Measures to cut delays could take pressure off drivers’ bottom line

Oakland, Calif. - Global trade rides on the back of U.S. truck drivers, a senior Port of Oakland official said today. For that reason, the Port wants to make their job easier, added the executive, Maritime Director John Driscoll.

“We owe it to the trucking community to continually improve Oakland operations,” Mr. Driscoll said in a message sent to shippers, ocean carriers and harbor truckers. “We need to make it easier for them to do business with us.”

Mr. Driscoll’s remarks came in the middle of National Truck Driver Appreciation Week. The observance recognizes the 3 million drivers who transport freight across the U.S. That number includes approximately 7,000 truckers hauling containerized cargo in Oakland. The Port said it will honor truckers Friday with a day-long fair at its Middle Harbor Shoreline Park.

But according to Mr. Driscoll, the Port’s greatest tribute will be increased efficiency at its marine terminals. Efficient terminals benefit the global supply chain in two ways, he said:

They get cargo to customers faster.

They get truckers back on the road quickly to increase their earning potential.

Mr. Driscoll said inefficient ports delay truck drivers and limit the number of payloads they can transport daily. Increasing delays have caused an exodus of truckers from the industry, he said.

The Maritime Director said Oakland is attempting to improve operations through a series of efficiency measures. The plans include Saturday gate hours, commonly shared container chassis, and new technology to measure trucker wait-times.