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Oakland Port Seeing Progress in Clearing Congestion

March 19, 2015 – The Port of Oakland has been working day and night for two weeks trying to clear up congestion since the labor standoff ended.

Bill Mongelluzzo, Sr. Editor of the Journal of Commerce (JOC), has reported that container volume at the Port of Oakland plunged 36.7 percent in February. Oakland has seen a reduction in vessel backups and yard congestion. This improvement along with better truck transaction time and terminal productivity has helped make cargo flow much smoother.

According to the JOC article, only 3 vessels were anchored in San Francisco Bay or outside the Golden Gate Bridge. That is down from a high of 20 in mid-February.

That’s the good news, but even with the progress, port executives have said it will still take a couple months to get back to normal vessel rotations. Oakland is still tied to LA/Long Beach performance as all trans pacific vessels rotate from So Cal to Oakland.

How It Affects Your Business

Marine terminals in Oakland have been working around the clock. Here are the benefits:

  • Shippers who utilize Oakland should see more sailings and improved transit times as backlog clears.
  • The trickledown effect will be felt throughout US manufacturing, with normalcy coming back into lead times and production levels able to get back to maximum efficiency.
  • This will ease west coast shippers’ troubles, as they will no longer have to re-route cargo causing higher transportation costs.

How You Should Handle It

Below are some tips:

  • Shop rates with an NVOCC and make sure you are getting a fair quote.
  • Ensure congestion surcharges are mitigated and trucking costs brought back to post dispute levels.
  • Start planning for 2015 ocean carrier contract negotiations.
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