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Port of Oakland’s logistical landmark project may soon get underway

CenterPoint Properties near ready to build Seaport Logistics Complex

Another indication that U.S. ports will continue to differentiate their services as they become logistical hubs was signaled today by the Port of Oakland.

Construction could begin this summer on a landmark logistics campus at the Port of Oakland.

Developer CenterPoint Properties said today that it awaits only permits to start on the port’s long-anticipated Seaport Logistics Complex.  The complex is considered the linchpin of the port’s future – a distribution hub driving additional containerized cargo across Oakland docks.

“We’re hearing quite a bit of interest in this project from all corners of the supply chain,” said Mike Zampa, the port’s communications director.

He told LM in an interview that Transload capability adjacent to docks and rail can save shippers time and money. 

“It can set Oakland apart from other U.S. ports,” he added.

Port officials met with CenterPoint Board members last month to tour the 27-acre building site. Both sides have since expressed hope for a mid-year start to construction.

“We’re eager to get underway with this project,” said CenterPoint Chief Development Officer Michael Murphy. “We like the Port’s vision and we see this partnership as the future of shipping and logistics.”

Industrial real estate giant CenterPoint is building a 440,000-square-foot facility at the port. It will be adjacent to the port’s new $100 million railyard.  Marine terminals will be just across the street.

“In this business, fast access to transportation is essential,” Port of Oakland Executive Director Chris Lytle told the CenterPoint Board. “You’re so close you’ll be able to throw a rock to our marine terminals and railyard.”

Port Commissioners approved a long-term lease for CenterPoint last December. The deal followed two years of negotiations.  It culminated years of planning by the port to develop land once used as an Army supply depot.

CenterPoint’s project is the first phase of a planned Seaport Logistics Complex that could eventually encompass 180 acres.  The vision for the Complex: modern freight distribution centers in the heart of the port. 

Port officials said no other U.S. port has the land to duplicate Oakland’s marriage of transportation and logistics capabilities.

“We started discussions with CenterPoint back in 2015,” pointed out Port Maritime Director John Driscoll. “It was a long road, but it has been a real pleasure and we couldn’t be more excited about the results.”

Lytle said the port expects cargo volume to grow about 2 percent annually for the next five years. The forecast factors in increased business from the Seaport Logistics Complex, he said.

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About the Author

Patrick Burnson's avatar
Patrick Burnson
Mr. Burnson is a widely-published writer and editor specializing in international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He is based in San Francisco, where he provides a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts.
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