Plan to Extend Cargo Operations to Saturday at Port of Oakland Delayed
The Federal Maritime Commission will take a closer look at a plan that would impose a new weekday gate fee at the port of Oakland to fund the extension of terminal operations to Saturday. The plan is similar to the PierPASS program that has been in place for a decade at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and is designed to help reduce port congestion that has been increasing due to factors such as labor conflicts and larger ships. With many ports dealing with the same problems, there is speculation that they may pursue these types of programs as well.
The five container terminals that make up the Oakland MTO Agreement have requested FMC approval of an amendment to that agreement that would create the OakPass program, under which a new fee (said to be $17 per 20-foot container and $34 per 40-foot containers) would be imposed on most trucks using terminal gates between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays. This program was to have taken effect Sept. 7, but the FMC voted unanimously Sept. 2 to request more information in light of complaints from importers, exporters and others that the terminals have not provided enough information about how the system will work. Once the terminals have fully responded to this request the FMC will have 45 days to complete its review.