TASK FORCE TACKLES CONGESTION

PORT OF OAKLAND PROTESTCargo interests transiting through West Coast ports, especially Oakland, realize we are not yet on the other side of the effects of the contract related labor slowdowns. We continue to experience congestion, long lines, chassis shortages and slow truck turn times.

The Port of Oakland has convened an Efficiency Task Force. The purpose of the task force is to exchange ideas and formulate strategies to improve the fluidity of cargo at the Port of Oakland. Members of the task force include cargo owners, terminal operators, ocean carriers, chassis providers, labor leaders, associations, port staff and motor carriers, and Devine is honored to have a seat at the table. Last month was the first meeting of the task force, and we have to say the mood from all attendees was cooperative and collaborative. Every one of these vital parties wants the port to succeed and be a viable gateway.

The initiatives discussed were:
• Grey Chassis Pool to smooth out the supply of chassis across the various marine terminals.
• Saturday Gates (aka OakPass) to increase gate operating hours at the port thereby alleviating congestion. There is a $17/TEU fee assessed on containers moved Monday-Friday in order to pay for the extra gate. Much like PierPass, cargo owners will have to register with OakPass to pay the fee on-line.
• Central Valley Container Yard to exchange empty equipment in the Central Valley and improve equipment utilization.
There will be future meetings of the whole task force as well as break out meetings to discuss specific topics in the weeks ahead. We will keep you posted on the progress.

TIANJIN EXPLOSION

As evidenced by the video below, the city of Tianjin, China was rocked by explosions at a chemical warehouse near the Port of Tianjin. The blast was equivalent to a 21 ton bomb. 116 people lost their lives in the explosion, more than 700 were injured and 60 are still missing.

Sodium cynanide was also stored at the warehouse and has leached into nearby residential neighborhoods as well as harbor waters. Despite claims by the government that drinking water was safe, workers were seen scooping thousands of dead fish from the Haihe River near Tianjin.

Since the explosion, Chinese officials have inspected, put on notice and closed several chemical facilities in the country.

PEDAL POWER

UPS Pedal TruckForget delivery drones. Think pedal power. Freight Cycles are gaining in popularity in Europe. They are used for delivery services in dense urban environments, food vending in high foot traffic areas, mail delivery and child transport to name a few. The UPS Cargo Cruiser above is a petal-assisted electric trike with top speeds of 15 mph, a range of approximately 21 miles and a cargo capacity of 77 cuft.

SAFETY TIPS

Car in Rain as Seen in MirrorThe rainy season is upon us…it is supposed to be an El Niño in California this year, which should bring heavy rain and snow to our parched state. Call it wishful thinking, but we believe it is a good time to remind folks to put on your car’s headlights in the rain. It can be very difficult to see you without them.
We saw this picture posted to the web by a truck driver and thought it depicted the issue well.

Be safe out there!

MAN ON FIRE

IMG_7859Devine is the approved transportation provider to the artists and event-goers participating in the festival on the playa of the Black Rock Desert. It is a week long celebration which organizers call an experiment in community, art, radical self-expression and radical self-reliance.

It is very important that all supplies and materials brought out to the playa are removed from the playa. Our job is to ensure that happens smoothly and completely.

If you are wondering why we are not calling the festival by its name, we have been banned from doing so by event organizers. We have covered it in past newsletters and received a cease and desist order. So much for freedom of expression!

BIGGER IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER

There is a growing trend in warehousing for smaller more nimble warehouses to support e-commerce operations. These warehouses are generally 50,000sqft or less and are nearer to consumers.

Reno is a prime location for this type of operation. The area is already focused on e-commerce, and they are within a days drive of population centers in California, Oregon, Washington and others.

It is no accident Devine has warehouse, logistics and transportation services in Nevada.

WHEN WILL CALIFORNIA LEARN?

Fwy w Rolling Hills 016Is it any wonder California’s roadways are in such a state of disrepair? The fuel sales tax which is supposed to be earmarked for transportation infrastructure is siphoned to an excise tax which can be put into the general fund and used for anything. The overweight fees paid by heavy-duty trucks gets commandeered by the governor for other purposes. Now, three California lawmakers (Assemblymen David Chiu D-San Francisco and Richard Bloom D-Santa Monica and Senator Ben Allen D-Santa Monica) have authored a bill to triple the diesel sales tax and use the money for…no, not roads…maintenance of the state’s transit systems.

We get pretty tired of people saying freight does not pay its fair share. It pays, but the money is seldom used for building or maintaining roads.

NAME THAT PART

Name That Part Sept 2015Do 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 be directed to our Facebook page and place your guess. Good luck!

FUN FACT

Since post-season is upon us, we are due a little baseball fun. No matter who your favorite team is, if you are a baseball fan, you will enjoy these two plays: