Supply chain shortage: Port of Oakland offers to help ease cargo ship backlog in SoCal

OAKLAND, Calif. -- While the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach experience a backlog of ships and cargo, the Port of Oakland has room to spare.

"We are part of the solution to stabilize the supply chain, so we are talking to ocean carriers to offer relief from the other ports," said Bryan Brandes, Port of Oakland Director of Maritime.

Brandes says the port experienced some congestion earlier this year, but rebounded by increasing it's workforce by 16% and training employees to do more.

"The dock workers are actually very eager and ready to handle additional volume," said Brandes.

With an increase in e-commerce during the pandemic, consumers have felt the impact of port backlogs with empty shelves and increased prices.

The Port of Los Angeles is expected to shift to to 24/7 operations to help ease congestion.

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Prices are jumping in large part because container ships are stranded at ports and because unloaded goods are waiting for trucks, leading to mass shortages and delays.

"Their commitment to go all in on 24/7 operations means that businesses of all sizes will get their goods on shelves faster and more reliably," said President Joe Biden.

Brandes says there's no need for that in Oakland.

"We are looking at it, it's not needed in Oakland but we will continue to monitor it with our terminal operators and our industry supply chain partners," said Brandes.

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He says vessel carriers may not be taking Oakland up on the offer because of concerns it could add an incremental delay.

"That's absolutely not the right way to go. We can't handle all of the additional cargo but we can handle a significant portion of it."

ABC7's sister station KGO-TV reached out to the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach regarding Oakland's offer, but did not immediately hear back.

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