Oakland, CA – Insight Terminal Solutions and OBOT. A number of Oaklanders have asked about The Oakland Bulk And Oversized Terminal and Insight Terminal Solutions relationship and objectives. This FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions), based on the ITS FAQ website page, post answers those frequently asked questions.
Insight Terminal Solutions (ITS) commissioned Zennie Abraham’s Zennie62Media staff to post this special “frequently asked questions” post at Oakland News Now, exclusively and based on, but altered from, its website information, which is outdated and in some cases, incorrect.
What is Insight Terminal Solutions?
Insight Terminal Solutions (website) is a Louisville, Kentucky and Oakland, California-based company that consists of experienced professionals in maritime transportation and operations as well as trade and logistics.
ITS is committed to operating the world’s most innovative, efficient and environmentally sustainable multiple bulk commodities marine terminals in the World. The organization called Insight Terminal Solutions seeks to promote economic development in the communities in which it operates, while maximizing workplace safety, terminal volume throughput and customer satisfaction.
Who runs Insight Terminal Solutions?
ITS’ leadership team includes John J. Siegel, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, and James. J. (Jim) Wolff, Chief Operating Officer. John Siegel has over 30 years of experience as a founder, owner and operator of vertically integrated coal mining, sales and related companies.
As stated in the posted biography here at Oakland News Now, Siegel was the founder, Executive Chairman and CEO of Bowie Resource Partners, LLC , a firm formed in 2013, between Mr. Siegel and a subsidiary of Trafigura, AG (one of the largest commodities traders in the world).
At the time, Bowie Resource Partners was the largest producer of Western Bituminous coal and the only producer with US West Coast export capacity through the Ports of Stockton and Richmond, California.
John successfully sold significant quantities of Western Bituminous coal into Japan, South Korea, China, Mexico, Guatemala, and Chile, just to name a few of the countries served by BRP. Mr. Siegel transferred the majority of his equity in Bowie Resource Partners to Trafigura and its subsidiary earlier this year to concentrate on the Oakland Bulk And Oversized Terminal project.
Before Bowie Resource Partners, John Siegel founded Green Bay Fuels in 1985, purchased Jader Fuels in 1998, and purchased the Bowie No. 2 Mine in Colorado in 2009. It was there with Green Bay Fuels that he pioneered the “Distribution Center” concept where he partnered with consuming utilities by delivering unit trains of coal to the utility (for its own consumption) and then trucking additional product on a “just in time” basis from the utility to industrial consumers. That setup greatly reduced transportation, logistics, storage and handling costs to the industrial consumers.
Again, as stated in the bio, John is also known for his partnership with the former Director of Tax of General Electric Energy Financial Services (division of GE Capital) to produce and market almost $1 billion of what are called Synthetic Fuels Tax Credits to Deutsche Bank and Lehmann Brothers. Mr. Siegel is also active in Tax Credits generated from Refined Coal under Section 45 of the Internal Revenue Code focusing on Berkshire Hathaway Energy and PacifiCorp sites.
Mr. Siegel founded Insight Terminal Solutions, LLC in 2018, and for the purpose of subleasing what is called the West Gateway Property of the Former Oakland Army Base from Oakland Bulk Oversized Terminal, LLC – also called “OBOT”.
OBOT, led by Phil Tagami of California Capital and Investment Group, has a 66-year ground lease with the City of Oakland.
Insight Terminal Solutions has said it plans to build and operate Oakland Bulk Oversized Terminal as a state-of-the-art multi-bulk commodities terminal with annual throughput capacity of 6-10 million tons of bulk product. OBOT will transform how various commodities are moved throughout the world.
Mr. Siegel holds a Bachelor of Science degree from St. Joseph’s college of Rensselaer, Indiana. He attended Law School at the University of Louisville-Louis D. Brandeis School of Law.
What’s Insight Terminal Solutions James Wolff’s background?
James Wolff, or Jim Wolff, has over 30 years of experience in the energy and transportation industries, with a diverse background in finance, operations and business development. Mr. Wolff possesses substantial IPO, M&A and divestitures experience with companies generating revenues between $300 million and $8 billion.
Prior to joining Insight Terminal Solutions, Mr. Wolff was Chief Financial Officer of Bowie Resources, the CFO of U.S. Coal Corporation and has held several senior executive positions with Energy Coal Resources, American Commercial Lines and CSX Corporation. Mr. Wolff holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Texas and attended South Texas College of Law.
What is Insight Terminal Solutions’ role in the Oakland Global Trade and Logistics Center?
Insight Terminal Solutions will provide world-class terminal and services at The Oakland Bulk And Oversized Terminal, which is a part of the West Gateway section of the Oakland Global Trade and Logistics Center (Oakland Global). Oakland Global is the result of 20 years of strategic planning and will become a world-class hub and international gateway for transporting goods by seaport, railroad and roadway.
Oakland Bulk And Oversized Terminal will use state-of-the-art practices and procedures to facilitate the moving of cargo directly between ships and rail for a variety of bulk agriculture and mineral commodities.
What is the current status of Insight Terminal Solutions?
Insight Terminal Solutions is currently developing the OBOT.
What is the capacity of Insight Terminal Solutions OBOT?
As stated before, Insight Terminal Solutions and Phil Tagami / California Capital Investment Group’s Oakland Bulk And Oversized Terminal will be designed to handle an annual throughput of 9,500,000 metric tons of bulk agriculture and mineral commodities and receive up to three unit trains of 114 rail cars per day. OBOT will accommodate Handymax (30,000 tons) to Capesize (130,000) vessels utilizing two state-of-the-art fully enclosed shiploaders.
What commodities will be shipped through OBOT?
