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Feb.22, 2016

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INTERNATIONAL MARITIME IMPORTING | EXPORTING | PORTS | CARRIERS | BREAKBULK | GLOBAL LOGISTICS THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE 15 By Bill Mongelluzzo THE PENDING END of operations at Outer Harbor Terminal will be an economic plus to the Port of Oakland because it will concentrate more revenue-producing con- tainer volume into fewer marine terminals to fund their growth, according to the port's executive director. Outer Harbor Terminal, a joint venture between Ports America and Mediterranean Shipping Co. subsidiary Terminal Service Inc., announced in January it would end its 50-year lease with the Northern California port early. Negotiations over the terms of the lease broke off this month when Outer Harbor filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The terminal handles about 700,000 20-foot-equivalent units, or 383,000 actual container lifts a year, according to Chris Lytle, who has guided the port since joining as exec- utive director in July 2013. At first, there was concern about finding a home for the entire volume so it will remain in Oakland, but Lytle said he's "happy to say we have good options for 100 percent of the cargo." About 90 percent of the volume will move to the Oakland International Con- tainer Terminal that is operated by SSA BLESSING IN DISGUISE AT OAKLAND? The port's top official says Ports America's departure will improve capacity utilization at container terminals Marine, with the remainder moving to the TraPac terminal. The moves should be com- pleted by March 31. West Coast cargo volumes are growing at mid-single-digit rates — slower than his- torical averages — but ports up and down the coast at times are struggling with congestion because large carriers and carrier alliances are concentrating their vessel calls at fewer, but larger, marine terminals. On the West Coast, cargo is being carried increasingly by mega-ships with capacities ranging from 8,000 to 14,000 TEUs. That record was broken recently when the 18,000-TEU CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin called at Los Angeles and Oakland. The mega-ships place a tremen- dous strain on ports and terminal operators to provide taller super-post- Panamax cranes, larger terminals with greater throughput capacity and improved road and intermodal rail connectors. The price tag for these improvements climbs easily into the hundreds of millions of dollars. Oakland, like Los Angeles-Long Beach to the south and the Northwest Seaport Alliance of Seattle-Tacoma to the north, has excess capacity because its acreage is spread out over too many terminals. This generates "We have good options for 100 percent of the cargo."

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