Winter Newsletter from the Port of Oakland

  • by BPC Staff
  • on December 24, 2013


Dear Readers,

As you may know I was selected by the Board of Port Commissioners to serve as the Port of Oakland’s Executive Director earlier this year. My focus is on improving our business and strengthening partnerships with all of our stakeholders and community. The reason I came to the Port is because I saw its tremendous potential and strong fundamental assets that are key to future growth. 

Besides having this great opportunity to lead the Port, the Bay Area is a wonderful place to raise a family. My wife, children and I are glad to be back in the Bay Area.

As 2013 comes to a close, it’s time to take a quick look at what we’ve accomplished and where we’re headed. Port staff and I are focused on serving all of our customers, having a productive workforce, improving infrastructure and the environment, and engaging our community. 

Thanks to the great work of Port staff we’ve had a lot of recent successes. In this issue of Currents you will read about a number of achievements such as the groundbreaking on both the City and Port of Oakland’s half-billion dollar, first phase of Oakland Global (trade and logistics center), a 70 percent reduction in seaport-related diesel emissions, and new airlines and more flights at Oakland International Airport.

Thank you for your support so that we can grow the Port’s business and continue delivering economic and community benefits as we move forward on our programs and projects in 2014.


Wishing you all the joys of the holidays and a very Happy New Year.


J. Christopher Lytle
Executive Director

Port Board Elects News Officers

July 18, 2013, the Oakland Board of Port Commissioners approved a resolution officially ratifying the election of new Board Officers. The Port Board selected Commissioner Cestra “Ces” Butner to serve as President, Commissioner Alan S. Yee as First Vice-President, and Commissioner Earl S. Hamlin as Second Vice-President. Commissioner Hamlin was reappointed to serve another four-year term that runs through July 10, 2017.  The new officers share their business, legal, and financial expertise with the Board while providing seasoned governance and leadership to the Port.

Cleaner Air – 70% Decrease in Seaport Diesel Emissions

While dedicated to growing its business, the Port is also meeting its commitment to clean air. The Port and its partners have reduced diesel particulate matter (DPM) emissions by over 70% between 2005 and 2012. In 2009, the Port Commissioners adopted the Maritime Air Quality Improvement Plan (MAQIP). The Plan’s goal is to reduce health risk associated with seaport-related DPM by 85% by 2020 (baseline 2005). 

Based on completion of several key Port emissions reduction programs including shore power and upcoming regulatory deadlines, the Port is projected to meet its 85% health risk reduction goal by 2020. 

The Port is on track in reducing diesel emissions thanks to the Port’s clean air plan and Port partners including California Air Resources Board, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Environmental Protection Agency, and Department of Transportation as well as significant investments by Port tenants and users including truckers. This 70% reduction of DPM at the Port means better air quality for the Port’s neighboring communities and all those who visit, work, or do business here.

City & Port Celebrate Oakland Global Groundbreaking


Federal to Local Elected Officials Attend Ceremony

Federal, state and local elected officials, including Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Governor Jerry Brown, and Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, are excited about the joint Port-City construction project getting underway. The ceremonial groundbreaking for the Oakland Global Trade & Logistics Center on the former Oakland Army Base took place Nov. 1, 2013. Spirits were high with the promise of progress and good paying, sustainable jobs that will result once Phase 1 construction is complete.

The Oakland Global development at the former Army Base is putting world class trade and logistics facilities in the heart of the seaport. The Port’s Phase 1 contractors, Stacy and Whitbeck, Inc., will construct the support railyard, and Balfour Beatty, Gallagher & Burk, a joint venture, will build the manifest railyard portion of the Port’s project. Construction is expected to be complete on both railyard projects by December 2015. 

Once the Port’s railyards are completed, along with the new warehouses and a bulk cargo terminal that are underway with the City’s development, the Port will have this uniquely port-centralized additional rail and maritime facilities capacity to serve its US and international customers.

Oakland Global is directly adjacent to the Port of Oakland’s world-class container terminals, deep harbors, and two Class I rail connections.  This will attract more imports and solidify Oakland’s premier export position.

Port staff is also preparing for Phase II of the OAB project.  Over the last several months, staff has met with over 15 companies that operate logistics facilities associated with international maritime trade.  Many of the companies are active in the cold chain storage industry, one of the major areas of opportunity for redevelopment of the OAB.  Check out this story about the Port’s OAB project.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Foxx Visits Port


U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx (second from left) made his first official West Coast port visit at the Port of Oakland Friday, Nov. 15, 2013. Port staff provided Secretary Foxx with a tour and briefing of regional transportation priorities including Port infrastructure projects.

The visit included a waterside tour that emphasized the regional water transportation network and the Port of Oakland maritime facilities. It also included a driving and site tour of the Oakland Global Trade and Logistics Center development, the location of the $15 million federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant awarded in 2012.

Port’s Shore Power Construction Complete


Shore power is a key component of our clean air plan.  Shore power allows ships to plug into an electrical power grid and shut down their engines. Shore power significantly reduces diesel and other emissions from ships while they are docked. The Port recently completed this major construction project making it one of the most sustainable ports in the nation.

Officials from Port of Oakland, U.S. Maritime Administration, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, California Air Resources Board, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, Metropolitan Transportation Commission, City of Oakland, Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, and West Oakland Neighbors gathered to mark the completion of construction of the Port of Oakland’s shore power infrastructure, Friday, Nov. 8, 2013. 

