White House Port Envoy Visits Port of Oakland to Discuss Cargo Downturn

White Home Port Envoy Visits Port of Oakland to Talk about Cargo Downturn

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The White Home port and provide chain envoy, retired Gen. Stephen Lyons, met with Port of Oakland officers Aug. 29 on the California advanced, discussing the continued provide chain points, as that facility has seen a major drop in container visitors this yr.

That’s due partly to shippers having handed it by due to increased transport charges accessible on the ports of Los Angeles and Lengthy Seashore.

In July, the Port of Oakland recorded a 28% year-over-year decline in cargo, one purpose being it was shut down for every week by impartial truck drivers, who had been protesting the implementation of California’s new employee classification regulation. Additionally, shippers say from a value profit it makes extra sense to keep away from going to Oakland, ship the objects destined for Oakland by truck after which head again to China or one other Asian port, reload and cross the Pacific once more full.


Lyons met with Port of Oakland Govt Director Danny Wan and Maritime Director Bryan Brandes to debate the challenges Oakland’s maritime actions face and proceed the federal dialogue to help options to items motion.

“I’m dedicated to searching for methods to stabilize your entire provide chain throughout the nation and restore shopper confidence within the system, and the Port of Oakland performs an vital position in our nation’s freight community,” Lyons mentioned.

Oakland’s drop in cargo is going down at a time when different ports are seeing document container volumes.

Whereas abroad transport costs have fallen considerably from their pandemic excessive of greater than $16,000 per 20-foot-equivalent unit, the most recent Drewry’s composite World Container Index for spot charges decreased by 2% the final week of August. It marks the index’s twenty third consecutive weekly lower, and transport costs now are 29% beneath year-ago ranges. Charges for the Shanghai-to-Los Angeles route fell 3% to $7,280 per 40-foot container. Nonetheless, the Drewry WCI composite index for spot charges stays 84% increased than the five-year common.

Danny Wan


Port of Oakland’s Wan mentioned he believes Lyons’ go to to Oakland is an indication his facility is open for enterprise and set to make a rebound.

“We absolutely recognize Gen. Lyons coming to Oakland to see our operations and discover options to the present provide chain congestion,” Wan mentioned in a press release. “Oakland has been a decadeslong port of selection for agricultural exports; we have to restore a full complement of companies right here to assist all of our prospects transfer their items.”

As a part of his go to, Lyons met with agricultural exporters, importers and maritime terminal operators who depend on the port for his or her enterprise.

In response to port officers, the agriculture leaders expressed concern about how their import and export operations are being disrupted at varied factors within the provide chain.

Their points embrace:

• Overflowing warehouses. The emptiness fee for warehouses in some elements of California is beneath 1%, particularly close to port complexes.

• The shortage of labor at distribution facilities,

• Persevering with gear shortages, together with the shortage of accessible chassis.

• The necessity for extra vessel companies to extend export capability.

• The need to maneuver imports off marine terminals sooner and cut back cargo dwell time.

Prior to now 18 months, the federal authorities and Port of Oakland have developed a more in-depth working relationship.

Bryan Brandes


“We proceed to search for inventive methods to scale back port congestion and provide chain disruptions at Oakland, together with constructing infrastructure and elevated transparency of knowledge to extend the fluidity of commerce by way of our port,” Brandes mentioned.

In early March, the port, with the assistance of the U.S. Division of Agriculture, started organising and working a 22-acre, multimillion-dollar pop-up container yard particularly for agricultural exports.

It comes as meals corporations, port officers and authorities leaders search to capitalize on the rising demand for exported American farm merchandise. Officers mentioned assuming the enterprise is profitable, it may very well be replicated at different amenities.

Port officers mentioned federal funding accounts for 60% of the price to assemble and function the export container depot. A few of the cash will partially cowl a $125-per-container reimbursement to shippers, in accordance with USDA.

Earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic started, the port was busiest with agriculture-specific exports, partly due to its location close to central California’s wealthy agriculture basin and with direct rail hyperlinks to the Midwest.

It serves as an export hyperlink for refrigerated protein merchandise from farmers in Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin and different Midwest states.

The Port of Oakland additionally within the midst of making an attempt to lure Main League Baseball’s Oakland A’s to the port advanced. A proposal may very well be accredited later this yr to construct a ballpark in addition to assemble a multibillion-dollar actual property improvement close to the advanced.

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