year.

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Source: www.JOC.com

Drivers, companies and law enforcement back move to reform FMCSA

It’s becoming increasingly clear that the modus operandi of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration isn’t sitting well with the trucking industry as a whole – not with drivers, not with motor carriers, and not with law enforcement.

June 24, Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., introduced a bill in the Senate that seeks to reform FMCSA. The bill, called Trucking Rules Updated by Comprehensive and Key Safety Reform Act, outlines a number of reforms for the agency. The bill tackles everything from the lack of stakeholder involvement in the development of regulations to review and research involved in current and future regulations, among other things.

The TRUCK Safety Reform Act, S1669, is currently before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. Fischer chairs the committee’s Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security.

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Source: Land Line Mag  

Ports, Truckers Contend With Chassis Shortage

As U.S. seaports enter their busiest season, shippers and truckers expect to be plagued with a familiar problem: a shortage of chassis, a key piece of equipment that allows trucks to transport shipping containers.

Finding a free chassis – little more than a steel frame with wheels – can take hours, making them a top source of port congestion because containers can’t be transferred from a ship to a truck without them, truck drivers say. Leasing companies also rent different types of chassis, so drivers must often go out of their way to return the equipment to specific locations, creating traffic problems at ports.

But a fix is proving difficult. The Port of New York and New Jersey had planned on July 1 to create a “gray pool” of chassis that could be rented by any trucker, streamlining the leasing process and potentially reducing wait times. But the project has been bogged down by disputes over who would operate the pool and where it would be located. The new start date is in October.