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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 the then-revolutionary container ships, becoming the second largest port in the world in container. The Port has maintained its prominence in the shipping industry thanks to strong leadership and constant innovation. Today, we are the fifth busiest container Port in the U.S., handling 99% of all containerized goods in 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 (CRD)

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 Jobs study: Port of Oakland generates 84,000 jobs in the Bay Area
Jobs study: Port of Oakland generates 84,000 jobs in the Bay Area
April 18th, 2019
Oakland, Calif. – April 18, 2019:  The Port of Oakland supports 84,144 jobs in the Bay Area and 20 percent of those jobs are Oakland-based, according to an economic impact... READ MORE
Thumbnail of Tall ship sailing adventures return to Jack London Square
Tall ship sailing adventures return to Jack London Square
April 10th, 2019
Oakland, Calif. – April 10, 2019: Two tall ships, Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain, are in port at Jack London Square. The sailing vessels give visitors a glimpse of maritime history from the mid-1700's... READ MORE
Thumbnail of Southwest inaugurates Maui service in Oakland; Airport celebrates with free parking
Southwest inaugurates Maui service in Oakland; Airport celebrates with free parking
April 8th, 2019
Oakland, CA – (April 8, 2019):  Oakland International Airport is celebrating another first today following Southwest Airlines’ inaugural flight to Maui on Sunday. The Airport and Airline celebrated with a Hawaii-inspired... READ MORE
Thumbnail of Jack London Square offers real food, local goods and an art exhibit Sunday
Jack London Square offers real food, local goods and an art exhibit Sunday
April 4th, 2019
Attention editors: See Farmers Market video here. Oakland, Calif. – April 4, 2019: Jack London Square serves up family-friendly activities this Sunday, with a local focus. - Farmers Market provides fresh produce and artisanal... READ MORE