THE Port of Oakland says its Continuity Plan will keep trade flowing and prevent vessel diversions to other ports when the Ports America Outer Harbour Terminals LLC shuts down soon because of a bankruptcy, reports the American Journal of Transportation.
The Continuity Plan calls for ships that use Outer Harbour Terminal to relocate to berths at adjacent terminals in Oakland, said the port authority.
It said terminals will add labour where necessary and open gates nights and weekends to accommodate additional cargo. The port will ask its governing board to approve a US$1.5 million Transition Assistance Programme for participating terminals.
"We have three objectives with this plan," said Oakland port executive director Chris Lytle. "We will find a home for all ships that come to Oakland, we will improve cargo-handling processes to move cargo efficiently, and we'll meet the needs of shippers in Oakland."
"Night and weekend gates will be critical to the success of the programme, he said.
"The terminals can't move all of this additional cargo between 8am and 5pm," Mr Lytle said. "We need a smooth, seamless transition from Outer Harbour Terminal and weekend and night gates will make a huge difference."
Most ships and cargo from Outer Harbour Terminal will relocate to Oakland International Container Terminal in the port's Middle Harbour. The rest go to another terminal in Outer Harbour - TraPac.
Shipping lines are finalising agreements with the terminals now to move their cargo.
The two terminals will lease additional acreage from the port to accommodate increased container volume. TraPac is finalising negotiations with the port to lease two additional vessel berths at Outer Harbour Terminal.
The port plans to provide up to US$1.5 million to help participating terminals open night and weekend gates.
Terminals must agree to get drivers in and out within 75 minutes. A Bluetooth monitoring system will measure how long drivers spend at terminals.
The port said customers won't be assessed fees for extended gate hours. Oakland International Container Terminal - the port's largest - has confirmed it will add extra gate hours. The port said other terminals will follow suit if demand warrants.
Oakland International Container Terminal will move a number of import containers out of its facility every night. They'll be available at a nearby location for immediate pick-up by truckers.
Central Valley container depot will open within two weeks for Oakland International Container Terminal cargo. It'll enable cargo owners - including Valley growers - to pick up or drop off containers without long drives to the port.
Source : HKSG.