Limiting a congestion mitigation scheme to an initial one-year term may be the best way to assess its benefits for carriers and shippers, according to the Port of Oakland.
In a letter to the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), Port of Oakland executive director Chris Lytle said that the scheme recently proposed by his port’s box terminal operators, called OakPass, should be carefully monitored by the agency.
“Until OakPass has some operational experience, no one can predict how effective OakPass will be in easing congestion,” Lytle wrote.
Modeled on the PierPass programme at the Port of Los Angeles, OakPass would charge shippers a fee to move containers through the port to pay for a weekend truck gate shift as a way to ease port congestion during peak weekday hours.
While the port generally supports OakPass and Saturday gate hours, Lytle warned that its benefits will be diminished until a shortage of port drayage drivers is addressed. He also said terminals need to ensure that revenues collected to fund the additional work shift do not exceed the cost of providing the service.
Lytle indicated that as the end of the suggested one-year initial term approaches, the FMC “could again seek public comment on the renewal of OakPass”.