California’s ag shippers get new barge service
January 06, 2012
A major breakthrough toward a more sustainable cargo network has been announced by the “niche” Port of Stockton, California.
As reported here, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced the award of a $30 million TIGER grant for the ports of Oakland, Stockton and West Sacramento to develop the infrastructure necessary to establish a container-on-barge service between the Central Valley and the San Francisco Bay area two years ago. Now the Stockton is making ready to take advantage of this development.
The port has selected Savage Companies (Savage) to manage the M-580 Marine Highway Corridor between the Port of Stockton and Port of Oakland. Savage will immediately begin marketing the M-580 Marine Highway to potential customers of the container-on-barge service. Operations of the M-580 Marine Highway are scheduled to commence during the first quarter 2012.
“We are very pleased to have selected Savage to manage our Marine Highway program,” said Port of Stockton Port Director Richard Aschieris. “The strength of their proposal combined with their existing supply chain capabilities insures the Northern California Marine Highway will offer efficient and extensive services to anyone shipping by container in our region and beyond.”
The Port of Stockton received $13 Million of the grant to support the purchase of two 140-ton mobile harbor cranes and to make the necessary improvements at the Port to support the project. The port has purchased the two cranes with a scheduled delivery later this month. In addition to the cranes, the port has purchased two barges to be dedicated to the project. The barges are scheduled to undergo modifications in order to handle containers. The barge modifications are scheduled to be completed early in the first quarter 2012.
Spokesmen noted that the M-580 Marine Highway will help to reduce congestion along the I-580/I-5 corridors and the improve air quality and public safety in the region.
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