Problem leaves trucks idle outside Port of Oakland

January 6, 2010 11:42:04 PM PST
It has been a long, frustrating day for truckers at the Port of Oakland.

About 100 truckers spent the day idling in their trucks, waiting to approach one of the terminals to offload their cargo.

The company that took control of the terminal on Monday has been having trouble getting up to speed. Ports America has not responded to requests for comment, but a longshore union representative says they are keeping the terminal open until they can offload all the trucks' cargo and get it onto the ship that is scheduled to leave tonight.

The effort was of little consolation to many of the truck drivers, whose income depends on the number of loads they deliver. Many of them are still trying to deliver their first load of the day.

Some truckers ended up only making roughly $60 to $100 after having to pay for the diesel they used.

The other problem is pollution. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District was out at the port Wednesday, making sure the trucks were not left idling for more than 30 minutes at a time. The Port of Oakland has some of the worst air quality in the Bay Area and West Oakland has one of the highest rates of asthma and other respiratory problems in the Bay Area.

Ports America could be fined for every one of the trucks that was found to be in violation Wednesday.