Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Record Volumes Predicted at Oakland

By Karen Robes Meeks

Improved infrastructure coupled with new supply chain capabilities should result in record cargo volume at the Port of Oakland. It could also make Oakland a first port of call for container ships visiting the US from Asia. That’s the message a senior Port official gave supply chain executives this week.

Port of Oakland’s Maritime Director John Driscoll recently forecasted that the port will see record-level annual cargo volume through 2022.

This prediction is based on the various projects currently under construction that would draw more containerized cargo to Oakland starting early next year.

Those projects include raising four ship-to-shore cranes 27 feet higher at Oakland International Container Terminal; the anticipated August opening of Cool Port Oakland, a refrigeration plant that can annually process some 27,000 20-foot containers full of meat; and Seaport Logistics Complex, a 440,000-square-foot distribution center for transloading.

“I’m forecasting growth because of the development that’s going on here,” Driscoll told about 50 trade and transportation leaders who meet three times a year to review Oakland’s operating performance.

“It won’t be dramatic – it will be steady – but it will result in more cargo volume than we’ve ever had before,” Driscoll said.

He added that three international shipping lines are considering first calls to Oakland because of the port’s recent improvements.

“The ocean carriers are looking favorably at Oakland,” he said. “It’s a major discussion between them and their import customers.”