Port of Oakland’s Executive Director plans for Port growth and a healthy community
Danny Wan cites 2020 impacts and kicks off 2021 planning process at State of the Port
Oakland, CA – February 3, 2021: Port of Oakland’s Executive Director Danny Wan began his State of the Port 2021 message to more than 200 stakeholders with a song lyric: Mercy, Mercy Me, Things Ain’t What They Used To Be, speaking virtually at the annual Women in Logistics and Pacific Merchant Shipping Association State of the Port 2021 event. Executive Director Wan referenced the challenges the Port has met in 2020 and declared 2021 a year of “planning for a prosperous future” in the context of a changed business and community environment. The Port’s Executive Director shared a short video that took a quick look back at 2020 and then highlighted projects and plans in 2021. You can see the video here.
“I am grateful to our Port employees and Port Board of Commissioners, from the moment that the Grand Princess cruise ship pulled up, through threatened power black outs, apocalyptic red skies and social reckonings; our Port was guided by calm, fact-based and experienced leadership,” said Port of Oakland Executive Director Danny Wan.
Mr. Wan noted 2020’s numerous accomplishments and plans for 2021:
- Stabilized Port finances despite an anticipated $60 million shortfall due to the pandemic, with measures that included a hiring freeze, employee cost savings, and refinancing of Port debt to achieve future savings of about $87 million;
- Provided crucial emergency facilities and logistical support for the Grand Princess Cruise ship disembarkation of passengers for safe return home;
- Established first in nation airport COVID-19 testing sites for employees, passengers, and public at the Oakland International Airport (OAK);
- Assisted Jack London Square restaurants and Port's commercial real estate tenants with rental payment assistance;
- Extended Project Labor Agreement 5 years with construction trades;
- Received three tallest cranes for Oakland (and North America) arrived; $30+ million investment by Stevedoring Services of America (SSA) for installation at its Oakland marine terminal;
- Progressing with West Oakland Truck Management Plan to reduce truck traffic through adjacent communities and installing electric charging stations for trucks;
- Beginning first-call ocean carrier service mid-February, 2021;
- Continuing negotiations with Oakland Athletics and the Port on real estate agreements for the Howard Terminal site; before Port can consider any agreement for approval, Oakland City Council must approve an Environmental Impact Report (forthcoming from the City) and a change in site designation (currently industrial); the Howard Terminal proposal is also subject to other regulatory agency approvals
- Adding new flights - Volaris adds Mérida; Southwest Airlines adds service to Tucson and Santa Barbara and welcoming a new airline, Frontier, in February
Mr. Wan emphasized, “2021 has to be a year of not just recovery, but also a year analyzing the changes that our industries and our communities have faced and will face, and plan accordingly.” He noted that the Board of Port Commissioners has directed staff to implement a planning process that is outward looking, inclusive and collaborative with meaningful engagement with the Port's business and logistics partners, neighboring communities, and city leaders and partner government agencies. The planning process will include the following focus:
- Aviation: OAK to renew aging airport facilities; examine terminal capacity for post-pandemic air travel; explore whether airport needs a third terminal
- Maritime: Seaport to meet new policy objectives and business challenges to grow responsibly, including commitment to a zero, greenhouse gas emissions future, improved truck traffic flow, and growing good-paying local jobs with its partners
- Commercial real estate: Determine post-pandemic realities of rental properties
“We’re Everyone’s Port,” added Mr. Wan. The Port, its tenants and partners generate directly or indirectly over 84,000 jobs in the region. Along with the airport, seaport and Jack London Square, it also provides parks and open space amenities in local communities. “When our business increases, all of us should prosper. We want those with a stake in the Port to help shape its trajectory. Make no mistake, we will grow.” He concluded, “We don’t have shareholders; our mission is to help our business partners and our communities thrive.”
Note: Executive Director Danny Wan shared the State of the Port 2021 video at the event. You can see it here.
About the Port of Oakland
The Port of Oakland oversees the Oakland Seaport, Oakland International Airport, and nearly 20 miles of waterfront including Jack London Square. The Port's 5-year strategic plan - Growth with Care - pairs business expansion with community benefits, envisioning more jobs and economic stimulus as the Port grows. Together with its business partners, the Port supports more than 84,000 jobs. Connect with the Port of Oakland and Oakland International Airport through Facebook, or with the Port on Twitter, YouTube, and at www.portofoakland.com.