Cargo containers started moving again through California’s Port of Oakland on Monday after independent truck drivers stood down from protests that effectively shut down one of the West Coast’s largest ports for almost a week.
Officials at the private operators of Oakland’s shipping terminals said they were clearing backlogs of ships and boxes that had grown since the truckers began blocking the port’s gates early last week, bringing operations to a standstill to protest a new California “gig economy” law.
Bill Aboudi, president of trucking company Oakland Port Services Corp., said he tried to make appointments to pick up containers early Monday but the earliest slot available was Tuesday night.
“It’s just everybody trying to cram a week’s worth of work into one day, just doesn’t work,” Mr. Aboudi said. “Nothing will be normal for another few weeks.”
Activity first resumed slowly on Saturday when protesters didn’t turn up during the port’s limited weekend hours. By Monday with business ramping up again, gates were clear and trucks were moving.
The port, in what it called an open letter to the truckers issued late Thursday, said truckers opposed to the new state law should confine protests to designated zones and warned that anyone blocking gates could be “cited and penalized” by police. A spokesman for California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, said at the time that truckers should “focus on supporting this transition” to the new law.