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OakPass Program Created by Port of Oakland to Reduce Import Cargo Container Congestion

OakPass Program Created by Port of Oakland to Reduce Import Cargo Container Congestion

In Q4 of 2015, four container terminals at the Port of Oakland will use a program called OakPass to operate their terminal gates on Saturdays. With Saturday hours the Port of Oakland is hoping to reduce weekday import cargo congestion.

According to Cargo Business News, Oakland terminals have submitted a filing to the FMC describing the proposed program, and are  currently working to ensure that they’ll have labor to operate the new gates. OAKMTOA has established nonprofit OakPass LLC to manage the Saturday gate program.

There will be a cost to operate the new gates. Once operational, importers will begin to see an Extended Gate Fee (EGF) on import cargo containers of $17 per-TEU, or $34 on a typical FEU. The EGF will be assessed on loaded containers entering or exiting the terminals during peak hours (Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. through 6:00 p.m.)

How It Affects Your Business

  • More operating hours in Oakland will equal less congestion and faster transit time to door for your import cargo.
  • The added fees will increase your transportation costs, unless containers are retrieved on Saturdays. In order to retrieve on Saturdays your company will need to be a registered OakPass user. Check here for more details.
  • The implementation of OakPass, along with similar measures taking effect in LA/LB Port, should start to normalize west coast port container traffic, adding flexibility to shippers in the Central California region.

How You Should Handle It

  • Talk to your draymen now and plan ahead to start Saturday recoveries or plan for the increased costs of pulling containers during peak hours.
  • For shippers who utilize both LA/LB and Oakland ports, you will need to weigh these new costs and confirm the most effective routing of your import cargo.
  • If you still have cargo routed to the East Coast because of past congestion in Oakland, be advised this will likely put Oakland well beyond where it was in terms of efficiency prior to the slowdown we had earlier this year.

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