The recent consolidation of terminals at the Port of Oakland caused by the bankruptcy of Outer Harbor Terminals has freed up space at the port for container storage and other services. The goal is to mitigate the congestion issues the port currently faces. Additionally the Port of Oakland has plans to transform the former Oakland Army Base into warehouses and transloading facilities.
Oakland handled 2.3 million 20-foot-equivelent units in 2016. In the first quarter of 2017, imports are up 3.5 percent and exports have increased 3.2 percent compared to last year. A major contributor to the congestion in Oakland is the mega ships that cause surges in volume. Fewer but larger ships are calling the Port of Oakland, in the first quarter of 2017, 402 ships called the port which is 5.6 percent less than last year. The vessels this year are carrying 8.4 percent more cargo.
The Port of Oakland is preparing a proposal to transform a 4 to 6 acre site into an area where trucks can be fueled and weighed. Another way Oakland plans to alleviate congestion are dray-offs which speed up the flow of containers by placing them at off-dock sites where truckers can access them at any time without having to wait in truck queues at the marine terminals.
The consolidation of marine terminals has been one of the biggest challenges faced by Oakland. At one point Oakland had 12 container terminals that were equipped to handle smaller vessels, currently there are only three international terminals at the port. The transitions that have taken place during these consolidations have caused operational complexities contributing to the congestion issues over time.
Oakland has implemented extended gate hours and also created an appointment system that seems to be helping with congestion. With the developments of the transloading and warehousing options Oakland expects import and export volume to rise. There will be a cold storage warehouse that is aimed to service exporters. The facility is expected to open in June of 2018.