Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Transport Experts: Port of Oakland Has Competitive Advantage

By Mark Edward Nero

The Port of Oakland can be a “center of gravity” for trade and travel because of its competitive advantages, say two transportation experts whose companies rely on the port to move people and cargo.

They told an Oakland audience last week that key infrastructure projects and geography give the port a competitive advantage.

The East Bay Economic Development Alliance sponsored a business luncheon where experts praised the port’s key infrastructure investments. “One example of a well-timed infrastructure investment is the port’s planned cold storage facility,” said MOL (America) Inc. President & CEO Richard Craig. “This will give Oakland a competitive advantage by bringing California Central Valley products and Midwest beef and pork products to growing Asian markets faster.”

Another upcoming seaport project is the 57-acre expansion of TraPac terminal, the port’s second-largest marine operator. “When completed, TraPac will be the most modern and most efficient terminal,” Craig said. “The port is really making it easier for importers and exporters to do business in Oakland.”

Also, Oakland International Airport, which is managed by the Port of Oakland, has been seeing strong passenger growth, according to Michael Sikes, the Senior Manager of Business Development at Southwest Airlines.

“The center of gravity is shifting to Oakland as a lot of the economic and population growth is in the East Bay and Southwest is taking part by growing with our community,” he said.