To feasibly operate and meet established expectations of the bulk-shipping market, a terminal must have the ability and capacity to handle any of the more than 15,000 commodities legally shipped throughout the world. At this time, no single commodity has been committed to or excluded. Contrary to erroneous media reports, OBOT is not a coal factory or a coal terminal.
Who will provide rail service for OBOT?
An innovative low-to-zero emmissions rail service will be provided by Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe in combination with Oakland Global Rail Enterprise (OGRE), which will provide what’s called “last mile” local rail services.
Will Insight Terminal Solutions’ OBOT impact the environment in the Oakland area?
Environmental stewardship is a top priority for Insight Terminal Solutions and CCIG’s OBOT. ITS will be designed, built and operated to meet and/or exceed the project’s California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requirements, as well as, applicable federal and state approvals.
Moreover, air quality mandates set by Oakland Bulk And Oversized Terminal will be stricter and more tightly monitored and enforced than current standards, resulting in better air quality for the Oakland area. Air quality and emissions related to Port operations in and around West Oakland will be improved under Oakland Bulk And Oversized Terminal’s own, higher, operating standards.
At all times, all operations and commodities processed at Oakland Bulk And Oversized Terminal will be subject to and in compliance with federal, state, regional and local laws and regulations. Oakland Bulk And Oversized Terminal is subject to more than 660 mitigation mandates and conditions of approval by the City of Oakland and the Port of Oakland, including the establishment of a strict air quality regimen in compliance with regulations of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.
Insight Terminal Solutions is committed to innovation in the form of the Oakland Bulk And Oversized Terminal, and leverages all opportunities to improve our environmental standards. All commodities shipped through the Oakland Bulk And Oversized Terminal will:
Be transported from origin to the terminal in innovative, specially designed covered rail cars;
Be discharged from the covered rail cars into an enclosed underground unit with dust control/collection technology;
Be moved within the terminal in enclosed conveyance systems with dust control/collection technology;
Be stored within enclosed dome storage unit(s) with dust control/collection technology; and,
Be loaded onto the vessel using enclosed state-of-the-art ship loaders with dust control/collection technology.
Additionally, Oakland Bulk And Oversized Terminal will have air quality and other environmental monitors installed with results available to Oaklanders.
What about Oakland Bulk And Oversized Terminal greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions?
Insight Terminal Solutions (ITS) is committed to environmental protection at the Oakland Bulk And Oversized Terminal. ITS and Oakland Global commend and embrace California and Oakland’s commitment to lead by example and set extraordinary GHG emissions reduction mandates for the state. The project’s operations will set the standard for compliance with those mandates.
Is the Insight Terminal Solutions OBOT project good for the Oakland community?
When the Oakland Army Base closed in 1999 as part of the nationwide base closure effort, a national maritime asset, an economic engine, and a major job generator for the City of Oakland was dismantled. 5,000 regional jobs were lost as well as 2,000 civilian/military jobs. As a result, Oakland was left with decaying, outdated infrastructure in West Oakland at what was the Army Base, including 93 so-called “non-conforming” buildings, 4.6 million square feet of obsolete warehouse and 255,000 square feet of unused office space.
Oakland Global / OBOT will revitalize the Oakland waterfront through job creation and world-class environmental and safety standards, and Insight Terminal Solutions is a proud partner in this endeavor. Oakland Global / OBOT has established an unprecedented community benefits package, including:
50 percent local contracting (more than half of total public infrastructure improvements contract value has been awarded to certified local and small local companies);
50 percent local hours (at least half of horizontal and vertical construction work hours, by contractor and by craft, will be performed by Oakland residents);
50 percent local hire (once the vertical development is complete, at least half of on-going operations workforce will be residents, with a hiring prioritization for West Oakland residents); and,
Creation of West Oakland Community Jobs Resource Center.
Oakland Global / OBOT will sustain and create thousands of new jobs in a region that has historically been impacted by nearly 17 percent unemployment.
Once entirely developed, the Oakland Global / OBOT facility will create 11,970 jobs, including:
2,686 project construction jobs;
2,724 indirect and induced construction jobs;
2,335 permanent operations jobs; and,
4,225 indirect and induced ongoing jobs.
The fully built-out Oakland Global / OBOT will produce up to $300 million annually in regional employment income.
Insight Terminal Solutions is investing over $250 million for the proposed 66 year life of the project to make those benefits a reality and to generate:
A construction payroll of $76 million, and
Annual and induced payrolls of $120 million
Upon completion, the Port of Oakland will solidify its positions as the economic engine to drive Oakland’s economy forward for decades to come.
What are Insight Terminal Solutions’ health and safety standards?
The health and safety of Insight Terminal Solutions’ workers is our number one priority at OBOT, and Insight Terminal Solutions’ emphasizes health and safety in all aspects of the workplace. All workplace health and safety practices and procedures will be designed and implemented in partnership with the Union Labor using industry best practices.
What is the relationship between CCIG and Insight Terminal Solutions?
Phil Tagami, the Managing Partner Of Oakland-based California Capital Investment Group (CCIG), has entered into exclusive negotiating agreements with potential future operators of OBOT, the most recent of which is Insight Terminal Solutions. ITS currently has an exclusive option agreement to become the operator of OBOT and is exploring potential customers and operations as it considers whether to exercise the option.
Beyond that contractual relationship, there is no legal connection between California Capital Investment Group and ITS. Insight Terminal Solutions is not a subsidiary or other part of CCIG, and California Capital Investment Group does not hire ITS employees.
What Is The Connection Between ITS and Tom Steyer?
Former hedge fund manager and coal investor Tom Steyer spent over $100 million to turn elected officials against coal – this, even as other commodities have equally terrible records of emissions. The focus needs to be on dramatic reduction of emissions from coal in transport from current levels to as close to zero as possible.
Other Insight Terminal Solutions links: Denver Focus Blog