Port of Oakland Moved $1.2
billion in Agricultural Goods in 2003
The Port of Oakland moved $1.2 billion in
agricultural goods to the global marketplace in 2003.
Agricultural products and wine/beverages are two of the Port
of Oakland’s top ten commodities for export.
The Oakland seaport is the primary gateway
for some California products. In one year, 96 percent of
California wine was shipped through Oakland. The Port also
accounted for over 70 percent of California’s edible nut,
raisin, melons, and dried fruit exports.
Port of Oakland Maritime Director Jerry
Bridges said, “The Central Valley and Northern California
agricultural producers continue to find that the Port of
Oakland has a significant amount of last port of call
services. For agricultural producers this is important
because it means they have access to the fastest transit
time from California to Asia.”
The Port of Oakland, as part of its Vision
2000 maritime expansion program, enhanced its terminal
capacity to increase throughput. Additionally, the Port’s
new facilities offer a much greater amount of reefer
capacity to handle more refrigerated product.
A critical component of the success of the
expansion project is deepening the Oakland Harbor to -50
feet (-50 Foot Project) in order to accommodate the newest
generation of container ships, which can carry in excess of
6,500 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). These ships draw
a deeper draft, as much as 48 feet below sea level. The
dredging project is underway and requires timely and
appropriate federal funding in order to stay on schedule.
The -50 Foot Project will benefit
California agricultural shippers. The increased capacity of
these larger ships guarantees minimum storage time on the
dock, allowing for fresher products and a more competitive
edge in the global marketplace.
“The -50 Foot Project will allow larger
container vessels to sail from our port, creating economies
of scale that could lead to lower shipping costs for the
agricultural community,” said Tay Yoshitani, Executive
Director of the Port of Oakland. “We need to ensure that our
Central Valley, Napa Valley, and Salinas Valley production
can be exported from the largest and closest port, which is
the Port of Oakland,” Yoshitani stated.