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Oakland Port Sets Transition Plan After Terminal Operator's Bankruptcy


Port of Oakland

The Port of Oakland on Feb. 10 announced a plan to shift cargo away from terminals now being handled by a bankrupt terminal operator, saying it will pay up to $1.5 million to financially bolster operators being asked to handle the extra containers.

Ships that use Outer Harbor Terminal, which recently filed for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, will instead be berthed at adjacent terminals. Most ships and cargo from Outer Harbor Terminal will relocate to Oakland International Container Terminal in the port's middle harbor. The rest go to another terminal in the outer harbor, TraPac.

The Oakland port was forced to steer to alternative berthing plans and terminals after Outer Harbor Terminal, saying it couldn't renegotiate its lease with the port and had been suffering losses in recent years, first said it would soon depart the East Bay cargo hub and soon after filed for bankruptcy to reorganize its finances.

"We have three objectives with this plan," port Executive Director Christopher Lytle said. "We will find a home for all ships that come to Oakland, we will improve cargo-handling processes to move cargo efficiently, and we'll meet the needs of shippers in Oakland."

The port, though has been left with a big hole in its finances. The Outer Harbor Terminal joint venture, which consisted of Ports America and Terminal Investment, was paying about $3 million a month in rent. The rentals from the joint venture amounted to 24% of the maritime operating revenue at the port, according to spokesman Michael Zampa.

Separately, the port said it is in the final stages of a deal whereby TraPac, a major terminal operator, would lease two additional berths at Outer Harbor Terminal.

The $1.5 million would help terminal operators open gates at night and on weekends for truckers that are picking up or dropping off containers.

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By George Avalos
Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.)

 

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.



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