USDA Announces Partnership to Ease Port Congestion and Restore Disrupted Shipping Services to U.S. Grown Agricultural Commodities
As reported from the Almond Alliance of California:
USDA announces it will cover 60% of the start-up costs of a new ag export container “pop-up” site at the Port of Oakland. USDA will also help cover additional movement logistics costs at $125 per container.
This project will enhance marketing of U.S. agricultural products through:
- Quicker pickup of empty containers as the main terminal is bypassed;
- Access to available equipment; and
- Fewer unpredictable congestion surcharges for trucks.
For Official Press Release, Click Here.
Almond Alliance CEO Aubrey Bettencourt issued the following statement:
“This is progress towards alleviating pressure and facilitating flow to our critical agricultural port at Oakland. We thank the tremendous leadership of our partners at the Port of Oakland, CDFA, USDA, and the US Department of Transportation, and encourage continued state and federal collaboration and engagement with the agricultural community as there is still much to be done to restore a functioning supply chain that supports our economy, our workforce force, and our communities at the ports, on the roads, and on our farms.”
This announcement meets a number of the Supply Chain priorities the Almond Alliance has been coordinating and communicating at the local, state, and federal levels.
Almond Alliance Supply Chain priorities include:
- Clear the “empty” containers off the Ports of Long Beach, and Los Angeles floor and relocate them to inland sites near ports. The Almond Alliance has provided sites near the Port of Los Angeles, Long Beach, Monterey Peninsula, and Kern County to GO BIZ and the Office of the Governor.
- Redirect and restore carrier services into the Port of Oakland. Holding accountable receiving schedules of 2 to 4 working days. (Immediate priority.)
- Advocate for carriers to offer solutions in terms of carrying “empties” to the Port of Oakland.
- Work with terminal operators to improve efficiencies of getting trucks into the terminals.
- Identify additional land and warehousing near ports and inland.
- Support for Federal Maritime Commission resources for enforcement of ocean carrier practices. Including support for the passage of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act in the House of Representatives, and the immediate introduction of companion legislation in the US Senate.
- Support federal financial assistance for agriculture lost sales, transport costs, product damage.
- Support the ports of Los Angeles efforts to get a port wide portal to work out inefficiencies within the supply chain to uncover, fix and hold all stakeholders more accountable.
- For the long term, work with the State to address the truck driver shortage.
Bettencourt continued “As the 2022 crop year progresses, the clock is ticking for our farmers, hullers, shellers, and processors. The market and financial impacts of this ongoing supply chain crisis pose devastating effects to our family farms and communities. We will continue to advocate on behalf of our community, and collaborate with our partners, especially the Almond Board of California, who’s leadership in market development and supply chain is critical to developing working solutions for our industry’s success and well being.”