Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Oakland Looking to Become Premier Port

By Mark Edward Nero

New development projects at the Port of Oakland could turn the port into a first port-of-call for international shipping lines, an Oakland official said April 9 during the Bay Planning Coalition’s 2015 Decision Makers Conference.

The port is strengthening its role as a premier global logistics center, Oakland Maritime Business Development Manager Beth Frisher told Bay Area leaders from the public, private and nonprofit sectors at the Decision Makers Conference, a daylong event held at the Oakland Scottish Rite Center.

The key, Frisher said, is a 360-acre trade and logistics center being built by the Port and City of Oakland on the former Oakland Army Base. The center is envisioned as attracting additional import and export cargo. The port is currently building a railyard at the site to be followed by new transload warehouses.

When completed, commodities shipped in bulk could be transferred to containers for export, and imports can be transloaded into 53-foot domestic containers and then placed on rail cars for inland shipment.

Frisher said the new capabilities could convince shipping lines to make Oakland their first US call. All the top container carriers currently have weekly services in Oakland, but stop first in Southern California.

Two other projects in the planning stage are expected to generate more cargo growth, Frisher added: a cold-storage facility and a grain transload operation. Both would permit bulk shipments of agricultural products such as beef and grain to be transferred from rail to containers for overseas delivery.