Port of Oakland forecasts record container throughput in coming years

The blueprint for the future foresees increased cargo volume arriving at Oakland on larger ships. Northern California’s “booming” freight market will drive the growth.

By ·

Port of Oakland maritime officials anticipate a five-year run of record cargo volume beginning next year.  By 2022, the port expects to handle the equivalent of 2.6 million 20-foot containers (TEUs) annually. 

This represents an 8 percent volume increase over what this ocean cargo gateways has has ever processed in a single year.

The figures appear in a Strategic Maritime Roadmap released by the port this month. 

The blueprint for the future foresees increased cargo volume arriving at Oakland on larger ships.  Northern California’s “booming” freight market will drive the growth, the port said.  New logistics capabilities, such as distribution centers and freight transfer facilities, should provide a further boost, it added.

Walter Kemmsies, Managing Director, Economist and Chief Strategist of JLL’s Port, Airport and Global Infrastructure (PAGI) group, told LM in an interview that Oakland is becoming an even stronger port of outbound cargo.

“And that’s where the future is,” he said. “There is growing evidence that U.S. exports are going to be an ever more vital part of our global trade strategy. Oakland is a key player in that sector.”

Oakland’s Maritime Director, John Driscoll, agrees, noting that the port is serving a thriving area and developing new services for shippers.

“The combination should be positive for everyone who relies on the port for their business or their job,” he said.

The port’s “Roadmap” forecasts record volume of more than 2.4 million cargo containers in 2018. The current record is 2.39 million set three years ago.  The Port said it anticipates steady growth – and new volume records - for the next five years.

The port predicted that vessels arriving here would be 35 percent larger within 15 years.  They’ll carry up to 18,000 containers, reducing the number of ships needed in Oakland.  That should help mitigate the impact of cargo growth. 

“Fewer ships means fewer diesel exhaust emissions,” observed Oakland’s director of communications, Mike Zampa.

The port said its new logistics developments will rise near rail lines to reduce the reliance on trucks.  That’s expected to further curb diesel emissions.

Oakland’s “Roadmap” includes a commercial strategy calling for:

  • Growing business from local and regional markets
  • Remaining the top export gateway for California Central Valley growers
  • Increasing U.S. Midwest meat and grain exports
  • Attracting containerized cargo to a new refrigerated distribution center and to the 440,000-square-foot first phase of its Seaport Logistics Complex
  • Increasing to 15 percent the amount of import cargo that arrives in Oakland and is loaded to the rails for inland distribution
  • Attracting more automotive imports; and
  • Making Oakland the first U.S. port of call for at least one vessel service originating in Asia.

About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Latest Whitepaper
Making the Case For: An Automated Dimensioning Solution
Read our new Making the Case download to learn how a growing number of shippers are managing these market pressures and realizing significant ROI from investments with the help of automated dimensioning solutions.
Download Today!
From the December 2017 Logistics Management Magazine Issue
Trade and transport analysts see rates rising across all modes in accordance with continued expansion of domestic and international markets. Economists, meanwhile, say shippers can expect revenue growth in transport verticals to remain in the 3%-plus range.
2018 Customs & Regulations Update:10 observations on the “digital trade transformation”
Moore on Pricing: Freight settlement and your TMS
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
2018 Rate Forecast
Join our panel of top oil and transportation analysts for an exclusive look at where rates are headed and the issues driving those rate increases over the coming year.
Register Today!
Building the NextGen Supply Chain: Keeping pace with the digital economy
Peerless Media’s 2017 Virtual Summit shows how creating a data-rich ecosystem can eliminate...
2017 NASSTRAC Shipper of the Year: Mallinckrodt; Mastering and managing complexity
An inside look at how a large pharmaceutical firm transformed its vendor and supplier relationships...

2017 Alliance Awards: Recognizing outstanding supply chain partnerships
In an era where effective supply chain collaboration is both highly valued and elusive, Logistics...
26th Annual Study of Logistics and Transportation Trends: Transportation at Digital Speed
While a majority of companies strongly agree that transportation is a strategically important...