Strategic Initiatives, Upgrade Investments Key to Oakland’s Post-Pandemic Recovery and Future

The Port of Oakland’s key to recovering business post-COVID-19 and in the future will include developing strategic initiatives and investing in operational improvements, Maritime Director Bryan Brandes said at a recent Pacific Transportation Association meeting via Zoom in September.

Brandes said the port anticipates a dip in overall cargo volume this year because of the pandemic, but expects cargo numbers to improve in the future. He also expressed optimism about the port’s maritime business.

Meanwhile, the port is looking into an “only-port-of-call” express service and is focusing on rail within the western states – short-haul and into the U.S. interior opportunities – to move more cargo coming through the port.

“We are determining our strategic initiatives right now,” said Brandes. “We’re continuing to spend and invest a fair amount into port facilities to ensure that we’re set up for the future.”

That includes the redevelopment of the former Oakland Army Base, occupied in part by the Seaport Logistics Complex. The first project soon to be finished within the complex is CenterPoint Landing, a 466,000-square-foot warehouse.

Currently in the works in Oakland are 15 transportation-related infrastructure and software projects that make up the Freight Intelligence Transportation System.

“It’s a combined effort with the Alameda County Transportation Commission, the port and the City,” said Brandes. “The new system will improve security, safety and the customer experience for those who are involved with the port.”

By Sarah Spangler