Freight News, Sea

Port of Oakland’s largest terminal says night gates here to stay

[ September 29, 2016   //   ]

The three month trial is over and night gates are here to stay at the Port of Oakland’s busiest marine terminal. Port of Oakland officials say that Oakland International Container Terminal will make evening operations permanent following a successful three-month trial.
The decision makes Oakland one of the few U.S. ports open late for container pick-up or delivery. The Port said night gates will continue to take pressure off busier daytime operations.
“This is an important step,” said Maritime Director John Driscoll. “We’re making it easier for customers to do business with us by saving time and improving efficiency.”
Oakland International Container Terminal launched night gates June 27. They’re open Monday-through-Thursday, 6 p.m. to 3 a.m., for truck drivers to haul cargo. According to data compiled by the terminal and the Port, here’s the difference they’re making:
• About 1,300 container transactions nightly have migrated from day to evening.
• The average transaction time for truck drivers has dropped from 96 minutes in August to 79 minutes last week.
• Thirty percent of trucking companies at the port have reduced congestion surcharges assessed to customers for picking up containers.
The Port said it surveyed cargo owners and found that 74 percent of those queried use Oakland night gates. The reason: there’s less terminal crowding at night. Sixty-five percent said transaction times have improved thanks to night gates. That’s important because cargo owners have lobbied hard for faster container-handling, the Port said.
“The system is working and customers are paying less,” said Scott Taylor, CEO of GSC Logistics, one of the largest trucking companies at the Port. “Things are better and we’re saving time.”
Oakland International Container Terminal said it will continue to charge customers a $30 fee to finance night gates. The terminal assesses the levy on all loaded import and export containers. About 6,000 trucks pass through the terminal’s gates daily, making it one of the busiest in the U.S. It handles 70 percent of the containerized cargo in Oakland.
A neighboring Oakland marine terminal, TraPac, said it’s experimenting with night gates. The trail continues tonight and next Monday and Tuesday. There’s no word yet on whether TraPac will institute regular night hours.