Officials at the Port of Oakland today projected a five-year record run for cargo volumes starting next year, culminating in 2022 with traffic composed of 2.6 million twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) containers, 8 percent more volume than the port has ever processed in a year.
The port forecasted it will handle 2.4 million TEUs next year, which would break the current full-year record of 2.39 million TEUs set in 2014. It does not have a full-year estimate for 2017. Through July, it has handled 1.394 million TEUs, with July being its best-ever month for import volumes.
Oakland's growth will be driven by demand from the booming freight markets of northern California and neighboring Nevada, the port said. New logistics capabilities such as distribution centers and freight transfer facilities should also help, it added. Among them is a "Seaport Logistics Complex," the first phase of which is tentatively scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2018. The first phase is expected to be 440,000 square feet. Port officials have not made projections on the total size of the complex.
The nation's sixth-busiest seaport, Oakland's traffic mix is evenly split between imports and exports. One of its goals over the next five years is to achieve a 15 percent increase in import volumes that get moved by rail; the port's new logistics projects will be developed near rail lines.
Oakland also wants to become the first U.S. port of call for at least one Asian-originating vessel service. The port competes with the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the nation's two busiest seaports, to the south, and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Vancouver, B.C.'s Port of Prince Rupert to the north.
The Port predicted that, by 2032, ships calling the port will be 35 percent bigger than they are today, with vessel capacity of 18,000 TEUs to be commonplace.