NEWS FLASH: Protests in Oakland prevent ships from discharging cargo

Excerpt from American Shipper | By Chris Dupin | August 19, 2014

Operations at one of the major container terminals in Oakland, Calif. — the Oakland International Container Terminal — were crippled for another day on Tuesday when longshoremen who operate ship-to-shore cranes did not report for work.
   However, the terminal hoped to resume operations later in the day. It appeared other operations at the terminal were continuing.
   Opponents of Israel’s military action in Gaza held demonstrations at the terminal on Sunday, seeking to prevent a ZIM ship, Zim Piraeus, from discharging and loading cargo. The ship does not actually call Israel, but operates between both coasts of North America and East Asia. About 32 percent of ZIM’s stock is owned by Israel Corp., a large conglomerate.

   In addition to the Zim Piraeus, other ships including two operated by NYK and a ship operated by Hanjin were not being worked at OICT at midday (Pacific Coast time).
   Edward DeNike, president of SSA Containers, which operates OICT, said the company expected the ZIM ship to depart this afternoon and the other ships would be able to work then. He said the company is trying to determine the best course of action going forward as the ZIM service has weekly calls in Oakland. He said similar problems have not occurred in other ports.
   Shlomi Bidani, a spokesman for ZIM, said the carrier “is doing its best to maintain its high level of service at all times and especially at the current political environment. We are working with local authorities at the places we operate to secure smooth operation to our vessels.”
   According to Blue Water Reporting, the Zim Piraeus is a 4,992-TEU ship. It is one of 11 vessels in the company’s Zim Container Service Pacific, a pendulum service between the East Coast and East Asia that offers weekly calls. The ships operate in a rotation including Savannah, Norfolk, New York, Halifax, Kingston, Long Beach Oakland, Vostochnyy, Quingdao, Ningbo, Shanghai, Pusan, Balboa, Kingston, and Savannah.