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On the Waterfront - WCS's Port of Oakland Cargo Traffic Update


Cargo Containers Sit as Negotiators Appear Unmoved

Just a short time ago here at West Coast Shipping (WCS ) we believed Oakland would not be seriously impacted by the continuing labor slowdowns and work stoppages at other west coast port facilities. Unfortunately, as transpacific ocean carriers continue to experience massive cargo delays in LA Port and Long Beach Port, containers have backed up and are now sitting on wharves waiting to be loaded. While it's important to understand that cargo traffic has not come to a complete standstill, we are now also facing delays of 7-10 days. 

Read More LA Shipping Lanes as Congested as Freeways Let My Cargo Go!

No Exit: Transpacific Ocean Carriers Take Action

We reported yesterday that major cargo carriers announced they will be imposing export fees to cover their increased costs of delivery due to work-related delays and service disruptions. The fees were set to go into effect immediately. As it stands now, when fully loaded vessels arrive at Oakland, the port is unable to unpack the carrier since the wharves remain covered with containers back-logged and waiting to exit the port. 

These delays are costly for every party involved. We outlined many of the costs being incurred by carriers in yesterday's blog. They are being hard hit, experiencing among others, extra container lease expenses, container dock storage fees, and additional berthing fees. Viewed objectively, their decision to impose surcharges seems rational, although they may be met with regulatory resistance and commercial pressures to ease off.

Read More Santa with a Surcharge? Continuing Waterfront Drama at LA Port

It Takes a Village To Cross an Ocean

To importers and exporters accustomed to transporting goods and shipping cars overseas, the process may appear seamless and uncomplicated. The goal of professional car shipping companies like West Coast Shipping is for clients to have an uneventful, seamless experience. It's the shipper's job to worry about the scores of complex, logistical details and to manage the large number of persons involved in getting cars shipped from one point to another. 

Now, as a result of labor, equipment and a host of related port management issues beyond our control, there are major interruptions in what should be a series of "seamless" transactions. Like the ocean cargo carriers, cargo delays are causing WCS and others like us, to incur significant cost increases to the point where we are losing money. 

In gratitude to our loyal customers, WCS has chosen not to raise rates through this crisis and we are doing everything possible to expeditiously handle your orders. We anticipate that after the holiday season is over, port congestion will return to normal levels and deliveries will go forward as "seamlessly" as before. 

Read More Continued Cargo Shipping Slowdowns on the Western Seaboard

To speak with one of our car shipping professionals, please contact us at West Coast Shipping.