Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Oakland Celebrates Relationship with Japan

By Karen Robes Meeks

To acknowledge the Port of Oakland’s 30th anniversary of being a sister port with Port of Hakata, Executive Director Chris Lytle recently spoke of the importance of bolstering its business relationship with Japan and opportunities to nurture it.

“It’s extremely critical for us to have good, strong free trade partners such as Japan,” Lytle said to visitors from the Port of Hakata. “Japan is a very large and very important part of our business.”

After China, Japan is Oakland’s next biggest trade partner with roughly $2.6 billion in containerized cargo moving between the two ports in 2017 alone.

“Everything from machinery to lithium batteries for electric cars is imported to Oakland from Japan,” Lytle said. “This is very high-value cargo and we would like to see it grow.”

Opportunities to strengthen that business bond could come as quickly as next month when Cool Port Oakland, the $90 million refrigerated storage and distribution facility comes online.