Outer Harbor Terminal Files for Bankruptcy Protection

Outer Harbor Terminal LLC, formerly known as Ports America Outer Harbor, filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday under Chapter 11 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, just two weeks after it terminated its lease of a marine terminal at the port of Oakland.

OHT said that it was leaving the port in March thus terminating a 50-year lease, without disclosing the causes behind the decision, citing merely “business reasons”.

According to its bankruptcy filing, quoted by Reuters, OHT listed both assets and liabilities of between USD 100 million and USD 500 million.

We’re deeply disappointed in the action today by Ports America,” said Port of Oakland Executive Director Chris Lytle.

“They made a decision to close their business in Oakland. Since then, we’ve been negotiating with them in good faith for a smooth, orderly transition that protects the interests of shipping lines, cargo owners and others who depend on the terminal. It’s a shame they’ve taken this step.”

The port said it will work to ensure the terminal’s “customers aren’t left adrift by the decision.” In addition, the port added it was finalizing plans to redirect ships and cargo to other Oakland marine terminals when Ports America Outer Harbor closes.

“We’ll find a home for all of the cargo that was going to Ports America Outer Harbor,” said Lytle. “We’ll implement measures to improve cargo-handling processes and make this transition successful.”

Outer Harbor is one of five marine terminals leased to private operators by the Port of Oakland, the third-largest container shipping port in California.

More than 2,000 ships, most from Asia, berth at the terminals each year, with the terminals moving over 2 million containers per annum through the port.

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