Posts Tagged “Port of Oakland”

Port of Oakland Reports No Congestion; Wants to Help Ease U.S. Port Logjams

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Shipping lines are being urged to route more cargo to California’s Port of Oakland as a result of supply chain calamities elsewhere.

Port officials report its marine terminals are congestion-free, unlike competing ports crippled by record global trade volumes. It urged restoration of shipping services that have bypassed Oakland since summer.

The Oakland port notes there is no congestion and is ready for more business.

It wants ocean carriers to reinstate services in order to stabilize the supply chain, noting its import and export partners echo this sentiment.

The Port said containerized cargo volume is up 4.2 percent in 2021 but insisted there’s capacity for more as it hasn’t experienced vessel backlogs since August. That’s in stark contrast to Southern California ports where up to 70 ships daily wait at anchor for berth space.

Ports on the west, gulf and east coasts have reported crippling delays in moving cargo and the White House recently called on some facilities to open nights and weekends to move out cargo. However, the government’s response is reported to have minimal effect in easing port congestion.

Oakland said shipping lines can help ease the gridlock by steering ships back to Oakland. Several ocean carriers omitted Oakland in recent months, the Port said.

It explained that excessive Southern California delays necessitated immediate return of some ships to Asia without stopping in Oakland.

According to the Port, 54 vessels stopped in Oakland last month which was the lowest vessel call total since 2015. As a result, September import volume declined 13 percent from September 2020 and exports were down 18 percent.

It expects service restoration to begin next month as supply chain congestion continues and it said vessels would find clear sailing to berth without gridlock.

Import cargo would be available for pick-up within days of discharge from ships which hasn’t been the case at some ports where congestion has trapped import containers for weeks.

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Port of Oakland Volume Jumped 11.4% in 1st Half of 2021

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Port of Oakland first half 2021 total cargo volume increased 11.4 percent over 2020 and forecasters envision no letup.

The Port reported recently it handled the equivalent of 1.3 million 20-foot containers in the past six months. If the pace holds, the Port’s year-end volume would surpass 2.6 million containers for the first time ever.

“We’ve never seen this level of activity and based on the outlook we’re preparing for more,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director Bryan Brandes. “Our challenge is serving customers who expect us to handle their cargo efficiently.”

The Port said a year-long boom in containerized U.S. imports is driving record business. It said the trend should continue based on three factors:

  • Record freight rates being charged by container shipping lines indicating high demand for vessel space;
  • Rising U.S. inflation that signals continued strong consumer spending on goods manufactured overseas; and
  • The upcoming August-November peak season when retailers and distributors stock up for holiday merchandising.

According to the Port, containerized import volume in Oakland has increased year-over-year for five consecutive months. Oakland reported that June 2021 imports were up 15 percent compared to the same period last year. Exports edged up 0.8 percent, the Port said.

Ports nationwide have reported difficulty keeping up with the unprecedented cargo surge. On average, vessels are loading and unloading 66 percent more cargo in Oakland than they did last year. One consequence has been cargo delivery delays. Oakland said it expects delays to ease by late summer with the addition of more dockworkers. 

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News Briefs: Idaho Potatoes; Temperature Recorders Introduced; and Oakland Port has New Plan

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A23In the news, Idaho potato crop value soars, while temperature recorders are introduced at Wal-Mart distribution centers. Finally, the Port of Oakland announces 5-year growth plan. 

The value of the 2017 Idaho potato crop was 22 percent more the previous year as it  hit a record $1.2 billion, according to the USDA.

However, harvested acreage in the state was down 5 percent and yields were down 1.2 percent.  Half those potatoes — whether fresh, frozen or dehydrated — end up on restaurant menus and at other foodservice operations, says the Idaho Potato Commission, which accounts for 13 billion pounds.

“Consumers are demanding a broader variety of creative and ethnic foods that would often be too challenging, costly and time consuming to prepare at home,” Don Odiorne, the commission’s vice president of foodservice/website, said in a release.  “A variety of Idaho potatoes products and recipe options help operators meet that demand.”

Temperature Recorders

 Cargo Data temperature recorders have been approved by Wal-Mart distribution centers for use by their inspectors and receivers.  The instruments are provided in self-hanging protective plastic pouches for protection from moisture and other contaminants.  The pouches are also bright orange, which makes it easier for the Inspectors/Receivers to find the instrument within your shipment.  Cargo Data’s Wal-Mart approved temperature recorders are $8.50/ea plus shipping, packed in cases of 20.

Port of Oakland has New 5- Year Plan

A new five-year strategic plan has been announced by The Port of Oakland (Calif.) which will serve as a blueprint for expansion.

