The past few weeks have delivered significant progress on the SOLAS front. AgTC (Agriculture Transportation Coalition) was fearless in drawing the attention of the Federal Maritime Commission, Coast Guard, Congress, terminal operators and ocean carriers to recognize and accept the standards and processes currently in practice would meet the the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) regulations set to take effect on July 1st.


Right now, terminal operators provide ocean carriers with loaded container weights. Ocean carriers are now quickly moving in the direction of accepting this weight to satisfy the VGM (verified gross mass) requirement.  Most lines have announced their acceptance of such this week.


So…before you start to panic today about your SOLAS readiness, or lack thereof, please check with your ocean carrier to confirm they are accepting the weights provided by the terminal.

Ship Crane Lifting Cntr


Chris Lytle on DockChris Lytle took the helm at the Port of Oakland during a tumultuous time and has navigated Northern California’s international logistics industry through some rough waters.  In his three-year tenure, he has managed a major terminal consolidation, contentious west coast labor negotiations, a summer of labor shortages and the closure of one of the port’s largest terminals and transition of its cargo.


We have appreciated his steady hand and his consistent search for calmer waters, and we are thankful he and the port commissioners have agreed to another three year contact.


Let’s hope the next three years are smooth sailing. 


Bloody Thursday 011Bloody Thursday, honored on July 5th regardless of the day of the week, is the one day of the year longshoremen will not work.  It commemorates a labor strike on the San Francisco waterfront culminating on July 5, 1934 resulting in riots, troops and deaths. This event was the impetus for the creation of the ILWU.  Want to read more about it?  Click here.

Since the marine terminals on the entire west coast will be closed on Tuesday, July 5th, batten down the hatches in preparation for a three-day work week.


Devine is lucky to have such hardworking and dedicated team members. They are not only committed to serving our customers on the job but they also serve the community in their off hours.  This past month we had groups of employees participate in a motorcycle ride benefiting hospice and a fun bubble run for charitable causes.

Bubble Run After June 2016 CTA Charity Ride 2016 002










Thank you for all that you do for Devine and the communities we serve!


The American Trucking Associations (ATA) and drivers around the country have taken up the much needed cause of human trafficking.  Take a moment to watch this video to see what you can do to save a life.


Night Operation SSAHave you folks read the book “Who Moved My Cheese?” If not, you should pick it up.  It is a quick read about dealing with change, and if there is one thing we can say about operations in Oakland these days is there is a ton of change.


APPOINTMENTS:  First, we have the appointment system which became mandatory last month for loaded import transactions at SSA’s terminal in Oakland. We have never been pro-appointment as we felt it handcuffed our operations and limited our ability to ebb and flow with the dynamics of our business, however, after weeks of “closed areas of the yard,” we are willing to give it a try.  


The appointment system launched, as new processes often do, with a rocky start. Midnight start times, narrow appointment windows and shortage of appointments were some of the challenges we faced.  SSA has been open to suggestions and has made some modifications to the system.  We continue to tweak our operations and processes to maximize driver productivity and the use of the appointment system.  It is definitely a work in progress for everyone.


NIGHT GATES:  Just this week, we have a new night gate at SSA. Effective Monday June 27, 2016, SSA began night operations Monday-Thursday from 6:00pm to 3:00am.  They are assessing a $30 per container fee for all loaded transactions both day and night in order to pay for the extended hours. This fee is paid to SSA. We encourage all cargo owners to establish an account with SSA to ensure the smooth transit of your cargo.  You may email SSA for more information at Also, watch for information from SSA regarding an eModal billing option.  


As with the appointment system, the night gates are a work in progress as all parties (motor carriers, drivers, terminal operator, labor, cargo owners, warehouses/facilities) adjust to the extended hours.  It is going to take time for everyone in the supply chain to modify their operations to accommodate night gates. 


Change is difficult, but we are going to work through it together.  We appreciate your patience, support and flexibility as we develop a new norm.


Reno USA Parkway ExtensionThe Nevada Department of Transportation is fast tracking a planned connector between I-80 and Hwy 50 through the Tahoe Regional Industrial Center (TRIC).  TRIC is about 15 miles east of Reno and is home to large scale distribution centers as well as Tesla’s battery gigaplant.

USA Parkway is the off ramp from I-80 running through TRIC.  The expansion to Hwy 50 was scheduled for completion in 2019, but due to the growth in the region, it will now open late 2017.

Upon completion, this connector will reduce travel time and be a vital delivery corridor for both freight and employees.


Name That Part July 2016Do 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!  


We never get tired of talking about our drivers and their commitment to safety.  These drivers flawlessly traverse congested roadways, snowy mountain passes and foggy Central Valley by-ways.  They safely and smoothly deliver your cargo everyday and have our gratitude.

 Hari NalwaAmandip Rana Inderjit SainiRobert St John

For the first half of 2016, Hari Nalwa, Amandip Rana, Inderjit Saini and Robert St. John were recognized as drivers of the month by the California Trucking Association (CTA). 


COSCO Panama 1st CrossingThe new, larger locks of the Panama Canal opened to great fanfare earlier this week.  It was a nine-year, $5.4B project.  The new locks were built to support growing trade and larger ships.  The new locks can accommodate ships up to 13,000 TEUs, which is more than three times the size previously offered.

The first ship, chosen via lottery, to make the crossing was the COSCO-China Shipping Panama.


This is an amazing and heartwarming story of a dog who fell out of a truck on a Hwy 99, a busy Central Valley freeway, and survived in the median for five weeks.

The local police department received numerous calls about a dog in the median but could never find her…until a quiet Saturday morning.

As an update to the video, the officer who help rescue Freeway Frida is indeed going to adopt her.


SurchargesOcean carriage rates are at new lows, and surcharges are at new highs…CAF, FAF, EBAF, THC, Chassis Usage, Documentation, Peak Season, Pier Pass, Congestion, Extended Hours, Delay, Per Diem, Demurrage, just to name a few. The number of itemized charges are on the rise as are the quantum of the individual charges.

The fact of the matter is ocean carrier base rates, and trucker base rates, have been so squeezed that any additional service, new expense, or hiccup in the chain of events causing delays or inconveniences by carriers will result in an extra charge…a surcharge.

Who’s to blame? The consumer. That’s where it all starts, after all. Baby boomers grew up knowing prices only went up year after year. Inflation was a fact of life, plain and simple. But, no more. That reversal, whereby consumers expect to pay less year after year, can be accomplished only by squeezing EVERY element of the supply chain…all the way down to the chain’s last element, the truck driver. It has been going on for years, and the transportation sector is tapped out. The pendulum is swinging, however, and that truck driver is pushing back, hard. Base rates and itemization are on the rise. Stay tuned.