Friday, January 27, 2017

Oakland Port Launching Growth Initiative

By Mark Edward Nero

The Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll said Jan. 25 that the port expects to begin construction on nearly 750,000 square feet of warehousing this year, as well as raise the height of ship-to-shore cranes to load and unload bigger ships.

The work is intended to drive more containerized cargo volume through the Port of Oakland. Additionally, Oakland Executive Director Chris Lytle has called on a 60-member port stakeholders task force for guidance.

“We want more cargo,” Lytle reportedly told his audience during a meeting at port headquarters. “But we need all of you at the table to make sure we do it right.”

It was the first 2017 meeting for the assembly of shipping lines, railroads, motor carriers, dockworkers, Customs officers and cargo owners. The Task Force came together 18 months ago to improve Oakland’s operating efficiency. Now it’s being asked to help refine operations in light of upcoming construction projects that will include:

• A 283,000-square-foot ‘Cool Port’ refrigerated warehouse scheduled to begin construction in March that could send an additional 30,000 containers full of chilled meat through Oakland annually;

• A 440,000-square-foot Seaport Logistics Complex warehouse that could break ground in late 2017; and

• Raising six cranes 26-feet higher beginning in April so they can reach containers stacked aboard the largest ships calling on North America.

“These projects are game-changers for the Port of Oakland,” Driscoll said. “They give us growth potential for the next 20 years.”

Task force members have said they’re working on new efficiency measures to prepare for Oakland’s growth, including a common online portal to transact business with all four of the port’s marine terminals and refined metrics to gauge transaction times.