Oakland – The Port of Oakland is able to reduce a bottleneck that hinders handling of containers through hiring dockworkers, a move that avoids the current crisis in Southern California ports.
A supply-chain gridlock has halted the processing of ocean-going shipments and prompted efforts aimed at round-the-clock operations at ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach.
Port officials said Thursday that Oakland port, however, has been able to ease the earlier bottleneck at the East Bay cargo hub.
The cargo bottleneck has hit the three primary California ports in Oakland, Los Angeles and Long Beach. Officials said the gridlock remained in Southern California, but disappeared at the East Bay port.
“Unlike other ports across the country that are facing ship congestion, Oakland is not experiencing any congestion or delays,” said Oakland port spokesman Robert Bernardo.
In Los Angeles and Long Beach, authorities have scrambled in an effort to operate 24/7. However, this is not the case for Oakland.
“We’re not looking at a 24/7 schedule,” Bernardo said. “We have a lot of potential here in Oakland.”
This was not the case during the summer at the port of Oakland.
“From May to August 2021, the Port of Oakland experienced overcrowding due to prolonged labor shortages and some ships decided to bypass Oakland,” Bernardo said.
This week, the Biden administration announced that an announcement by the president had resolved the confusion — but officials at both the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports say an unspecified amount of time would be needed for a truly round-the-clock operation. As Biden said.
Dozens of cargo ships were reported floating in Los Angeles and Long Beach this week waiting to unload their containers.
A similar problem was reported at Oakland Port in July, but port officials and others involved in the port began efforts to deal with the gridlock.
“The labor shortage was addressed by a coalition of ports, shipping companies, the Marine Terminal Association and the Longshore Union,” Bernardo said.
Solution: More dock workers were brought to the port of Oakland.
“The coalition’s efforts have, over a period of a few months, hired more dockworkers to address the intensifying congestion in the summer,” Bernardo said.
This has resulted in more activity in the Port of Oakland, which has managed to recover some of its lost business.
“By the end of the summer, there was a drop in demand due to ships leaving Oakland,” Bernardo said. “Now we are seeing the return of the ships that bypassed us.”
In recent days, Japan-based shipping titan Ocean Network Express revealed that it will reconnect the Port of Oakland to a major trans-Pacific shipping route. This route connects the ports of the west coast with the ports of Japan and China.
The new route will include Shanghai, Ningbo, Los Angeles, Oakland, Tokyo and Shanghai.
“This is an important service to our import and export customers,” said Brian Brands, director of the Port of Oakland Maritime. “And it’s another indication of the importance that our industry partners place on Oakland.”