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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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Acting Director of Communications
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    Thumbnail of Port of Oakland passes milestone, sets all-time cargo record
    Port of Oakland passes milestone, sets all-time cargo record
    May 13th, 2021
    Oakland, Calif. – May 13, 2021 – Another month, another record at the Port of Oakland. The Port said today that it handled the equivalent of 100,096 20-foot import containers... READ MORE
    Thumbnail of Port of Oakland trade boom: a second new vessel service in 2021
    Port of Oakland trade boom: a second new vessel service in 2021
    May 10th, 2021
    Oakland, Calif. – May 10, 2021: As global trade booms, the container shipping industry is introducing another new vessel service at the Port of Oakland. The Port said today that Taiwan-based Wan Hai Lines launched... READ MORE
    Thumbnail of Port of Oakland says Q1 2021 is all-time best for cargo volume
    Port of Oakland says Q1 2021 is all-time best for cargo volume
    May 6th, 2021
    Oakland, Calif. – May 6, 2021: Port of Oakland containerized trade volume reached record levels in the first quarter of 2021. The Port said today its total volume from January... READ MORE
    Thumbnail of March passenger traffic at OAK leaps ahead with a 59.6 percent month-to-month increase
    March passenger traffic at OAK leaps ahead with a 59.6 percent month-to-month increase
    May 6th, 2021
    Oakland, Calif. – May 6, 2021: Oakland International Airport, the second busiest airport in the San Francisco Bay Area, reports rebounding passenger and cargo traffic for March 2021. The airport... READ MORE