Crowley tugs return to Oakland

Crowley tugs return to Oakland

After a 104-year presence followed by an eight-year absence, Crowley Maritime Corp. has placed two tugboats in the Port of Oakland.

Crowley Maritime was once the oldest and biggest tugboat operator in San Francisco Bay, beginning in 1892. But increasing competition led it to pull all seven of its tugboats from Bay area waters to focus on more lucrative ports like Long Beach and Puget Sound in Washington.

Crowley returns as Oakland upgrades its container handling, and to maintain an expanded presence throughout the West Coast.

Crowley plans a gradual return to Oakland, with 10 crewmen, three shoreside employees, and 40 office staff.