Port of Oakland Forecasts Steady Growth as Partners Invest
Containerized cargo volume moving through the port of Oakland is expected to increase two percent annually for the next five years. The catalyst for growth: a nearly $700 million injection of capital from outside investors.
“This is good, measured growth that’s not debilitating for our community or our operations,” Executive Director Chris Lytle told a meeting of the port’s 55-member Efficiency Task Force. “A big shout out to those who have stepped up to make the investments that will drive our growth – they’re showing faith in Oakland’s future.”
The port boss said investment in facilities and infrastructure is boosting Oakland’s global trade status. Projects range from a new logistics campus to an online information gateway for cargo owners. Lytle said many of the projects would come online by summer, including, completion of TraPac marine terminal’s $60 million expansion, completion of a $15 million project to heighten four ship-to-shore cranes at Oakland International Container Terminal, groundbreaking for a $52 million Seaport Logistics Complex, opening of a $90 million Cool Port Oakland refrigerated distribution center, and the launch of a $40,000 web-based portal by for shippers to track containers or manage cargo pick-up.
Still on the drawing board: a $500 million upgrade at Seventh Street, one of the port’s principal entryways. That project would include separating rail lines from roads. It would also introduce new technology to help freight haulers navigate the port. Alameda County’s Transportation Commission is seeking government grants to finance the work, Lytle said.
Port Maritime Director John Driscoll predicted that new development would increase cargo volume on Oakland docks. Cool Port alone could account for more than 50,000 TEU of cargo annually, he said.
“We applaud the vision of those who are investing in Oakland,” said Mr. Driscoll. “The payoff will be more business for the port and more jobs and economic stimulus for the city.”
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