NIGHT GATES NOT A PASSING FAD

ssa-at-nightWe are pleased to report SSA’s night gates in Oakland will continue for the foreseeable future and will continue at the same cost of $30/loaded container.  Woo-Hoo!

As a recap, in order to accommodate the additional volumes that migrated to SSA after the closure of Ports America in Oakland earlier this year, SSA initiated night gates beginning June 27, 2016.  The extended hours run Monday through Thursday, 6:00pm to 3:00am.  The cost is $30/loaded regardless of the time of day of the container is moved.  The fee is paid directly to SSA by the cargo owner.  If you have any questions about the payment of this fee, please contact SSA: OICTGateFee@SSAMarine.com

We applaud SSA for taking this action.  Not only was there a need for extended hours but they also launched a program at a lower price point and with much greater transparency than the ports to the south of us.  Just sayin’.

DEVINE ABOUT TOWN

karen-at-petf-sept-2016Devine has a seat at the table for the Port of Oakland’s Port Efficiency Task Force.  In fact, our own Karen Vellutini is leading the task force’s Appointment System committee.  

 

To combat some of the challenges the port has faced over the past few years (terminal consolidations and closures and labor disruptions and shortages), port executives approached industry stakeholders to help identify goals, facilitate change and move progress forward.  

 

For more than a year, the task force has gathered with the goal of improving the port’s throughput. Initially, the group identified four hot buttons for the task force to address:  Extended hours, appointment system, metrics, and a grey chassis pool.  Here is a brief update of where the task force is on these issues: 

 

Extended hours:  This committee focuses on the need, preferred hours, market acceptance and cost of extended hour terminal gates.  They surveyed the industry to develop a blueprint. SSA then used this plan to develop its extended hours program, which commenced in June 2016. Additionally, TraPac is experimenting with limited service night gates two days per week. It is important to note, SSA’s extended hours program has become a model for other terminal operators around the country.  Expect more on this subject in the months ahead.

 

Appointment system:  To even out truck flows and migrate to a more planned operation, initiating appointments for import grounded containers became a necessity.  Everport had a system in place, SSA implemented their appointment system in June 2016, and TraPac expects to pull the trigger on one in the next couple of months.  The next steps are to expand the appointment window, streamline the appointment-making process and even integrate terminal appointment software with truck dispatch software.

 

Performance Metrics:  The goal of the metrics group is to identify where we are in terms of truck turn times, vessel/terminal/container idle times, chassis availability and customs clearance with the intention of developing performance standards and expectations.  Dray Q, the port’s bluetooth technology, goes a long way in determining truck turn times both in the queue and inside the terminal.  

 

Grey Chassis Pool:  A grey chassis pool makes chassis “brandless” for users, meaning the chassis does not have to match the provider dictated by that ocean carriers.  Users are free to use whatever chassis is available and in good order.  The proper billing is then coordinated behind the scenes by the chassis providers. It was originally hoped this task would be the first checked off the list, but it is a much more complicated process than expected.  The chassis providers are working on a formal program for the New York/New Jersey market.  Once those details can be agreed upon by the various stakeholders, that plan can be applied to Oakland. 

 

While much progress has been made, there is still work left to do.  We will endeavor to keep you updated.

FROM NORTHERN NEVADA: OUTHOUSE RACES

Yes, you read that correctly.  Outhouse. Races.  Every year the town of Virginia City, NV, about 30 miles south of Reno, closes main street for some old-fashion fun, including outhouse races, plunger relays, and general tom-foolery.

Click the video above and put it on your calendar for next year…you just missed this year’s festivities.

NAME THAT PART

Do you know what this part is?

 

Guess there really is no question what the part is. It is new trucks!  These trucks are part of our on-going fleet expansion.  We continue to invest in and grow our fleet to match the growth of our customers in Northern Nevada and Northern California. 

 

Play “Name That Part” by liking us on Facebook.  Click here to be directed to our Facebook page and place your guess.

 

Good luck!  logo-trucks-sept-2016-002

ZIKA UPDATE

mosquito-zikaChinese officials have reconsidered their “mosquito eradication” mandate for ALL cargo leaving the US destined for China. Instead, Chinese authorities have limited the requirement to vessels and containers originating in Florida, which is the state most affected by the Zika virus. 

 

Good news for California’s agriculture commodities, which are on the cusp of the new-crop shipping season.

HANJIN EMPTIES FIND HOME IN OAKLAND

Before you folks from around the country start trucking your Hanjin empties to Oakland, this home applies to Oakland discharged containers only.hanjin-container

Now that we have that out of the way, kudos to both SSA and the Port of Oakland for being the first to develop and implement a plan for these unwanted empty containers.  The two parties worked together to establish a return location in Oakland at the Roundhouse off-dock empty depot.  Without a return location for Hanjin empties, these containers would sit idly on chassis awaiting a final disposition, which could be years away.  A chassis shortage was a very real and imminent possibility, and without the chassis to move containers on and off the terminal, a bottleneck and congestion would have ensued.

A big thank you for the leadership and forward thinking exhibited by the port and SSA in ensuring cargo moves efficiently and releasing the burden from motor carriers and cargo owners alike.

FUN FACT

autonomous-drivers-licenseSam Schmidt, former Indy Racing League driver left paralyzed from the neck down after an accident, is the first person to receive an autonomous-only driver’s license. His Corvette has been modified with cameras and sensors which enable him to operate the vehicle with head movements, breaths and voice commands.

He is thrilled to have his mobility back after sixteen years in a conversion van. Schmidt, 52, says, “My wife hates driving that van.  It makes us look like we’re 75 and retired.”  Sam is anything but retired. He co-owns the racing team Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and chairs the Conquer Paralysis Now foundation.