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.