USDA offers federal incentives for Oakland exporters

Oakland, California, USA - October 26, 2011: Port of Oakland, Middle Harbor Container Terminal. Terminal occupies 81 acres, 5 traveling container-handling cranes including 374 outlets for refrigerated cargo containers. Union Pacific Railroad operates north of facility, on opposite side of Middle Harbor Road.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has introduced financial incentives for exporters looking to use Port of Oakland’s pop-up container yard.

The port’s temporary container yard opened on 7 March 2022, as part of the federal administration’s larger program to relieve port congestion.

The USDA has announced it is offering a $400 incentive per export reefer and $200 for a dry container. This funding is for the temporary staging of loaded export containers.

Additionally, the organisation is offering a $125 incentive to pick up an empty dry container used for agricultural booking.

“Supply chain issues locally to globally have hampered the US export business through West Coast ports including Oakland,” said Port of Oakland Executive Director Danny Wan. “We thank the USDA for providing financial incentives to our customers. This will promote use of the yard, reduce marine terminal congestion and ease some of the logistics strain for our exporters.” 

Container volumes at the port dropped 11 per cent year-on-year in March with loaded exports only reaching 69,878 TEU.

Bryan Brandes, Port of Oakland Maritime Director, added: “This will help defray the additional costs incurred by our shippers and make usage of the new facility more feasible.

“The temporary yard provides a place for truckers to easily pick up empty containers to be loaded with US exports and it allows for staging loaded containers ready to be shipped overseas without crowding busy terminals.

“This federal partnership highlights Oakland’s traditional role as a critical export gateway. We continue to work closely with ocean carriers to restore services here so that shippers can have more opportunity for outbound vessel space.”

Shipping experts are expecting the global volatility in the supply chain to continue for several months.

Executive Director Wan recently presented his five-point plan to mitigate congestion along the West Coast to policymakers during Ports Day 2022.

The plan included:

  1. Establishing the California Office of Freight
  2. Greater investments in infrastructure
  3. More support for agriculture exports
  4. Relieving dock congestion
  5. Enhanced federal funding for ports across California

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