New Ports Project Aims to Shift Traffic from Trucks to Boats

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Right now, says Port of West Sacramento Manager Mike Luken, most of the containers that pass through the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys arrive by truck.
Luken: “And it’s a very cost-effective system, but it’s a very inefficient system, because it creates many, many truck trips to both bring the full container here or the full container back to Oakland, and then the empty container to Sacramento or the empty container to Oakland.” 
But what if those goods traveled from West Sac to Oakland -- or Oakland to Stockton -- by boat?  That’s the goal of a new project the ports are working on with the private company Eco-Transit.  Luken says it would be good for the businesses that use the ports – and the public too, by reducing both the trucks on the road and the greenhouse gases they release.
Luken: “And if you multiply that by the many containers that come to both our respective valleys, you’re talking about tens of thousands of truck trips that would be saved by this service.” 
Still, the project is no sure thing.  Luken would not give any cost estimates whatsoever, and says the ports are searching for state and federal funds to get it started.  Eco-Transit hopes to get the barges in the water sometime this year or next.