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Port to Consider Resolution in Support of National Goods Movement Policy

Press Releases, Seaport
July 28th, 2009

Press Releases

For Immediate Release
July 28, 2009

Port of Oakland Commissioners to Consider Resolution in Support of National Goods Movement Policy

Oakland, CA 07-28-09 – The Oakland Board of Port Commissioners will consider a resolution supporting a national goods movement policy at their July 30th Executive Committee meeting. The resolution focuses on promoting a national freight policy for funding and investment in port infrastructure tied to goods movement. Examples of such infrastructure include intermodal freight connectors, federal navigation channels, and marine highways.

Port Board President Victor Uno said, “With the current global recession, we’ve seen a sharp decline in the maritime sector, especially at U.S. West Coast ports. At the same time, there is greater competition from foreign ports as they make infrastructure improvements, in part through the strong support of their respective national governments. In the U.S., we need a national goods movement policy that will level the playing field for ports and help maintain our international competitiveness.”

President Uno continued, “We’ve had a lot of positive conversations trying to get a national policy to help our ports become more competitive, seek investment for infrastructure projects and work with our legislators to get that needed support. The Board is looking at a resolution that quite frankly does not talk about employee drivers or mandates but does identify the need to look at FAAAA and SAFETEA-LU as a way to discuss how legislative efforts can help the Port of Oakland fund critical infrastructure and enact policies for improving our environment, health and safety and working conditions.”

According to Port of Oakland Executive Director Omar Benjamin, “A national policy has everything to do with our ability to compete on price and quality of service in order to generate revenues and grow our business, so that we can continue to deliver benefits to the City of Oakland and the region. The Port of Oakland is committed to providing efficient facilities and services at a price on par with other ports.”

Port Board First Vice President James Head added, “The issue of a National Goods Movement Policy is absolutely linked to the growth and stability of the Port. The Port of Oakland needs to remain a competitive, price-sensitive Port so that we can continue to provide economic, social and environmental benefits for our community. We do not see these as conflicting goals but rather as being complementary and key to growing the Port sustainably.”

According to the American Association of Port Authorities, seaports in the U.S. are responsible for moving more than 99 percent of the overseas cargo. Seaports directly and indirectly create new, high-paying jobs that provide family sustaining wages for U.S. workers: seaports support the employment of more than 13.3 million people in the U.S.; seaport-related jobs account for $649 billion in personal income; and for every $1 billion in exports shipped though seaports, 15,000 U.S. jobs are created. “When the global and U.S. economies begin to recover, we need to have the infrastructure in place to handle moving goods through US ports. The time to invest in port infrastructure is now. Our country cannot afford to miss this window of opportunity,” concluded Benjamin.

About the Port of Oakland
The Port of Oakland oversees the Oakland seaport, Oakland International Airport and 20 miles of waterfront. The Oakland seaport is the fifth busiest containerport in the U.S.; Oakland International Airport offers 150 daily nonstop flights to 35 destinations; and the Port’s real estate includes commercial developments such as Jack London Square and hundreds of acres of public parks and conservation areas. The Port of Oakland was established in 1927 and is an independent department of the City of Oakland. Please visit: www.portofoakland.com.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Port of Oakland
Marilyn Sandifur, Port Spokesperson
Media & Public Relations Department
(510) 627-1193
msandifur@portoakland.com