More truckers now visit the Port of Oakland at night than at any time in its 91-year history.
Oakland’s largest marine terminal has announced that it is conducting between 1,500 and 2,000 daily truck transactions after sundown, up from 800 a year ago.
Port officials have pointed out that the night gates have curbed daytime congestion, which is supporting Oakland’s growth as its containerized cargo volume broke records in 2017.
The night gates have also reduced truck traffic on city streets and freeways, accelerated shipment deliveries to cargo owners and enabled truck drivers, mostly independent operators, to transport more containers daily.
Port of Oakland’s Executive Director Chris Lytle said: “Night operations have transformed the port.
“No more eight-to-five work days…we’re too busy for that.”
Since 2017, a number of US ports have followed Oakland’s lead by introducing night hours.
Ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach are studying Oakland as they consider revamping night operations.
Oakland International Container Terminal (OICT) introduced night gates two years ago to take pressure off overburdened daytime operations.
It was the first terminal to open for a second shift in Oakland's history.
The nearby TraPac marine terminal has also tested night gates.
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Freight haulers use the gates for picking up loaded import containers to dropping off refrigerated exports.
According to OICT, truck transaction times have averaged 60-to-90 minutes since night gates began.
In the past, a driver could wait two-to-three hours to conduct business.
The terminal said night gates account for about 30 percent of its daily transaction volume.
Jim Rice, General Manager at Oakland International Container Terminal, said: “We’ve spread out the truck traffic and improved the drivers’ turn times.
“Night gates have allowed us to operate nine shifts a week with a domino effect: there’s less traffic and congestion and it’s easier for cargo owners to pick up their shipments.”
Oakland International Container Terminal is the second-busiest marine terminal in the US.
It handles 60-to-70% of all containerized cargo in Oakland.
By increasing its operational hours, the terminal has improved Oakland’s ioverall operating performance.
Peter Schneider, Vice President with T.G.S. Transportation, one of the major motor carriers serving the port, said: “Oakland International Container Terminal has really led the charge with all of its investments and most importantly adding the night gates.
“It has helped transform not only Oakland, but many other ports.”