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History

Our Seaport

Port history spans a period of 165 years, which encompassed the Civil War, the Industrial Revolution, two World Wars, and America’s coming of age as a global power. We begin with Captain Thomas Gray, grandfather of the famous dancer Isadora Duncan, who initiated ferry service to San Francisco. In 1893, the City of Oakland wrested ownership of the Port from Southern Pacific railroad, and has overseen Port operations ever since. In the late 1960s, it was the first major port on the West Coast to build terminals for container ships, a revolutionary technology at the time. Oakland rose to become the second largest container port in the world. The Port has maintained its prominence in the shipping industry thanks to strong leadership and constant innovation. Today, we are one of the ten busiest container ports in the U.S., handling 99% of all containerized goods in our home region of Northern California. The Seaport powers nearly 40% of regional jobs generated by the Port.

Our Airport

Oakland Municipal Airport, constructed in 1927, is perhaps best known as the departure point for Amelia Earhart on her fateful round-the-world flight in 1937. Five years later, the Airport, dramatically curtailed commercial operations to become a staging center for U.S. forces in the Pacific Theatre during WWII. In 1962 completion of the $20 million, 600-acre Oakland International Airport (OAK) complex inaugurated the era of the jetliner. Over the last 54 years, OAK has grown to become the fourth largest international visitor gateway in California, welcoming nearly 10 million passengers annually. Shipping giants FedEx and UPS have West Coast hubs at OAK, generating 2.6 million regional jobs. With the best on-time arrival and departure rates of the local five Bay Area airports, a central location with easy highway access, public transportation, and many parking options, it’s easy to see why OAK is increasingly popular with regional passengers. New carriers and flight destinations are being added to offer travelers and cargo shippers ever more convenient and cost-effective choices. The Airport powers nearly 53% of regional jobs generated by the Port.

Our Commercial Real Estate (CRE)

Jack London's favorite saloon, Heinhold's First & Last Chance, still stands today at Jack London Square, adjacent to a portion of his 1898 Yukon cabin which was moved to Oakland in 1969. Today, this humble, one-room bar anchors Jack London Square (JLS), one of the most robust waterfront development properties in the U.S. Thanks to a California State Tidelands Trust grant, the Port of Oakland is steward to 875+ acres of commercial land on waterfront property. Hundreds of vacant and underused lots are being converted into homes, hotels, offices, shops, restaurants, parks and industrial flex/research projects through private investment dollars. JLS is a major player in Oakland’s current urban renaissance, creating jobs, housing, recreation and leisure activities, and exceptional investment opportunities. JLS hosts large public educational and recreational events throughout the year, making it a cultural hub for one of the most diverse cities in America. Our commercial real estate division powers nearly 8% of regional jobs generated by the Port.

 

Robert Bernardo
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Communications Manager
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Community
Thumbnail of Port of Oakland Oks FY 2021 budget midst COVID-19 crisis
Port of Oakland Oks FY 2021 budget midst COVID-19 crisis
June 29th, 2020
Oakland, Calif. – June 29, 2020:  Coronavirus-induced business declines have prompted the Port of Oakland to curtail Fiscal Year 2021 spending plans.  Port Commissioners last week approved a budget for... READ MORE
Thumbnail of Port of Oakland leaders send message to East Bay businesses: Fly OAK first
Port of Oakland leaders send message to East Bay businesses: Fly OAK first
June 25th, 2020
Oakland, Calif. – June 25, 2020: The Port of Oakland and its Oakland International Airport (OAK) are aiming to reinvigorate air travel by taking its message of resilience directly to the East... READ MORE
Thumbnail of Port of Oakland Board President speaks out for social justice
Port of Oakland Board President speaks out for social justice
June 19th, 2020
EDITOR'S NOTE: For Board President video, click HERE Oakland, Calif. – June 19, 2020: Port of Oakland Board President Ces Butner denounced social injustice today as West Coast dockworkers prepared to... READ MORE
Thumbnail of Oakland International launches media campaign aimed at recovery:
Oakland International launches media campaign aimed at recovery: "We're ready to see you all fly the East Bay Way once again"
June 9th, 2020
Oakland, CA: (June 9, 2020) – Oakland International Airport has launched a month-long broadcast media campaign intended to welcome travelers back following dramatic industry-wide declines caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Throughout the month... READ MORE