US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack yesterday announced plans to increase capacity at the Port of Oakland in California and improve service for shippers of US-grown agricultural commodities. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is partnering with the port to create a 25-acre pop-up site for use by agricultural companies in filling empty shipping containers.
Container availability for US agricultural products has been limited, as ocean carriers have been rushing containers back to be exported empty. Further, some carriers suspended service to the port in 2021, citing congestion. USDA is now taking action to reduce these shipping disruptions that have prevented US agricultural products from reaching their markets.
Starting in early March, the new site will provide easier access for agricultural companies and cooperatives to prepare containers for export shipping, and help relieve congestion at the port. The project is also expected to result in fewer unpredictable congestion surcharges for truckers serving the port.