The Port of Oakland said a litigation settlement with SSA Terminals, approved last week by its board of port commissioners, will combine three terminals in the port and create the third largest terminal on the U.S. West Coast.
SSA Terminals will drop a complaint before the Federal Maritime Commission and a lawsuit in which it was claiming the port had given preferential treatment to one of its competitors, Ports America.
In 2009, Ports America and Terminal Investments Ltd. were awarded a 50-year operating concession for their own mega terminal in Oakland's Outer Harbor (Berths 20-26) which encompassed 210 acres.
The port said SSA Terminals will lease both the Oakland International Container Terminal (Berths 57-59) and Global Gateway Central Terminal (Berths 60-63) through 2022 at current rates and conditions. In addition, the lease for the Total Terminals International, or TTI Terminal (Berths 55-56), is being assigned to SSA Terminals through 2016, with the option to be extended 2022. SSA Terminals will also terminate its lease for the Howard Terminal (Berths 67-68) this September. That terminal, currently used by Matson, is in a shallow area of the harbor and is closest to the city's downtown area. It has also been talked about as a possible site for a new baseball park.
Port of Oakland said in terms of size and operational efficiencies, the new mega-terminal "will be more in line with competing terminals, allowing the port to sustain and attract more maritime cargo."
“We reached this litigation settlement to protect the port’s long-term viability as a job-creating economic engine for this region,” stated Port Board President Cestra “Ces” Butner.
The port said the settlement "involves short-term revenue loss in exchange for longer term revenue growth and stability. Prior to this agreement, the port was facing the expiration of all four terminal leases along its middle and inner harbors in 2016-2017. Further, those leases all had very short renewal notification periods, leaving the port vulnerable in the event one of the operators decided not to renew its lease."
It said the settlement and independent assignment of the TTI Terminal lease to SSA Terminals creates a 350-acre terminal, "which is far more optimal than several smaller terminals in today’s competitive maritime market." - Chris Dupin