I mentioned earlier in the week that the terminals at the port of Oakland will be open on Friday, July 3rd. Unfortunately, they will for the most part (limited steamship lines will open for availability at Ports America) not be open on Monday, July 6th. The terminals have inverted the situation as most in the shipping community are closed on Friday, July 3rd and open Monday, July 6th. Therefore as we approach the holiday weekend, we are faced with the following:
1.) The usual, awful terminal conditions remain at SSA. Ports America also suffered through a bad week with numerous equipment breakdowns.
2.) A shortage in skilled longshoremen labor to unload containers off vessels is creating a new bottleneck at the Oakland terminals. NYK sent out a message yesterday indicating that the “average number of container vessel gangs being dispatched port wide is approximately 11 or 12 compared to the usual of 20 gangs per day shift and 16 to 18 per night shift.” Anyone driving across the Bay Bridge this weekend may notice vessels starting to back up again. We are noticing vessels beginning to wait days to be unloaded.
NYK’s message to the public is that the PMA has agreed to hire additional longshoremen, but the process could take two months. I personally had hoped the shortage in skilled longshoremen might be temporary, due to longshoremen taking vacation during the holiday, but this may be a long term issue.
3.) We are going to face a short week with most terminals not open for container pick up on Monday. The short week is going to make it very challenging to find enough truck power to pick up and delivery containers.
I wish I had better news for everyone as we enter the holiday weekend. I urge everyone to brace themselves for the possibility of delays next week.
tel: 650-873-9050 x1019