Port of Oakland is Back to Full-Speed After Labor Strife

The Port of Oakland is back operating at full speed after a summer of traffic jams and backlogs caused by a labor dispute earlier this year, according to officials.

The port reported no vessels at anchor waiting for berths at its five marine terminals for the sixth straight day after a summer-long buildup of ships in the San Francisco Bay. The number of vessels waiting to berth has been declining over the past three weeks, according to Maritime Director John Driscoll. “Ships are arriving in Oakland and going straight to berth – just what our customers need and how we expect the Port to operate every day” he added.

An influx of additional longshore labor over the past six weeks has helped eliminate the backlog, the port officials said. About 150 more dockworkers are joining the work force to accelerate vessel operations in Oakland. They’re being augmented by more than 300 casual or part-time workers. Another 30 marine clerk positions are being created as well.

However, the port warned that vessel backlogs could reoccur if more longshore labor is not added.  It could take another four-to-six weeks until labor reinforcements are in place.

Terminal operators have proposed a plan for opening their terminals on Saturday, proposing to the Federal Maritime Commission that they fund weekend operations via a fee collected on containers moving through the port during the day Monday through Friday.

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