SSA Marine will provide container-on-barge terminal services including terminal management, marketing and logistical support. The Port will provide management oversight as the prime contractor, including barge and towboat operations.
In February 2010, the US Department of Transportation announced the award of a US$30m Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant for the ports of Oakland, Stockton and West Sacramento to develop the infrastructure necessary to establish a container-on-barge service between the Central Valley and the San Francisco Bay area. The Port of Stockton received US$13m of the grant to support its purchase of two Liebherr 140-ton mobile harbour cranes and to make the necessary improvements at the Port to support the project. The Port also purchased two dedicated barges, which were modified with cell guides to handle containers.
The M-580 Marine Highway will offer an environmentally friendly, fuel-efficient and cost-competitive long-term logistics solution to transport containers between the ports of Oakland and Stockton. It will help to reduce congestion along the I-580/I-5 corridors. Studies have estimated that approximately 1,600 containers per day move between the two ports, causing I-580 to be one of the most congested highways in the state. Additionally, the M-580 will serve as an overweight corridor, offering cost savings to exporters by allowing them to load containers to full capacity, reducing the number of containers required.
The Port of Stockton is an international port with 35 ft (10.7 m) draft and handles import/export cargo including containers, steel, wind energy components, ro-ro and heavy lift/project cargo. It has excellent access to the I-5 and I-580 highways and is jointly served by the BNSF and UP railroads that carry cargo to and from the Port from locations throughout their respective networks.