The Port of Oakland at the weekend broke ground on its Trade and Logistics Center, an import, export and transshipment hub with intermodal rail service that will bring logistics activities on to port property.
The project in the coming decade will redevelop the former Oakland Army Base in several phases, beginning with the $500 million first phase that will include 1 million square feet of warehouses for the handling of import and export cargo, as well as a 10-acre railyard served by both BNSF and Union Pacific.
Additional development projects will occur in line with the $1.2 billion Oakland global master plan, which calls for additional logistics and cold-storage facilities, a new intermodal railyard and a grade separation project.
During World War Two, the army base shipped more than 8.5 million tons of cargo to support the war effort. The base was closed in 1999, and in 2003 it was transferred to the city and the Port of Oakland.
Chris Lytle, the port’s executive director, said the trade and logistics center will help Oakland to expand its position as the leading U.S. gateway for agricultural exports, by value. Oakland is the nation’s fifth largest container port.
The warehousing and transloading potential planned for the project should also help Oakland to attract more imports. Because of its location as a gateway to California’s agricultural and wine regions, Oakland normally handles a larger volume of exports than imports.
The addition of transshipment capability on port property should attract containerized imports that will be transloaded into 53-foot domestic containers for inland transport.
“The port already has the deep channels, berths, cranes, dock space, wharf length, labor force and Class 1 rail partners to be a world-class seaport,” Lytle said.
The public-private partnership that is redeveloping the army base includes the private-sector firms Capital Group and Prologis.