Frequently Asked Questions about the OakPass Program
Q: What is the OakPass Program?
Under the OakPass Program, the four international marine container terminals at the Port of Oakland will operate their terminal gates on Saturdays to provide additional operating hours for cargo pick-up and delivery.
Q: How will the OakPass Program be funded?
A: To help pay for the cost of the Saturday gate, the terminals will begin collecting an Extended Gate Fee (EGF) of $17 per twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU), or $34 for all other sizes of container. The EGF will be assessed on loaded import and export containers entering or exiting the terminals during Peak hours, defined as Monday through Friday, between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
No EGF will be assessed during OffPeak hours (Saturdays between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.). Empty and domestic containers as well as transshipment cargo will be exempt from the EGF. The EGF will be charged to the beneficial cargo owner, not to trucking companies or drivers.
Q: Who pays the Extended Gate Fee?
A: The beneficial cargo owner is responsible for paying the EGF, not the truck driver or trucking company.
Q: Which terminals are participating?
The program is designed for the container terminals at the Port of Oakland.
Q: When will the program start?
A: The program is expected to begin in 2016.
OakPass is currently addressing questions from the Federal Maritime Commission and monitoring labor availability at the Port of Oakland. Once these issues are resolved, we expect to begin the program in 2016.
Q: Why is OakPass monitoring labor availability in relation to the start of Saturday gates?
A: The terminals are working to ensure that there is an adequate longshore labor force for the added shift. Over the past few months, the terminals have been working with the ILWU to recruit and train the need additional labor to meet the current and expanded schedule.
Q: Why is this program being created?
A: The OakPass program is designed to add additional capacity at the Port of Oakland to improve the flow of cargo through the terminal gates, reduce congestion, and accommodate future volume growth.
Q: What are the benefits of this program?
A: Benefits of this program include the following:
- Gate activity will be spread from 5 days to 6 days adding 20% more capacity to process cargo;
- Larger capacity for gate activity will reduce the amount of time per transaction during the week;
- Additional day could provide extra opportunity for changes in export cutoffs, earliest receiving days; demurrage charges, and last free days;
- Additional day could relieve current supply chain charges related to long turn times for truckers.
Q: Why are the terminals adding Saturday gates rather than night gates?
A: Saturday gates are the most practical and cost-effective method to increase capacity in a way that meshes with availability of truck drivers (hours of service) and longshore workers and serves the entire supply chain.
The Port of Oakland conducted a study that outlines the reasons why OakPass is starting with a Saturday gate and it outlined what the benefits are to various stakeholders. That study is available for review at www.PortofOakland.com.
Q: Why is OakPass charging an Extra Gate Fee?
A: The purpose of the EGF is to fund operation of Saturday gates. Terminal operators are paid by the number of containers they deliver. By adding 20% more hours of operations to deliver the same number of containers, the terminals will be increasing their costs by roughly that amount with no increase in revenue. Labor cost for the additional day of operation is the majority of the cost of the program.
The EGF is also expected to provide an incentive for some cargo owners to use the Saturday gates in order to avoid the fee.
Q: Why do cargo owners need to pay for something they may not use?
A: The Saturday gate will spread out demand during the week from 5 days to 6 days (20%) and therefore will allow cargo to move faster during the weekdays.
Q: What do Cargo Owners who pay the fee get in return?
A: They get improved service through spreading the demand for terminal service over six days instead of five. This improved service will be measured by the Port of Oakland through the truck wait times outside the gates and turn times inside the gates. If service is not improved as a result of the Saturday gate, The Port will work with its terminal operators to adjust the program to ensure that cargo owners get value for their fee.
Q: Is the EGF intended to cover the full cost of the Saturday shifts?
A: That is the intention. OakPass will monitor the program over time and will adjust the EGF as more information becomes available and as costs change.
In addition, the Port of Oakland will work with terminal operators during an annual review to ensure that the EGF is covering the costs identified in its pricing model.
Q: How will the EGF be adjusted in future years?
A: The fee will be adjusted annually to reflect changes in labor costs based on the Pacific Maritime Association/ILWU labor agreement.
Q: How was the EGF derived?
A: WThe EGF was derived by dividing the estimated costs of working Saturdays by the number of containers expected to pay the EGF.
These costs include, among other things:
- • International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) labor costs. The largest single cost of adding Saturday gates is labor. In addition to increasing the hours of operation by 20%, the new hours are costly. Under their contract, longshore workers receive 1.5 times their base rate when working on Saturdays.
- Non-ILWU labor costs including for managers, additional superintendents, IT support and customer service. Some terminals have non-ILWU gate staffing including office clerks, mechanics and security.
- Operating costs of equipment such as yard tractors, top and side picks and RTGs.
- Administrative costs including IT services, customer service, and payment processing fees.
Q: Are there plans to establish additional extended gates, e.g., weeknights?
A: Not at this time. The Port of Oakland and its terminal operators will be monitoring the demand and use of gate operations through truck wait and turn times and will analyze whether additional or different types of gates are needed to improve service for cargo owners.
Q: What impact do you expect on Bay Area traffic?
A: We expect it will take about 1,000 truck trips a day out of area traffic on weekdays. By spreading out the volume of trucks to non-peak times, OakPass should also contribute to reducing the cargo traffic issues that impact some Oakland neighborhoods.
Q: What impact do you expect on Bay Area air quality?
A: We expect that moving about 1,000 truck trips per day out of weekday traffic will reduce idling and stop-and-go traffic and therefore reduce emissions.
How OakPass Works
Q: Who pays the Extended Gate Fee?
A: The cargo owner, not the truck driver or trucking company.
Q: What are the Peak and OffPeak hours?
A: Peak hours are defined as Monday through Friday, between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. The EGF is charged during this period.
OffPeak hours are defined as Saturdays between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. The EGF is not charged during this period.
Q: If a terminal runs gates on a Tuesday night or a Sunday, are containers moved during that time subject to the EGF?
A: Any hours of operation outside the Peak and OffPeak hours defined under the program are considered exempt. Containers moved during those exempt hours are not subject to the EGF.
Q: What if I pay the EGF but then pick up the container on a Saturday?
A: You may request a refund at OakPass.com.
Q: Who needs to register for OakPass?
A: All cargo owners moving containers through the four participating container terminals should register and set up a payment method.
Q: Do truck drivers or trucking companies need to pay the EGF?
A: No, the EGF is due from the cargo owner.
Q: How can I pay for the EGF?
A: OakPass accepts payment by credit card, debit card or electronic check. Companies that qualify may be extended credit terms. All transactions will be handled through an easy-to-use website.
Q: My company already has a credit account with PierPass. Do we need to apply for a separate account at OakPass?
A: Yes, via OakPass.com.
Q: How do I claim my import containers?
A: To claim your containers, log into your account at OakPass.com.
Q: When must the EGF be paid?
A: The EGF must be paid or other arrangements made before a container is allowed to leave or enter a terminal during Peak hours.
Q: What must I do before delivering my export container?
A: The booking number for an export container arriving at the terminal must be entered into the user’s account at OakPass.com before the container is delivered to the terminal during Peak hours. Containers not entered in this manner may enter or leave the terminal only during OffPeak hours.
Q: When will all of the details and instructions for using OakPass be available?
A: This information will be posted on OakPass.com at least 30 days before the announced start-up of the Saturday gates.