AAPA Seaports Advisory

Terminal Operations: Georgia, Oakland, San Diego

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Georgia: GPA Will Continue Weighing Containers at No Cost to Shippers

The U.S. Coast Guard has determined that state-calibrated scales already in use at the Port of Savannah meet a new requirement of the international Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention.

"We would like to commend the U.S. Coast Guard for bringing clarity to the SOLAS issue," said Griff Lynch, incoming executive director at Georgia Ports Authority (GPA). "In conjunction with the International Longshoremen's Association, the GPA currently weighs all loaded export containers, and will continue to do so at no cost to the customer."

An amendment to the international SOLAS Convention, effective July 1, called for shippers to either weigh loaded containers or weigh empty containers and cargo separately, and provide a verified gross mass total to shipping lines. A Coast Guard bulletin issued April 28 explained that the current practice of weighing containers at terminal gates delivers equivalent data.

The Port of Savannah's Garden City Terminal features four gates with 48 interchange lanes and two on-dock rail facilities.

In compliance with the Code of Federal Regulations, the GPA weighs all export containers arriving via truck and intermodal rail.

"The Coast Guard announcement allows for a clear path forward and ensures that our customers will continue to receive the best service at the most economical prices," said Mr. Lynch. "With new growth and expansion opportunities ahead, this is an exciting time for Georgia's ports and our customers."

GPA will continue weighing containers at no cost to shippers.

Big Boost for Night, Weekend Work at the Port of Oakland

A $1.5 million subsidy program to stimulate night and weekend business at the Port of Oakland has been extended. The port’s largest marine terminal operator said it will use the program to further expand weeknight operations. The announcement comes as the port abandons its traditional 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. operating model.

"The old way doesn’t work any longer," said Port Executive Director Chris Lytle. "There’s too much business; we have to stay open longer to get cargo in and out of Oakland."

Port Commissioners voted to continue through June 30 the fund that partially subsidizes extended gate hours. It had been scheduled to expire last week.

Oakland International Container Terminal (OICT), which handles 67 percent of Oakland’s cargo, said it will tap the fund immediately. The terminal has operated nights and Saturdays for two months to ease pressure on busy weekday cargo operations. Now it intends to conduct additional nighttime transactions Tuesdays-through-Thursdays, 6 p.m. to 3 a.m., during a four-week trial.

The new transactions include accepting containerized export loads and receiving and releasing empty containers. The expanded-transaction trial begins May 10. Other nighttime transactions already in place include:

  • Refrigerated container handling

  • Containerized import pick-up by customers using an express service known as the one-stop, free-flow program

  • Import pick-up for containers loaded on chassis for immediate drayage
  • "We’re counting on harbor drivers to take advantage of these added nighttime features," said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. "This is what cargo owners have been asking for and the terminal operator and Port have been listening."

    Extra gate hours are intended to give harbor truckers more time to pick-up and deliver containerized cargo. Until recently, they had only been allowed through terminal gates on weekdays. By working nights or Saturdays, drivers can avoid lines that sometime build up on the dayside Monday through Friday.

    Oakland International Container Terminal said it is conducting up to 600 transactions every night and 1,200 on Saturdays. The port expects those numbers to grow as more business migrates from weekday operations.

    Giant Beer Fermentation Tanks Shipped to Port of San Diego for Local Brewing Company

    Four 24-ton fermentation and storage tanks destined for local brewing company Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits arrived at the Port of San Diego on April 28. The tanks were manufactured in Ludwigsburg, Germany, and loaded aboard the vessel M/V Star Lysefjord in Antwerp, Belgium, for transport to San Diego’s Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal.

    The 69-foot tall tanks will be used to produce beer at Ballast Point’s Miramar (CA) brewery, about 17 miles from the port.

    Until recently, the company shipped most of its equipment through other ports and trucked it to San Diego.

    Recently, the company determined that San Diego’s close proximity to the company’s brewing locations, plus its experience with specialty breakbulk cargo made it an ideal port to handle this heavy equipment. Ballast Point plans to import additional equipment via the Port of San Diego.

    "We are fortunate to have experienced rapid growth recently, and with that we must keep up with increased distribution," said Hilary Cocalis, Vice President of Marketing for Ballast Point. "We are constantly adding new tanks and equipment to expand production at our main Miramar brewery. It’s always a happy day at the brewery when new tanks are dropped into place, and we’re glad the Port of San Diego has helped ensure this latest shipment arrived to us safely and efficiently."

    Beer Fermentation Tanks at San Diego’s Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal awaiting shipment to the Ballast Point brewery in nearby Miramar.
    Photo/Port of San Diego


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