AgTC: Oakland PierPass– Good, Bad, or Ugly?
August 19, 2015
Oakland terminals came into the Federal Maritime Commission this week to brief on their version of PierPass (which they will call “OakPass”) that they want to institute effective Sept. 7 (unless the FMC makes them hold off while they ask some more questions). We were pleased that Commissioners asked the Oakland terminals if they had briefed the shippers; we understand that at least some Commissioners were NOT pleased, when the terminals said they hadn’t.
Apparently the terminals provided the schedule of this “OakPass” operation to the Commissioners, as required by the FMC rules, but the terminals do not intend to share with the public, and they have not included it in the public Amendment filed at the FMC. And there may be some things in that operations schedule that we, the shippers, won’t like. We do NOT want a repeat of the SoCal PierPass, which has never disclosed the revenue they take in, how it is spent, why the fee has increased, even as the night gates (which PierPass is supposed to pay for) have been shuttered.
We need to see the proposed schedule of ‘OakPass’ operations, and we need to prevent this Amendment from being rushed into effect. As cargo will be expected to pay for OakPass, cargo deserves to know exactly what is planned. Further, the AgTC will propose, in comments to be submitted to the FMC this week, either an OakPass Oversight Committee (on which AgTC and other cargo interests will sit). If we are paying for it, we deserve to know what we are paying for.
Your AgTC team here in Washington, DC has called on DC-based representatives of various shipper organizations, including National Retail Federation, National Association of Manufacturers, several of our member ag organizations, etc to join in a phone call today, to initiate a plan to protect the interests of importers and exporters.