- The Port of Oakland's second-largest terminal will begin operating "night gates" as of Oct. 15 to accelerate cargo flow, reduce driver downtime and end marine terminal congestion, according to a port press release.
- The program will allow truck drivers to pick up or drop off containers from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., between Monday and Thursday of each week. The night gates will cost carriers a fee of $30 per container to "cover night gate costs, principally for additional labor."
- The news marks the second terminal in Oakland to operate night gates. Oakland International Container Terminal (OICT) began using night gates two years ago. The two terminals process 80% of all containers at the Port of Oakland, the port said.
Port terminals are continually looking for ways to make their operations more efficient, and three options have become popular in the U.S.:
- Night gates: Since OICT began its second-shift experiment in 2016, the terminal has halved driver wait times to 60 to 90 minutes and handles up to 2,000 truck transactions after sundown each day.
- Reservations: The Port of Virginia launched a reservation portal for inbound trucks at two terminals, declaring special "mandatory reservation" times where trucks without a booking can be turned away or are not allowed to queue.
- Visibility tools: The Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach are piloting a visibility portal with GE. The theory is such tools can provide transparency at port operations and save shippers and carriers time, if they know whether a port is congested and if their container is ready for pick-up before committing to the task. (The Port of Rotterdam is testing an app for this purpose.)
With TraPac joining OICT in operating night hours, carriers operating through Oakland now have an additional option to avoid long wait times — for a fee. TraPac, a subsidiary of Mitsui OSK Lines, typically serves ONE, Hapag-Lloyd and Yang Ming traffic (which together make up THE Alliance in ocean shipping).