Port of Oakland. Credit: Sheila Fitzgerald / Shutterstock.com

Port of Oakland Launches Program Seeking to Expedite Agricultural Exports

Mike Schuler
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January 4, 2022

The Port of Oakland has launched a program to expedite agricultural exports in an effort to provid relief to exporters facing shortages of capacity and skyrocketing logistics costs.

The program involves the use of additional yard space and equipment, restored export ship calls and assistance to exporters. Specifically, the port will open and operate a 25-acre off-terminal, paved container yard equipped to move containers off chassis and store them for pick-up. The yard will provide access to equipment and provide faster truck turns without having to wait for in-terminal space, according to the port. Agriculture exporters will also be assisted by federal and state agricultural agencies to use the yard.

The Port of Oakland is the biggest gateway for much of California’s agricultural exporters. Under normal circumstances, the cargo volume at the port is approximately 50% exports and 50% imports, providing a match between inbound cargo and emptied containers for exports. However, the import surge that has been clogging up the ports is displacing ships and containers that are available to exporters, especially shipments of farm goods, has led to “significant drops” in export volume due to skipped sailings and lack of equipment for export cargo, the port said.

The situation was the catalyst for a convening a meeting of State and Port officials with farm producers and transportation executives to come up with solutions to help solve the crisis. The meeting was led by Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development?Director Dee Dee Myers, State Transportation Agency Secretary David S. Kim and California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross.

“We need the shipping companies to immediately restore the export lines from Oakland to Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent,” said Bryan Brandes, Port of Oakland Maritime Director.

“In the meantime, the Port–along with our federal and state partners–is ready to do everything we can to help provide room and relief to help our agricultural customers,” said Danny Wan, the Port Executive Director.

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