Dubbed “Growth with Care,” the plan outlines projections for record business volumes for aviation and maritime businesses, capital investments for major projects and an emphasis on sustainability.

“We can grow, but we want our neighbors to grow with us,” Port of Oakland Executive Director Chris Lytle said in a news release about the 21-page document.

Cargo volume should reach 2.6 million 20-foot-equivalent containers (TEUs) by 2022, according to the plan, an increase of 8 percent.

Two projects will help with that increase:

  • Cool Port Oakland, a 283,000-square-foot refrigerated distribution center that is set to open this summer, and
  • A 440,000-square-foot distribution center planned at the nearby Seaport Logistics Complex.

Curbing diesel emissions is also a part of the strategic plan, and truck emissions at the port have been cut 98 percent since 2009, and vessel emissions have declined 76 percent.

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“Cool Port” is Part of Record Cargo Volumes Projected for Oakland

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OaklandPortRecord Cargo volume in the coming years is projected for the Port of Oakland in Oakland, CA with one of the key projects being construction of a $90 million “Cool Port.”

Officials at the Port of Oakland have several construction projects designed for attracting additional business and reaching record cargo volume starting this year.

Additional containerized cargo in 2018 is predicted and continuing through 2022, a news release states.

“I’m forecasting growth because of the development that’s going on here,” said Maritme director John Driscoll.  “It won’t be dramatic, but it will be steady and will result in more cargo volume than we’ve ver had before.”

Driscoll said three international shipping lines are considering making Port of Oakland their first call due to recent port improvements.  Any of them making the switch would increase cargo volume, according to the press release.

Projects drawing the most interest, according to the news release:

  • Cranes: Four ship-to-shore cranes at the Oakland International Container Terminal are being lifted by 27 feet to accommodate megaship loading and unloading, at a cost of $14 million to $20 million. The second crane was lifted by the end 2017, with work on the other two finishing up in mid-2018;
  • Cool Port Oakland: Cool Port will process beef and poultry exports in a 280,000-square-foot refrigerated distribution center that is expected to handle 27,000 20-foot equivalent units of meat each year. The $90 million facility should open next August;
  • Seaport Logistics Complex: Construction of a $52 million, 440,000-square-foot transloading facility is expected to start in late 2018; and
  • Truck service center: An 8-acre facility with food stops, fueling stations and overnight parking for harbor drivers is still in the negotiation stage.

The Port of Oakland reported total volume of 2.37 million 20-foot equivalent units in 2016, and in 2017earlier this year projected it would handle 2.6 million containers by 2022, according to the news release.

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Produce Imports Help Set Records at Ports Manatee and Oakland

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manatee-port-shipThe ports of Manatee and Oakland are having record-setting years, with much of that success coming from produce imports.

Port of Manatee

The Port of Manatee’s container volume already has handled as volume in 10 has it has totaled in a record setting 12-month year..

The Florida-based port has moved 32,907 20-foot-equivalent (TEU) container units since October 1st, surpassing the full-year record of 30,431 TEUs, which was set in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2010.

A news release from Port Manatee points out the record-setting container volume represents a 47 percent increase over the first 10 months of the preceding fiscal year.

The increase is primarily attributed to Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A. switching from breakbulk shipping to containers for imports of Central American pineapple and bananas, as well as to the success of World Direct’s weekly shipping service which transports refrigerated produce from Mexico.

“We are excited to have already set a new container record for Port Manatee and are further encouraged this favorable trend is anticipated to be sustained for a long time,” Carlos Buqueras, Port Manatee’s executive director, said in the release.

The port’s tonnage also increased in the first 10 months of its fiscal year, topping last fiscal year’s numbers by 17 percent.

Port of Oakland

A record for import cargo in July has been set by The Port of Oakland.

The port handled 84,835 loaded 20-foot import containers in July, which tops the previous record of 84,023 containers set in March 2015.

A press release from the California port shows import volume through the first seven months of the year was also up 3.7 percent over the same time last year.

Looking ahead, Port of Oakland leaders believey they foresee a five-year period of record cargo volume beginning in 2018.

That prediction comes from the recently released Strategic Maritime Roadmap.  The roadmap forecasts a record volume of 2.4 million cargo containers in 2018.

The roadmap also predicts greater volumes arriving on larger ships driven by Northern California’s robust freight market along with new distribution and freight transfer centers.  The document predicts ships will be 35 percent larger within 15 years.

“We’re serving a thriving area and developing new services for our customers,” Oakland’s maritime director John Driscoll said. “The combination should be positive for everyone who relies on the port for their business or their job.”

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Mastronardi Aquires Backyard Farms; Volume Grows from Port of Oakland

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DSCN2858+1Canadian greenhouse growing operation Mastronardi Produce and purchased another greenhouse growing facility in the state of Maine.

