Port of Oakland names new maritime chief
January 15, 2014 - LM Editorial
The new year looks promising for the Port of Oakland, which has just announced the hiring of a distinguished industry veteran as its Director of Maritime.
Last July when Chris Lytle assumed his duties as the port’s Executive Director, the shipping community was eager to learn what moves he would make to demonstrate decisive leadership. Chief among them was the choosing of a maritime chief capable of attracting new business.
By all appearances, Lytle has found his man.
Driscoll has more than 30 years of commercial experience in international maritime transportation, having worked for Sea-Land Service, Maersk Line and CMA CGM.
It is important to note that during Driscoll’s eight years with CMA CGM for the USA, the average annual increase in business volume was 14.1 percent. This time span, many will recall, included The Great Recession and the ongoing ocean carrier capacity crisis.
Can Driscoll work the same kind of magic for Oakland?
While the port has long led the West Coast as a gateway for export cargo, it lags significantly behind several others in attracting “first call” inbound vessels. Lytle has told shippers that this will be part of his ongoing mission in the years ahead, as Oakland positions itself as a logistical hub for new enterprises moving into the Bay Area.
Given Driscoll’s noteworthy achievements for CMA CGM in the Caribbean, Central America, and Latin America in the recent past, one may assume that developing more hemispheric business could also be in the offing.
In any case, Oakland’s competitive position on the Pacific Rim as been greatly enhanced by this appointment.
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