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USDA Partnering With Port of Oakland on 25-Acre “Pop-Up” Site to Ease Commodity Shipping Congestion

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is partnering with the Port of Oakland, California, (the country’s third largest port for containerized waterborne agricultural product exports) to establish a 25-acre ‘pop-up’ site that will ease congestion and restore U.S. agricultural ag exports.

COVID-19 has brought to light serious weaknesses in both our agricultural and supply chain systems, and as our economy recovers, strain on these vulnerable systems has only increased. One major issue was the practice of ocean carriers circumventing marketing channels and rushing shipping containers back to be exported empty. This prompted a group of more than 70 ag groups to send a letter to President Biden (copied to Agriculture Secretary Vilsack, and others) requesting action to mitigate these damaging practices, which also include controlling capacity, soaring freight rates, draconian fees, and refusal to transport U.S. agricultural exports.

Beginning in March 2022, this new site will provide space to prepare empty containers and will give U.S. ag companies easier access, resulting in a restoration of shipping services while relieving congestion. It also will have a dedicated gate able to pre-cool refrigerated shipping containers to receive perishable commodities, avoiding bottlenecks caused by entering at the main gate of the port.


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