The Port of Oakland wants Saturday operations at its marine terminals, but first a labor shortage that has slowed vessel loading operations must be resolved, and the fee to fund Saturday operations must be reasonable and used exclusively for those operations, the Port’s Executive Director Chris Lytle said in a letter to the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission.
Lytle’s letter was in response to plans by Oakland marine terminal operators to open their gates on Saturdays. The proposal, currently under Commission review, could ease weekday terminal crowding by adding a sixth day of work.
Oakland terminals are already open on weekends for vessel operations, but rarely for other activities. The new arrangement would open terminals every Saturday for full operations, including gate entry. That would enable harbor truckers to pick-up containerized imports for delivery, drop-off exports or return empties.
The Port of Oakland does not operate marine terminals, but it favors Saturday hours as part of a broader plan it developed to speed up cargo delivery. That plan includes offsite locations to collect empty containers and a common pool of container chassis for harbor truckers.
A labor shortage that has reduced productivity this summer is being addressed, the Port said. It added, however, that more dockworkers are needed to ensure Saturday operations are successful.
The Port called for a review of the Saturday program after one year of operation.