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.