Family owned and operated fourth generation business Mastronardi Produce of Kingsville, ON has acquired New England year-round greenhouse tomato grower Backyard Farms of Madison, ME.  Mastronardi The leading grower and shipper of specialty and commodity greenhouse produce in North America,  Backyard was launched 10 years ago and ships primarily throughout the Northeastern United States.

Together, Mastronardi Produce and Backyard Farms will grow and ship non-GMO verified tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers to the top food retailers in North America.  Backyard Farms operates two greenhouses totaling 42-acres

About Mastronardi Produce

Ours span over 60 years to the pioneering of the North American greenhouse industry. Before Grandpa Umberto Mastronardi came along, there were no commercial greenhouses in North America. His vision was to provide consumers with fresh greenhouse grown vegetables all year long. After four generations, the Mastronardi family still owns and manages what is now the leading greenhouse vegetable company on the continent, growing and selling world-class tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers.

Port of Oakland Cargo Handling Update

California’s Port of Oakland saw import cargo increase 19 percent in March compared with a year ago.
Total loaded container volume for both imports and exports, were up 9.3 percent. The increase contrasted with a 9.2 percent decline in February, according to a news release.
“This is a nice rebound,” maritime director John Driscoll, said in the release. “We’re watching now to find out if it signals stronger trade growth for the rest of the year.”
Port figures indicated 402 ships called in Oakland during the first three months of 2017, down about 5.6 percent from a year ago.  At the same time, those ships carried an average of 8.4 percent more containers in and out of Oakland.  The conflicting trends point to greater volume on fewer ships, according to the release.
That trend will result in several positive trends, according to the release, including reduced vessel operating expenses for shipping lines, less demand for berthing space at marine terminals and a reduction in diesel emissions at port because of fewer vessel calls.

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Port of Oakland Expanding; Port of Los Angeles Sets a Record

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OaklandPort1Expanding to handle more containerized cargo by investing $600 million has been announced by the  Port of Oakland.

Speaking to a maritime audience at the American Association of Port Authorities Conference recently in Tampa, Fla., Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll outlined a partnership designed to increase trade volume by investing in new facilities and better infrastructure.

“We’re building for growth in a shipping industry that is becoming more and more competitive,” Driscoll said in a news release. “By investing with partners who share our vision, we can deliver services that will be of great value to the global supply chain.”

Driscoll noted the port would work with private developers and public agencies to modernize its infrastructure and outlined three proposed investment projects:

  • $244 million, mostly from government grants, to separate railroad tracks from major port roadways;
  • $90 million for a privately built refrigerated warehouse called “Cool Port;” and
  • $50 million to expand the port’s second-largest marine terminal, with private funds.

Driscoll noted that the port recently completed a $100-million railyard near marine terminals and a proposed logistics complex, both of which should be a drawing card for shippers, enabling cargo to be quickly shifted between rail, road and ocean transport.

The Port of Oakland agricultural tonnage grew 233% over the past five years and now represents 53% of the port’s total export tonnage. Fruits and nuts are the leading agricultural commodities shipped from the port. The Port of Oakland oversees the Oakland Seaport, Oakland International Airport, and 20 miles of waterfront.

The Port of Los Angeles

January 2017 was the busiest January and second busiest month in the Port of Los Angeles’ 110-year history

“Coming off our best year ever in 2016, it’s very encouraging to keep the momentum going into 2017,” Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said in a news release. “The port remains diligent, along with our partners, in making the San Pedro Bay supply chain even more efficient through world-class infrastructure, innovative technology solutions and strategic use of resources.”

January 2017 imports increased 13.1% compared to January 2016. Exports increased 28.7% compared to the previous year. Empty containers increased 17.9%. Combined, January 2017 saw a 17.4% increase compared to last year.

Fruit and vegetable imports for January 2017 were 4,885 TEU (20-foot equivalent units), according to Phillip Sanfield, Port of Los Angeles director of media relations. Those imports accounted for 1.1% of the total 415,423 TEUs imported that month. Fruit and vegetable export numbers were not available.


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Ocean Carrier Alliance Changes Welcomed by Port of Oakland

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OaklandAlliance changes in the way container shipping lines operate are being welcomed by an executive with the Port of Oakland, CA.

Newly formed ocean carrier alliances will help the port, according to Maritime Director John Driscoll in a news release from the facility.

“We’ll see larger vessels coming to the port, which is a good thing,” he told employees in a podcast on the port’s website, “We’ll get more container moves-per-vessel which increases the efficiency of operations.”

Driscoll also said the port will receive a new weekly vessel service as a result of carrier realignment. Taiwan-based Wan Hai Lines plans to launch a new route connecting Oakland and Asia, which will increase to 29 the number of regularly scheduled vessel services calling Oakland.

