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Port of Oakland wants to put trucking concerns to rest

By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
November 01, 2013

While port management is mindful of wildcat actions slowing commerce at its gateways, a new strategy may mitigate that risk.

“We have seen a handful of labor activists threaten random demonstrations to keep trucks from reaching the terminals,” said executive director, Chris Lytle in a recent speech to the shipping community. “But it is by no means an organized effort. Basically, it comes in resistance to California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulations. “Meanwhile, we are trying our best to address many of the labor concerns that have surfaced here recently.”

In his hour-long presentation hosted by Women in Logistics; The Pacific Maritime Association; and California Trucking Association, Lytle outlined a creative solution to the trucking troubles that have plagued the port the past few years.

“The drivers have been hard hit in Oakland with the costs involved in meeting the CARB clean truck requirements,” said Lytle. “New trucks are expensive and trucks with DPF’s are not able to be used in harbor drayage after January 1, 2014.”

Meanwhile, he noted that Port of Long Beach and Los Angeles were able contribute over $100 million to subsidize the purchase of new cleaner trucks. Oakland simply did not have that kind of funding available.

Lytle has asked terminal operators to consider the following:

“In cases where a driver arrives on time for his appointment but is not able to pick up his load for an unreasonably long time—say greater than 3 hours—through no fault of his own, he should have some kind of compensation to offset his lost income.”

At the same time, Lytle said he would propose to trucking company owners that they recognize this tough economic situation placed on the drivers and “take a fresh look” at the driver compensation for these services.

“I know that many companies have already addressed this issue and for those companies, I thank you. If your company has not looked at this issue, I urge you to do it immediately.”

Lytle concluded by saying that the port will continue to work with the owner-operators in our Trucker Efficiency Task Force along with other key stakeholders including trucking company owners, CTA, PMSA, terminal operators, to make our port more efficient and “business friendly.”

About the Author

Patrick Burnson
Executive Editor

Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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