OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - The Port of Oakland has a big blue steel mountain rising and it deals with the fallout of the bankruptcy of Hanjin, one of the worlds largest ocean cargo carriers. It turns out that those boxes are creating new cooperation with the powerful interest that often fight over them.
The Port of Oakland, is now allowing port truckers to drop off cargo containers, made homeless by the bankruptcy of South Korea's Hanjin Shipping Lines. Already, 900 containers have been stacked 5 high on available but always needed space and up to 400 more will ultimately end up here. "We may be the only port I'm aware of that's accepting the return of the empty containers." says Mike Zampa, Port of Oakland spokesman.
The Port of Oakland, the longshoremen and the terminal companies all worked together to keep the streets from being clogged with unwanted containers. "We have to help each other out and somebody needs to step up and do something and it's always been the truckers. And here the port took the first step and resolved the issue which is great for us," says Bill Aboudi, owner of AB Trucking.
Truckers and cargo owners, believe it or not, were facing endless and stiff fines of up to $300 a day from Hanjin, for failure to return the containers that Hanjin could not and would not accept. And, believe it or not, truckers and cargo owners also facing up to another $50 a day for not returning the trailers that carry the containers. With the containers now off their trailers, those trailers can then be used to pick up and deliver other cargoes to and from other ships. "The acceptance of these boxes from the bankrupt shipping line; just the latest example of how everyone wants to come together," says Mr. Zampa.
These containers , may sit here for years while the Korean bankruptcy court decides what to do. "The good news is those are empty boxes. Cargo owners got their cargo and that's' what this is really about. We want to keep cargo moving. We want our customers to be happy," says Zampa.
Hundreds of other ports that have yet to act, are also caught up in this tsunami of containers.