“It’s a good sign when new players come to Oakland,” Driscoll said in the release.

The changes result from an April 1 realignment in which 11 of the world’s largest shipping lines formed three new alliances. Alliances let carriers pool ships on ocean routes to cut costs while expanding market reach. The carriers plan to deploy larger vessels in their alliances, carrying more containers to the U.S. West Coast. That should enable them to reduce the number of voyages while maintaining cargo volume levels, Driscoll said.

New alliance configurations should have little effect on Oakland operations, Driscoll said, noting that some vessels will change which of Oakland’s three international marine terminals they call, but the terminals are prepared.

The first vessels operating under new alliance configurations arrived in Oakland during the week of April 17.

Oakland has regular service to ports in Asia, Northern Europe and the Mediterranean, Latin America, Oceania and Hawaii.

The Port of Oakland was established in 1927 on the East shore of San Francisco Bay.  Port history spans a period of 165 years, which encompassed the Civil War, the Industrial Revolution, two World Wars, and America’s coming of age as a global power.

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Port of Oakland Sets a Record for Loaded Container Volume

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oaklandportThis past year loaded shipping container volume reached an all-time high at the Port of Oakland, CA.

The port reported a 7.6 percent increase handling the equivalent of 1.83 million loaded 20-foot containers last year — which beat the previous record of 1.82 million 20-footers in 2013.

The port attributed the milestone to a year-long containerized export boom, as well as growth in imports.  It noted the record is important since loaded container volume is a key measure used to calculate fees paid by Oakland’s marine terminal tenants.  Increased volume means the port gained business in 2016, even though it consolidated five terminals into four.

“This is a gratifying outcome,” Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll said in a press release.

Port officials said total 2016 volume — full and empty containers — equaled 2.37 million 20-foot containers, up 4 percent from 2015.

Containerized export volume jumped 10.5 percent in 2016.  In December, exports were up 13.5 percent — the fourth straight month of double-digit export growth.

Oakland import volume increased 4.7 percent last year, while December imports were up 6.1 percent.

Exports accounted for 52 percent of Oakland’s loaded container volume in 2016.

Port of Oakland History

Originally, the enclosed coaster body of water, 500 feet wide, had a depth of two feet at mean low tide. In 1852, the year of Oakland‘s incorporation as a town by the California State Legislature, large shipping wharves were constructed along the Oakland Estuary, which was dredged to create a viable shipping channel. 22 years later, in 1874, the previously dredged shipping channel was deepened to make Oakland a deep water port.

In the late 19th century, the Southern Pacific was granted exclusive rights to the port, a decision the city soon came to regret. In January 1906, a small work party in the employ of the Western Pacific Railroad, which had just begun construction, hastily threw a crossing over the SP line to connect the WP mainline with trackage built on an area of landfill. This act, protested by the SP and later held up in court, broke the railroad’s grip on the port area. The courts ruled that all landfill since the date of the agreement did not belong to the SP. This ruling ended SP control and made the modern Port of Oakland possible.


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Trucker Appointments Required by 3 Oakland Marine Terminals

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port-of-oaklandIf you are a trucker wanting to pick up cargo at the Port of Oakland, you pretty much have to have an appointment now.  A third marine terminal operator is now requiring appointments.

TraPac  of Wilmington, CA has announced it was requiring appointments for all import container pick-ups.  The change became effective December 6th.   The purpose of the new appointment system is designed to reduce waiting times by truckers and to more evenly distribute truck arrivals throughout each day at the port.

TraPac becomes the third of four terminals in Oakland to require appointments — the others are Everport and Oakland International Container Terminal.  Combined, the three terminals  handle more than 90 percent of the containerized cargo moving through the Port of Oakland.

Port of Oakland maritime director John Driscoll praised TraPac for making the change.

He maintained it is not easy introducing new operating procedures, but customers and harbor truckers benefit whenever the process can be sped up  to increase container throughput.

Oakland is one of only a handful of ports nationwide with an appointment system. Oakland port officials say appointments are seen as essential to accelerating cargo flow at ports coping with bigger ships and growing container volumes.

TraPac said truck dispatchers can log on to the nationwide port information system eModal to make appointments. The company said the requirement for appointments applies — for the present — only to loaded import containers. TraPac said truck drivers won’t need reservations for export deliveries or to pick up or return empty containers. It said it will communicate “well in advance” when it plans to expand appointments to all transactions.

Appointments are the second measure implemented at TraPac this fall intended to improve terminal performance.  Nearly three months ago, the terminal began opening selective night gates to ease daytime crowding. In October, port commissioners approved a new lease enabling TraPac to double its size in Oakland next year.

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