OAKLAND, CALIF. — The Port of Oakland is creating a program to improve the flow of agriculture exports at the port that will include the use of additional yard space and equipment, restored export ship calls and assistance to export users.
The goal is to provide relief to agricultural exporters who are facing shortages of export capacity and skyrocketing logistics costs, according to port officials.
The port will open and operate a 25-acre off-terminal, paved container yard equipped to move containers off chassis and store them for rapid pickup. The yard will provide access to equipment and provide faster truck turns without having to wait for in-terminal space. Agriculture exporters will be assisted by federal and state agricultural agencies to use the yard.
The Port of Oakland is the preferred export gateway for much of California’s agricultural exporters and for refrigerated proteins. Under normal circumstances, the cargo volume at the port is approximately 50% exports and 50% imports, providing a match between inbound cargo and emptied containers for exports.
However, the current import surge clogging up the ports is displacing ships and containers that are available to exporters, especially shipments of farm goods. The port saw significant drops in export volume due to skipped sailings of crucial export lines and lack of equipment for export cargo.
“We need the shipping companies to immediately restore the export lines from Oakland to Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent,” said Bryan Brandes, Port of Oakland Maritime director.