As partners invest, new projects come on line, cargo volume could hit new high

Oakland, Calif. -_cropped Investment in new capabilities could drive Port of Oakland cargo volume to all-time highs again in 2018.  That’s the message the Port’s Executive Director was scheduled to deliver here today.

“This is our time,” proclaimed Chris Lytle before his annual State of the Port speech in Oakland’s Jack London Square. “We’ve spent much of this decade working with business partners to build out the cargo delivery platform our customers want and in 2018 we’re putting it to work.”

Mr. Lytle was addressing an audience of 300 invited by the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association and Women in Logistics.  His presentation highlighted 2018 investment milestones expected to drive more cargo growth in Oakland following a record 2017.  Among them:

Completion of a year-long project to heighten four ship-to-shore cranes for megaship operations;

Opening of Cool Port Oakland, a 283,000-square-foot refrigerated distribution center for containerized perishables; and

Expansion of TraPac marine terminal to double its Oakland footprint.

The Port set a cargo volume record in 2017, handling the equivalent of 2.42 million 20-foot containers.  With new capabilities coming on line, it’s forecasting new volume records annually through 2022.  Cool Port alone is expected to ship 30,000 containers a year.  A new Seaport Logistics Complex, scheduled to open in 2019, could further boost volume.

Mr. Lytle said international shipping lines view Oakland as a candidate for first-call service from Asia.  A first call would drive up Oakland import volumes, he said.  The first port of call in the U.S. is where most imports are discharged. 

Mr. Lytle revealed that the Port plans to produce a new 5-year strategic plan in 2018.  He said the plan would balance business growth with community needs.  “As the Port progresses, we want our neighbors to benefit, as well,” Mr. Lytle said.