The Port of Oakland’s board of commissioners has unanimously approved a lawsuit settlement that could produce the port’s first super-sized terminal, Mercury News reports.
The settlement, which will not be finalized until the seven-member board votes to approve it a second time later this month, allows SSA Terminals to end its lease at Howard Terminal four years before it was set to expire, take over leases at two other terminals and extend two of its three terminal leases to 2022. As a result, SSA will control three connected terminals, which could be consolidated into a much larger terminal capable of handling the next generation of cargo ships.
The situation began when SSA Terminals filed a lawsuit against the Port of Oakland, claiming that it had violated federal shipping law by giving its main competitor, Ports America, an abnormally favorable deal.
The settlement will cost the port $40 million in lost lease payments at Howard Terminal, although port officials said they can recoup the money over time from the lease extensions and establishment of a larger terminal.
Several port unions, which stand to lose jobs to different unions that do more work with SSA, opposed the settlement. Ports America also condemned the settlement, alleging that it will give SSA a competitive advantage.