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  September 8th, 2015 | Written by

Port of Oakland Terminals Plan Saturday Gates to Reduce Congestion

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  • Oakland’s new Saturday gate program, called OakPass, is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of this year.
  • The Federal Maritime Commission is currently reviewing a filing describing the proposed program.
  • The terminals are working to ensure they have an adequate supply of labor to operate the new gates.

The four international marine container terminals at the port of Oakland announced they are developing a program to operate their terminal gates on Saturdays to reduce weekday congestion at the port.

The new program, called OakPass, is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of this year, pending review by the Federal Maritime Commission and other conditions.

The terminals, through the Oakland MTO Agreement (OAKMTOA), have submitted a filing to the FMC describing the proposed program. The terminals are currently working to ensure that an adequate supply of labor will be available to operate the new gates. OAKMTOA has established OakPass LLC, a not-for-profit company, to manage the Saturday gate program.

“The Port of Oakland and the four international container terminals agree on the need for additional capacity to reduce congestion and accommodate future volume growth,” said John Cushing, president of OakPass LLC. “After spending well over a year evaluating options including night gates, we determined that adding a Saturday gate is the most practical and cost-effective method to increase capacity in a way that meshes with availability of truck drivers and longshore workers and serves the entire supply chain.”

To help pay for the cost of the new gates, the terminals will begin collecting an extended gate fee (EGF) of $17 per twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU), or $34 on a typical forty-foot container. The EGF will be assessed on loaded import and export containers entering or exiting the terminals during peak hours, Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The EGF will not be assessed during off-peak hours, Saturdays 7:00 a.m. through 6:00 p.m. Empty containers and transshipment cargo will be exempt from the EGF. The EGF will be charged to the cargo owner, not to trucking companies or drivers.

OakPass is currently setting up the information systems and financial arrangements needed to collect, track and distribute EGF payments. By the time OakPass begins operating Saturday gates, all cargo owners moving containers through the Port of Oakland will need to be registered with OakPass to pay the EGF on containers delivered or picked up during peak hours.