The driver exodus brought on by months of terminal inefficiencies in conjunction with the January 2014 California Air Resources Board (CARB) drayage truck retirement deadline has resulted in tight truck capacity on the West Coast.
Add to the fray the advancement of shipments into May and June in an effort to get cargo through West Coast ports prior to the anticipated slowdowns brought about by the labor negotiations, and everyone is feeling the pinch.
More containers have to be moved with fewer drivers. It is increasingly imperative to improve the velocity at marine terminals. The system exists in a delicate balance with everyone doing their part. One hitch, and the whole house of cards tumbles.
Vessels need to arrive on time. Longshore labor needs to be available and productive. Containers and chassis need to be available. Terminal operations need to be efficient. Drivers need to be productive and able to turn multiple times.
The Nevada Trucking Association (NTA) is hosting a luncheon featuring Port of Oakland Executive Director, Chris Lytle and Maritime Director, John Driscoll who will discuss the opportunities and benefits the port provides to Northern Nevada. It is a great opportunity for those based in the Northern Nevada as well as those based in the Bay Area to see and hear what is going on in this important market.
The luncheon will be held at 11:30am on Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at NTA 8745 Technology, Reno, NV.
Register here for Northern California’s funnest industry golf tournament…WIL’s Annual Golf Tournament held on Wednesday, June 18th at Chuck Corica, Alameda, CA.
Check in begins at 11:30am / Shotgun start at 12:30pm / Dinner and raffle at 5:00pm
Sponsorship opportunities available.
Our drivers are great! We keep saying it because it’s true.
Two of our hardworking guys, Keith Sears and Amandip Rana, were recently featured in a California Air Resources Board (CARB) documentary.
Click here to see our two stars. Don’t be daunted by the 23 minute video run time. Our drivers are in the first 2 1/2 minutes.
Negotiations have begun in the contract renewal governing longshore labor on the US West Coast. The contract parties are the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA). By all accounts the negotiations had a positive start. That being said, a new contract is not expected prior to the current contract’s expiration of June 30, 2014.
Last month, we covered the two most significant negotiation topics, jurisdiction over waterfront jobs and the pending tax on the union’s “Cadillac” healthcare plan. If you need a refresher, click here.
Additionally, the Journal of Commerce prepared an excellent FAQ on the subject. Please read it here.
Meanwhile, cargo advancements and diversions are occurring as both importers and exporters are trying to stave off as much upheaval to their supply chains as possible during the negotiations and expected slowdowns and disruptions.
We have been saying for years there is a severe driver shortage. We certainly feel it in intermodal trucking where drivers are being lured away to fill vacant slots in regional truckload, over-the-road or flatbed work. Terminal operations certainly are not making our driver retention efforts any easier.
No one has made a clearer point of the necessity of truck drivers and qualified diesel mechanics than Mike Rowe. Check out the video here.
In the middle of last month, there was talk about exploring the option of loading refrigerated containers onto the barge serving containerized traffic between the Port of Oakland and the Port of Stockton (aka, the Marine Highway, the Green Highway, M-580).
Then a week later, the Port of Stockton revealed they are bleeding money, $6M thus far, on this “demonstration” project and are looking to transfer management and financial responsibility to Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC).
MSC has been a regular user of the service, but the verdict is still out on whether or not they are willing to take on the burden of operations and costs.
CAP-AND-TRADE AND FUEL PRICES AND YOU
Come January 1, 2015 expect fuel prices in California to rise by $0.15/ gallon, and therefore the price of everything else you consume will increase as well.
Why, you ask? Because that’s when California’s cap-and-trade regulations take effect. Fuel refiners will have to buy credits (i.e., pay a tax) to off-set their emissions. The total “tax” to be paid by the oil companies is expected to be $3.6B/year. They will, of course, increase their prices to the distributors, who will increase their prices to retailers, who will increase their prices to consumers.
Why doesn’t California source its fuel from other states, you ask? Because California has a special formula of fuel that is only required in this state. It is not cost effective for producers in other states to reconfigure their lines to refine our boutique brand of gas and diesel and then ship into the state.
How is the money collected via the cap-and-trade tax going to be spent, you ask? The state expects to collect $9B/year in taxes and have earmarked 20% of that amount to subsidize a high speed rail project.
Gene Seroka (pictured left), an executive with APL, was tapped for the Executive Director job at the Port of Los Angeles. The post had been vacant since the retirement of Geraldine Knatz at the end of 2013.
The top spot at the Port of Long Beach remains unfilled since June 2013 when Chris Lytle left to take the helm at the Port of Oakland. With the political angst and contentious relationship between the Mayor of Long Beach (Bob Foster) and the Port of Long Beach, it has been difficult to recruit for the position. However, with Mayor Foster on his way out and the top two contenders for his job having no interest in playing puppet-master at the port, things are looking up down south.
We have all become watchers of Amazon.com. Their handling of e-commerce fulfillment. Their use of technology. Their positioning of distribution centers around the country. Their same-day and Sunday delivery options. Their stock prices. Whether a direct competitor or an interested observer, we can all learn from their ability to evolve and challenge the status quo.
Do you know what this part is? It is something used in intermodal or truck transportation. Play “Name That Part” by liking us on Facebook. Click here to go to our Facebook page and place your guess. Good luck!
Okay, not exactly a “Fun Fact,” but it is a humorous (or sobering depending upon how you look at it) reminder by Batesville Casket Company not to text and drive…”Yours may be on the next shipment.”