Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


Port of Oakland’s new chief has work cut out for him

By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
August 19, 2013

The Port of Oakland’s terminal operators have had to deal with severe congestion and delays for the past six weeks, thanks to dockside labor disruptions and wildcat actions by independent truckers. Today, the issue became more severe as 30 or more truckers shut down commerce at one terminal and threatened to interfere with two others.

Welcome to your new job, Chris Lytle.

As reported in LM last month, the former executive director of the Port of Long Beach was scheduled to start in his current role here in mid-July. Oakland’s leadership was badly upended by a fiduciary scandal that resulted in the resignation of Omar Benjamin and his maritime director, James Kwon.

“I know there are a lot of challenges here to deal with right away,” said Lytle in an interview with LM. “But Oakland has the resources and the transport advantages to deal with them.”

One of the chief advantages, say industry analysts, is Oakland’s position as a leading export gateway on the West Coast. Given its proximity to California’s agricultural core, Oakland has long been regarded as the premier outbound port for perishables.

“And we want that to only get stronger,” says Lytle. “We are currently dealing with the Port of Stockton to establish regular barge service to bring goods out of the central valley. This not only gets trucks off the road, but also expedites shipping.”

He acknowledges, however, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union is insisting on being compensated for barge moves, too.

“It’s something that we are presently working on with the union,” said Lytle. “It’s a problem, but not an insurmountable one.”

Coinciding with Lytle’s leadership start here, the Oakland Board of Port Commissioners unanimously approved a litigation settlement agreement with SSA Terminals, LLC and SSA Terminals (Oakland), LLC (collectively, “SSAT”), one of the port’s major long-term seaport tenants.

The settlement involves four of the port’s seven marine terminals, and will create operationally the 3rd largest terminal on the U.S. West Coast. In terms of size and operational efficiencies, this new “mega-terminal” will be more in line with competing terminals, allowing the port to sustain and attract more maritime cargo.

This does not mean, however, that Oakland will necessarily repeat its major thrust to attract more inbound cargo calls.

“At least not for the time being,” said Lytle. “We know that our main attraction is for ag shippers to have a reliable partner. We are going to build upon that strength first, before going after new carrier business.”

Lytle also said that he would explore “sea/air” transport strategies using the Oakland airport as a shipping partner.

“It’s an option that has not been evaluated recently,” he allowed,  “but one certainly worth considering.”

About the Author

image
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).


Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

When an industry is changing rapidly, companies must adapt in order to survive. In this whitepaper, a global publisher was seeking a partner that could mitigate risk and build a platform flexible enough for their shifting customer expectations. The solution enabled the company to rewrite their operations game plan and transform their supply chain.

Global trade management technology provider Amber Road (formerly known as Management Dynamics) said this week it has acquired ecVision, a cloud-based provider of global sourcing and collaborative supply chain solutions.

While it is already reaping myriad benefits from ORION (On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation), a proprietary routing platform for its drivers rolled out in late 2013, transportation and logistics bellwether UPS announced big plans for the technology this week.

Diesel prices continued their recent stretch of gains with a 3.6 cent increase this week to $2.936 per gallon, according to the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA).

TSA has reaffirmed its March 9 general rate increase (GRI) of $600 per 40-foot container (FEU) for all shipments, and lines have also filed a previously announced April 9 GRI in the same amount.

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA