In our travels, everyone wants to know, “What’s going on in Oakland?” We are immersed in it and live and breathe it every day and sometimes forget to fill in the blanks for those not as connected. So, here goes our overview:
Since the Ports America closure, 85% of that vessel and container traffic found a home at SSA, thereby, increasing their cargo volumes by 70%. Yes, quite a chunk, and as you have likely felt, it has been a challenge. There are several initiatives in place to help increase cargo velocity.
Extended Gates: SSA is open Saturdays and Monday-Thursday nights for empty containers in and out, chassis re-positioning, refrigerated containers in and out, wheeled imports and one-stop imports. Tuesday-Thursday nights export containers are added to the allowable transactions, basically, everything but the impacted import rows served via transtainer cranes. The Port of Oakland is helping fund these night and weekend gates through the end of the month. After which point, there is some discussion around a fee-based system to help offset the cost of these gates.
STE Dray Off: In order to relieve the congestion in the import transtainer rows, Shippers Transport Express (STE), a sister company to SSA, is shuttling containers from SSA to their yard. Containers are randomly selected for this dray off program. While the customer may have to wait a few days longer for access to the container, it is an easier transaction for the motor carrier. STE is working with the port to expand their footprint. They need more real estate to truly make this program successful.
SSA Appointment System: To help alleviate the conundrum of the “closed area of the yard,” effective June 6th, SSA is mandating the use of an appointment system. Import lanes are so congested, it is commonplace for yard locations to start closing down before 9:00 am and for driver wait times to exceed 4-5 hours in these areas. The goals of requiring appointments are to even out the flow of trucks throughout the day, eliminate the closed-area notices, and service drivers in a reasonable amount of time.
Roundhouse: The Roundhouse is a piece of property in the port area that SSA has recently leased from the Port of Oakland. SSA is accepting and releasing empty equipment from this location with the intention of reducing queues and transactions at their main terminal. This location is open Monday-Friday 0800-1630.
DrayQ: The Port of Oakland’s turn time technology went live recently. DrayQ is an app that uses Bluetooth technology to record and report both street queue times and terminal turn times for each marine terminal in Oakland.