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Trade Alert: Ports America Ends Lease with Port of Oakland

January 22, 2016 – Ports America announced on Tuesday that they are terminating their 50 year lease in the port of Oakland. They want to focus their attention on their other US ports to prepare for the arrival of mega-ships.

According to Bill Mongelluzo, Senior Editor of the Journal of Commerce (JOC), this scenario of focusing on a limited number of gateways best-suited for mega-ships is playing out on both coasts of North America. On the West Coast, the arrival in December of the first vessel with a capacity of 18,000 20-foot container units is the driver of consolidation. On the East Coast, the mega-ships that will transit the Panama Canal when the third set of locks is completed this year will determine which ports are the gateways.

The Port of Oakland said cargo will continue to flow smoothly as vessels are re-routed to other terminals that have excess capacity and can handle the new business. The port is also considering “new, better uses for Ports America Outer Harbor Terminal,” including possibly repurposing the 166-acre terminal for non-container cargo.

How It Affects Your Business

  • Plan for the potential of additional congestion delays in Oakland over the next few months while the port of Oakland rationalizes its resources.

How You Should Handle It

  • Ship early if possible to offset delays and stay in close contact with your provider for visibility and support of the movement of your goods.
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