Shipping News Alert: Port of Oakland Congestion & Trucking Fees

 In International Shipping, Port of Oakland, shipping news, Shipping News Alert, trucking

Shipping News AlertDelays at ports across the country have been difficult for truckers and shippers this winter.

At Universal Cargo Management, we work hard to make sure your imports and exports ship as smoothly as possible.

While we keep an eye on what’s happening at the various ports to provide you with the best service possible, we also like to share the shipping situations that are happening with you.

Heading into the weekend last week, Jimmy Ting released the following update on the Port of Oakland.

PORT OF OAKLAND CONGESTION UPDATE – TRUCKERS BEGINNING TO CHARGE WAITING TIME

February 14, 2014 · by Jimmy Ting· in Port of Oakland. ·

We received a message today from one of our long time trucking partners that they will begin charging for waiting time at the terminals. They will provide two hours of free waiting time. However any additional time will be billed at $55 an hour. We have other truckers who have long since instituted a waiting time fee. We urge importers and exporters who rely on these truckers to please be patient and understanding. The truckers really are struggling to make a living as they continue having to waste more time at the terminals trying to get containers. We have been told that drivers have been experiencing wait times ranging from two to five hours.

Here’s our latest update of the four main terminals serving the port of Oakland.

1.) Ports America – This port seems to have taken over the number one ranking as the biggest offender from the standpoint of terminal congestion. Containers arriving at the port are taking more days than usual to become available for pick up. They are often times sitting in locations that truckers are not allowed to pick up at. We’ve seen containers remain unavailable for over one week (beyond the free time allowed by the terminal). Right now, Ports America is extending their free time in these situations. This has even affected containers that are subject to Customs examinations. However you do have to be careful which carrier you are using. Hapag Lloyd recently billed a customer for storage fees despite the fact that the container was not available for pick up. Also note that even once containers are available, the first available pick up appointment is usually a few days later.

I do believe some of the carriers using Ports America understands they have a major congestion issue. The past two weekends, they have had Saturday gates open to help relieve some of the congestion. They plan on opening a Monday gate on Presidents’ Day.

2.) SSA Terminal – SSA is still dealing with long wait times. Adding to the headache, SSA sent out a message today that they are dealing with chassis shortages.

3.) Ben E. Nutter – Things are hopefully going to be looking up in the coming month at this terminal. The broken transtainer was fixed last week. However we currently are still seeing delays in container availability and congestion within the terminal. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that this terminal can right itself in the coming month.

4.) Trapac – This terminal seems to have received the least amount of complaints.

Some members of the shipping community have asked whether it is worthwhile to consider Los Angeles-Long Beach as an alternative. Please note that Los Angeles-Long Beach is also facing congestion issues related to chassis shortages.

I will be attending a CBFANC town hall meeting next week with other brokers, freight forwarders and hopefully some representatives from the Oakland terminals. I will report back with news from our meeting.

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