The Port of Oakland is Almond Friendly

Nov. 30, 2018 – –By Ron Brown, Maritime Marketing and Commodities Representative at Port of Oakland


The Port of Oakland has historically been the major Port gateway for dried fruits and nuts exports to various regions of the world.  Being the closest Port to the largest agriculture growing region in the United States has positioned the Port of Oakland as a desirable location for warehousing and refrigerated storage facilities.  The Port continues to make the infrastructure investments that help keep California agricultural exports desirable and competitive throughout the world.

Of the three large California Ports, including Los Angeles and Long Beach, Oakland has the greatest balance of exports to imports which makes the availability of transportation equipment (dry and refrigerated containers and chassis) easily accessible.

  1. Describe the overall volume activity at California Ports.

California is home to three of the busiest container Ports in the United States with Los Angeles being the busiest in the country, followed by Long Beach at second busiest in the United States and Oakland comes in as the fifth busiest.  Their respective volume throughput for the most recent fiscal year, ending June 2018, with Los Angeles at 9.2 million twenty-foot equivalent (TEUs) containers, Long Beach with 8.1 million TEUs, and Oakland with 2.45 million TEUs. 

  1. Provide an overview of your export market shipment. What percentage of your overall shipment are tree nuts?

The Port of Oakland’s exports of loaded containers represents 49.7% of all loaded containers transiting the Port.  More than 56,000 TEUs of tree nuts were exported through our Port in 2017. 

  1. What is the biggest challenge the Port of Oakland is facing right now?

Our biggest challenge is to adjust to the rapid changes in the maritime industry.  We are a Port Authority that does not receive tax revenue.  Our revenue and funds are made available for capital investments result from our long-term and short-term leases.  With the recent and rapid changes made by the ocean carriers, in terms of vessel sizes and Port schedules, we must continuously rethink and re-plan our infrastructure investments to meet our shipper’s needs. 

  1. Is there a message you would like to communicate to California almond exporters?

We value the opportunity to work with California’s almond exporters.  Oakland is ideally suited for almond export.  We are typically the last Port of call before ocean vessels transit back to Asia or Europe thus allowing the shortest time to the final destination.

  1. Are there any major infrastructure projects the Port of Oakland is working on?

The Port is engaged in several very significant infrastructure projects including our “Cool Port” project, which is a 283,000-square foot temperature-controlled warehouse, our Seaport Logistics Facility which will be multiple structures that provide local warehousing, transloading, and cross-dock services for exporters and importers.  Additionally, we are working with our marine terminal operators to upgrade their equipment and our terminal equipment including raising our gantry cranes by more than 26 feet.

  1. Are there any new shipment innovations you would like to share?

The Port of Oakland has innovated new extended gate and appointment systems to adjust to the changing patterns of ocean carriers, allowing for faster cargo handling and reduced terminal congestion while also maintaining the highest environmental quality of any such commercial or industrial enterprise.

The Port of Oakland is Almond Friendly.  You will always have a welcoming gateway in the Port of Oakland.

Water Board Delays in Stream Flows Vote

Nov. 13, 2018 – -Under pressure from Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration, state regulators once again postponed a vote on a contentious plan to force San Francisco and several big San Joaquin Valley irrigation districts to give up some of their water supplies for environmental protection. The board agreed to postpone action until Dec. 11 to give stakeholders more time to negotiate an alternative plan, called a voluntary settlement agreement.

On his first day as Governor-Elect, Newsom coauthored a letter with Governor Brown in support of the agriculture and valley communities. In the letter they stated that “for many months, state agencies, water districts and others have been working hard to achieve voluntary agreements that would meet the requirements of the amendment set for adoption. Significantly, these agreements would obligate water rights holders to improve stream flows and restore habitat”. They went on to ask for a month’s delay in the vote and pledged to “actively and meaningfully engage to bring this vital matter to a successful closure.”

The proposal on the table would require 40% of the natural flow remain in the Stanislaus, Tuolumne, and Merced rivers during the critical February through June period in order to double the endangered salmon population and protect other wildlife. If adopted, the State Water Resources Control Board proposal to boost flows on three salmon-bearing rivers would amount to an unprecedented step to hold districts with historic water rights accountable for the environmental toll of their massive diversions. The agricultural districts, which staked their claims to the river flows a century or more ago, have bitterly contested the proposed restrictions, calling them economically devastating and vowing to challenge them in court.

California Assembly Republicans Elect New Leader

Nov. 13, 2018 – -California Assembly Republicans elected a new leader, Assemblywoman Marie Waldron of Escondido, who said the minority party needs to take action to end its decline. Waldron takes over as Assembly Republican leader from Assemblyman Brian Dahle of Bieber, who is stepping down from the role to run for a state Senate seat being vacated by incumbent Ted Gaines, who was elected to the state Board of Equalization on Tuesday.

“As a caucus and as a party we need to seriously consider why our party continues to decline,” Waldron said in a statement. “We need an aggressive, new approach to message our values, strengthen, grow and expand our party and our caucus as we stand for hardworking Californians. I look forward to leading this effort.”

Waldron, who was elected to the Assembly in 2012, co-owns a custom screen-printing and apparel business with her husband in Escondido. She served for 14 years on the Escondido City Council and also has served as deputy mayor in Escondido.

Donate to Wildfire Relief

Nov. 14, 2018 – – The almond community in the far north of the valley has been seriously impacted by the devastating Camp Fire. The death toll is anticipated to be the largest in California history. Below is information provided by your colleagues in that area on how to help:

The American Red Cross is accepting online donations to help people affected by the California wildfires (select the appropriate option from the dropdown menu). You can also donate by calling 1-800-733-2767 or texting “CAWILDFIRES” to 90999.

Organizations accepting donations for Camp Wildfire relief:

The Chico-based nonprofit North Valley Community Foundation is accepting online donations to an Evacuation Relief Fund that will support organizations that are sheltering Camp Fire evacuees.

The Butte County Office of Education has set up a Schools Relief Fund, administered online by the North Valley Community Foundation, to directly benefit Butte County schools. Donors can either specify a district or use for their money (such as textbooks or clothes) or make an open donation.

The county’s Camp Fire Emergency Response Program is accepting donated items at 2850 Feather River Blvd. in Oroville. A list of needed items is available here from the Oroville Hope Center.

Tri Counties Bank has started the Camp Fire Fund 2018 account with an initial deposit of $25,000 to benefit victims of the fires ravaging our communities in the Paradise, California area. Those who would like to make monetary donations to the Camp Fire Fund 2018 can at any Tri Counties Bank Branch or they can make a donation online.

All funds collected will be distributed to people in need through local non-profit emergency relief agencies directly serving fire victims with immediate needs. These non-profit organizations have been vetted as trusted and well-managed direct emergency service providers and include:

United Way of Northern California

The Salvation Army

Northern Valley Catholic Social Services