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    Port of Oakland Terminal Congestion Surging

    As vessels continue to unload at the port of Oakland, the terminals are struggling to absorb the huge influx of containers. All terminals seem to be dealing with critical shortage of chassis. All terminals seem to be blocking off sections of container rows, making them unavailable for days on end after getting off the vessel. Carriers are starting to send vessels to alternative terminals to try to ease congestion. Evergreen has sent three vessels to SSA terminal as BENT terminal tries to handle the huge influx of containers at the terminal.

    Here is an excerpt of a letter sent from one of our truckers this week:

    Re: Extended Port Congestion
    Dear Valued Customer;
    As you very well know, we are still experiencing massive congestions and delays at
    Port of Oakland. With respect to imports, we are still experiencing extreme delays
    in the releasing of containers. The delays are made worse by the surge in container
    volume in one area, coupled with shortage of chassis, which have again resulted
    in containers having decked outside of the transtainer row from where they cannot
    be delivered. According to terminal authorities, containers decked in such areas
    will be made available as chassis availability permits and for truckers to pick up the
    container in two days. However, this is far from true because as soon as the terminal
    informs truckers of the availability of the containers for pick up, drivers who are
    on stand by would all surge to the terminal at the same time, hoping to get there
    before the terminal closes. This situation is exacerbated by the terminals’ lack of
    Clear rules for availability and their abrupt announcements of early closures.

    Although we always strive our best to pick up your load as soon as they become
    available, we really are at the mercy of the terminals. Because of the extremely
    fluid situation at the Port of Oakland, we cannot guarantee that we can pick up
    your containers within two days from receiving notice from the terminal. It does
    not matter if you gave us the orders with the ETA and last free day ahead of time.
    Thus ,we are not responsible for any resulting demurrage charges. We strongly urge
    You to be prepared to pay demurrage, or make arrangements with the shipping line
    to extend the free time.

    As a recent carrier representative advised me this morning, they expect to be “crushed” by containers in the coming weeks. I have a difficult time imagining how much worse it could be.

    During this time, we are have extreme difficulty finding truckers to handle containers both in Northern California (Oakland) and Southern California (Los Angeles/Long Beach). Truckers have been refusing delivery requests on a daily basis.

    We continue to request that the shipping community be patient in this stressful situation.

    Best Regards,

    Jimmy Ting
    Great World / GWL Corp
    email: jimmyting@gwlcorp.com
    tel: 650-873-9050 x1019