CALIFORNIA PORTS 2005 - Frisco targets breakbulk, Oakland begins night gate trials

By: | at 08:00 PM | Channel(s): Ports & Terminals  

By Leo Quigley, AJOTUnlike the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, the Port of San Francisco is concentrating on handling breakbulk cargo and is having some real success at developing this market niche.
Jill Simpson-Rodby, port spokesperson, told AJOT that while breakbulk cargo is “holding its own this year,” in 2004 the port experienced an increase of 149% in breakbulk traffic, brought about primarily through a concentrated marketing effort.
Included in this breakbulk cargo is steel destined for construction projects at the Port of Oakland. According to Simpson-Rodby, the steel sheet piling is being supplied by Skyline Steel LLC and is delivered to Pier 80 by Star Shipping. The steel is then offloaded to truck and delivered to the Port of Oakland.
Pier 80 Omni-terminal is the leading breakbulk handling facility in the San Francisco Bay area, offering three deepwater berths, 2,700 feet of dock space, four gantry cranes and 40 acres of paved land for storage, staging and marshalling products such as steel, special projects, lumber and newsprint.
The terminal is also equipped with transit sheds that are used to protect materials such as steel coils, lumber, newsprint and other materials from the weather.
This year the port expects to handle about 264,000 metric tons of breakbulk, which will represent a seven percent increase over last years’ record numbers.
Simpson-Rodby said construction of the Illinois Street Bridge, scheduled for completion in late 2006, is expected to give breakbulk handlings a boost since it will provide on-dock rail to Pier 80.
The bridge is being completed following approval of $3.2 million in funding that was part of the $300 billion transportation bill recently passed by Congress.
The bridge will open the door to steel and project cargo moving inland and will play a role in taking heavy trucks off highways in the San Francisco Bay area.
Operated by Marine Terminals Corporation, Pier 80 receives Star Shipping, SK Shipping, Pan Ocean Bulk, Hyundai and Saga Forest Carrier ships on a regular basis.
Oakland’s night gates swing open
The big news at the Port of Oakland is this month’s launch of night gates,
Similar to the extended gate program now in place at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Oakland’s program is being run on a trial basis at the Oakland International Container Terminal operated by SSA Marine.
Intended for export cargo only, the night gates operate from 6:00 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., when traffic congestion on highways in the Oakland area is at a minimum and trucks can operate with the least amount of idling, thus reducing emissions.
Unlike most California ports, Oakland is largely an export port handling produce and agri-products from the highly productive Central Valley. The port is fourth only to Los Angeles, Long Beach and New York/New Jersey in annual traffic levels, with nearly 60% destined to Asian buyers. Container traffic – particularly full import containers – has been on the increase in recent months. The port experienced a 23.8% increase in June of this year and a 19.5% increase in July.
It’s expected that the night gate program will operate for a two to three-month trial period at Oakland International Container Terminal (OICT), operated by Stevedoring Services of America.
OICT offers shippers three berths with a total length of 3,600 feet and a water depth of 50 feet, nearly 900 reefer outlets and six cranes.
On average, the OICT handles 2,500 truck turns daily and it’s hoped about 15% of these will now occur between 6:00 p.m. and 2:30 a.m. when the night gate program is in operation. If so, the program will be judged a success.
In recent years the port has pumped $1.2 billion in capital improvements into Northern California’s largest and busiest port. According to Marilyn Sandifur, port spokesperson, Oakland now has sufficient capacity to double its container business.
The massive upgrade program has brought with it the deepening of the port’s berths and harbor to 46 feet and pl

Leo Quigley's avatar

American Journal of Transportation