The Port of Oakland is extending its USD 1.5 million subsidy program aimed at stimulating night and weekend business that was scheduled to expire this week.
Within the subsidy program launched in February 2016, the port opened its terminal gates at night and weekends in order to increase access hours for harbor truck drivers at its terminals.
Port commissioners decided last week to continue through June 30 the fund that partially subsidizes extended gate hours. Oakland International Container Terminal (OICT) said it would tap the fund immediately.
The terminal has operated nights and Saturdays for two months to ease pressure on busy weekday cargo operations. It intends now to conduct additional nighttime transactions Tuesdays-through-Thursdays, 6 p.m. to 3 a.m.
“The old way doesn’t work any longer,” Port Executive Director Chris Lytle said, adding that “there’s too much business; we have to stay open longer to get cargo in and out of Oakland”.
With the expanded transaction trial beginning on May 10, the new transactions will include accepting containerized export loads and receiving and releasing empty containers, the port said.
OICT said it was conducting up to 600 transactions every night and 1,200 on Saturdays.
What initiated the port’s subsidy program was, inter alia, the closure of one of five Oakland marine terminals, Outer Harbor Terminals LLC, formerly known as Ports America Outer Harbor LLC, which had filed for bankruptcy and left the port.