Mitsui O.S.K. Lines will move into its own private-use container terminal at the Port of Oakland on March 1. The facility will be operated by Trans Pacific Container Service Corp. (TraPac), MOL's North American terminal operations subsidiary.
With the opening of the 12.6-acre facility, the Japanese-flag carrier will have its own container terminals in the three major West Coast gateways of Southern California, northern California and the Pacific Northwest.MOL in August reached agreement with the Port of Oakland to construct a private-use facility at Berth 35, which is adjacent to the Seventh Street terminal where the line was calling at the time. The agreement called for MOL to occupy the new terminal this month.
Work was under way at Berth 35 to demolish unneeded buildings, install new fencing and dredge the berthing area when the Oct. 17 earthquake struck the San Francisco Bay area. The quake delayed construction activities and forced MOL to move its operations temporarily to Berth 22 in the port's Outer Harbor.
John Maddox, vice president and general manager of TraPac, said the 12.6- acre terminal, with 3.4 additional acres available for future expansion, is only a stepping- stone "in the path of a two-year plan on the part of TraPac to design and construct a facility of much larger proportions at the port."
MOL in 1989 moved approximately 500,000 metric tons of containerized cargo through Oakland, according to a port spokesman.
Two post-Panamax cranes are on order and will be installed at Berth 35 before the terminal opens. Bob Middleton, a Port of Oakland spokesman, said there are also three container cranes at Berth 7. Since the two facilities form one continuous terminal, the additional cranes can be used at Berth 35 if needed.
Mr. Middleton said the Seventh Street facility, which was damaged in the earthquake, is partly operational today and should be completely reopened in June.
When Berth 35 opens, it will include a computer system controlling all operational functions including cargo tracking, vessel stowage, administrative operations, gate entry and exit and container inventory and storage.
The MOL facility is located within a mile of Southern Pacific Transportation Co.'s Oakland Intermodal Railyard. Last May, MOL began twice- weekly double-stack train service from New York and Chicago to Oakland.
MOL serves Oakland with six Alligator-class vessels, each of which has a capacity of 2,800 20-foot containers. The weekly service links Oakland and Los Angeles with ports in Japan, North Asia and Southeast Asia.
The Japanese-flag line also operates container terminals in Los Angeles, Seattle, Tokyo, Yokohama, Kobe, Osaka and Kaohsiung. Operating private-use terminals is part of the strategy of intermodal lines such as MOL to control the entire transportation move from origin to destination.