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California ports call for support in Sacramento

Press Releases, Seaport
July 23rd, 2015

Press Release

For Immediate Release
July 23, 2015

California ports call for support in Sacramento

Legislative visit to Port of Oakland highlights challenge to state's container trade

 

Oakland, CA - July 23, 2015: California ports are in a competitive fight and could use Sacramento’s support. That was the message to senior legislative staffers visiting here this week as the battle for the state's containerized trade intensifies.

"Challenges to our business are everywhere - Mexico, Canada the U.S. East Coast" said Port of Oakland Executive Director Chris Lytle. "We're doing all we can to keep Oakland and other California ports the most attractive option for international shippers, but we can use your help."

Freight transport industry executives were in Oakland addressing 35 aides to top legislators engaged in goods movement policy. Their theme: California's major ports, including Oakland, Long Beach and Los Angeles are evolving rapidly to maintain a competitive edge. Their request: Sacramento's help in allocating infrastructure funding along priority trade corridors. Their goal: keep containerized trade from going elsewhere.

Industry speakers singled out California ports as major contributors to jobs and the economy. They also pointed to the ports as leaders in investing to improve air quality.

Legislative staffers heard that California's share of containerized imports and exports has declined in 2015. The drop was traced to wintertime labor-management disputes and aggressive marketing from out-of-state and international competitors. In response, ports here are improving their competitiveness, said California Association of Port Authorities Executive Director Tim Schott. Mr. Lytle said Oakland is finalizing plans that range from extended hours to offsite cargo pick-up locations.

The executives urged the Legislature to make ports a statewide priority. The timing is good. A special legislative session devoted to transportation is currently underway in Sacramento. Senators and Assembly members are looking at ports, goods movement and their impact on the state's economy. Issues range from trade corridors to transportation funding and the competitive challenges facing California's freight transport sector.

Mr. Lytle asked legislative leaders to consider the impact of port's on the state's job picture. The Port of Oakland, for instance, is responsible for more than 73,000 jobs in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Legislative staffers took a two-hour tour in Oakland to learn first-hand about the competitive pressures facing California ports.

About the Port of Oakland
The Port of Oakland oversees the Oakland seaport, Oakland International Airport, and 20 miles of waterfront. Together with its business partners, the Port supports more than 73,000 jobs in the region and nearly 827,000 jobs across the United States. Connect with the Port of Oakland and Oakland International Airport through Facebook, or with the Port on Twitter, YouTube, and at www.portofoakland.com.

Media Contact:

Robert Bernardo
Communications Manager
Port of Oakland
(510) 627-1401
rbernardo@portoakland.com

Marilyn Sandifur,
Port Spokesperson
Port of Oakland
(510) 627-1193
msandifur@portoakland.com