Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Port of Oakland Outlines $600 Million Spending Plan

By Mark Edward Nero

The Port of Oakland on Feb. 3 outlined a $600 million spending plan for growth at the seaport.

Maritime Director John Driscoll told an audience last Friday that Oakland would increase its trade volume by investing in new facilities and better infrastructure, with the objective being more containerized cargo.

“We’re building for growth in a shipping industry that is becoming more and more competitive,” Driscoll said at an American Association of Port Authorities conference. “By investing with partners who share our vision, we can deliver services that will be of great value to the global supply chain.”

The port, Driscoll said, plans to team with both private developers and public agencies to modernize the port’s infrastructure, and that investment from all three sources would be used to create new logistics capabilities in Oakland, as well as help eliminate bottlenecks that inhibit cargo flow.

Among the proposed investments are:

• $244 million, mostly from government grants, to separate railroad tracks from major port roadways;

• $90 million, privately built refrigerated warehouse called Cool Port to increase chilled beef and pork exports, and;

• $50 million expansion, also privately financed, of the port’s second-largest marine terminal. Oakland has just completed a $100 million railyard near marine terminals and a proposed logistics complex.

The proximity of the new developments should be a drawing card for shippers, Driscoll said, and could enable cargo to be quickly shifted at the port between rail, road and ocean transport.

Construction on Cool Port could begin next month, Driscoll said, while terminal expansion is already underway. The truck-rail grade separation still awaits government funding.