Have 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 OICTGateFee@ssamarine.com. 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.