The event signifies another step in the Port’s on-going commitment to clean air and healthy communities. The shore power project is expected to eliminate another 11 tons of diesel particulate matter out of the air. The Port thanks all of its partners for helping to implement this invaluable project.


To meet the California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulation for “vessels at berth,” one-half of a fleet’s vessel calls at California ports will be required to use shore power beginning in 2014.

With all the work that has been done, including ships using low sulfur fuel when arriving or departing from the Port of Oakland, diesel particulate matter (DPM) from ocean-going vessels has been reduced by 151 tons between 2005 and 2012. 

Marine Highway Dedication


New Barge Service

Paul Jaenichen Sr., acting administrator of the U.S. Maritime Administration, joined Ports of Stockton and Oakland officials and a crowd of more than 200 dignitaries and guests to formally dedicate the new marine highway (barging service) Nov. 2, 2013. The Marine Highway Initiative is an effort to establish a “container on barge” service stretching from West Sacramento to Oakland with stops in Stockton.  The goals are to provide a viable marine highway service between regional ports, improve goods movement in Northern California and reduce truck traffic congestion and emissions on major roadways. Additionally, the service aids shippers by reducing the costs to ship heavy containers.

The Marine Highway is funded through a grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 TIGER (Transportation Investment Grants for Economic Recovery) program. This program is administered by the Maritime Administration (MARAD) and managed by the Port of Stockton with support from the Ports of Oakland and West Sacramento.

Oakland International Airport (OAK) News

OAK Air Traffic Control Tower Dedication


Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), federal and local officials dedicated the new Oakland International Airport “green” air traffic control tower, Friday, Nov. 22. The new tower is fully operating and replaces  two towers that served OAK for more than 40 years.  The $33.2 million American recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant paid for constructing the tower and the 14,000 square-foot base building. The tower has several “green” features which earned it the USA Green building council’s coveted LEED Gold environmental rating.



FAA Deputy Regional Administrator David Suomi, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, Port Board President Cestra Butner, Port Aviation Director Deborah Ale Flint and Alameda County Building and Construction Trades Council Secretary-Treasurer Andreas Cluver all spoke at the event highlighting the benefits that the new tower delivers including aviation safety, structural green features and  good-paying construction jobs.

Exciting New European Service at OAK


In 2014, travelers who choose to fly from OAK will have even more options, including two new International destinations. In May 2014, Norwegian Air Shuttle will begin three weekly nonstops to Stockholm, Sweden (ARN) and two weekly nonstops to Oslo, Norway (OSL) using its new state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. The flights are the first-ever nonstop services offered from the two Scandinavian capitals to the San Francisco Bay Area. Read more here.  

Expanding Domestic Flights at OAK

Southwest Airlines, Oakland International Airport’s (OAK) largest carrier, will begin new, daily non-stop service between OAK and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) and add additional frequencies on existing routes from OAK in time for the 2014 peak summer travel season.




Hawaiian Airlines will increase nonstop service to Honolulu in January 2014 and add new nonstops to Kona and Lihu’e in June 2014, making OAK the only mainland city in its network with nonstop services to all four main islands of Hawaii. All flight operate with widebody, twin aisle Boeing 767-300 airliners.



OAK continues to grow to the delight of Bay Area travelers. In addition to the new future service announcements, two airlines at OAK launched service to three, new, nonstop destinations over the past few months. Spirit Airlines began nonstop service to Dallas-Ft. Worth (DFW) in April



And Allegiant Air began new nonstop service to Provo (PVU) in June.





Oakland Structures

Port Executive Director Chris Lytle spoke to a full house at the Oakland Structures breakfast Friday, Dec. 6, along with Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and other distinguished City and Business leaders. Chris Lytle gave an overview of Port projects including Oakland Global (redevelopment of former Oakland Army Base) and the plans to enhance Oakland International Airport (OAK) facilities. 

Port Launches Fresh Website
Take a look at the Port’s new and more user-friendly website.  

New Oakland International Airport Video 


We have a new, fascinating, time-lapse video of OAK activity. Great fun to watch. Click on the image above.

Holiday Tree Lighting

Dec. 6, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan counted down in Chinese for the lighting of the beautiful 55-foot holiday tree at the Port’s Jack London Square


Santa, reindeer, and Disney radio performers all contributed to the free, annual, family-fun holiday event.


Eat Real Festival


Thank you to everyone that came out and ate real! Three days of unique, internationally creative cuisine (50 food vendors from all around the bay area), food-making instruction, local crafts and varied music performances, drew a record, food-loving crowd estimated at 130,000 to the Port’s Jack London Square Sept. 27-29. 

Good Neighbor Breakfast

The Port hosted a Good Neighbor Breakfast on Sat., Oct. 26, at Cypress Mandela Training Center in West Oakland. This was the first community forum since Chris Lytle became the Port’s Executive Director. Port staff presented updates on Oakland International Airport (OAK), a progress report on the Port’s Maritime Air Quality Improvement Plan (MAQIP) and the first quarter workforce report on construction now underway with the Oakland Global Trade & Logistics Center project on the former Army Base

Fly Quiet Awards


As a Good Neighbor, OAK Airport – Community Noise Management Forum recognized five aviation companies with Fly Quiet Awards for achieving outstanding compliance with the Oakland International Airport’s Fly Quiet Noise Abatement Program. The inaugural awards banquet was held in July. Congratulations to Southwest Airlines, NetJets Aviation, Chevron Corporation, West Air Inc, and Oakland Flyers. 

Dia De Los Muertos Festival

The Port hosted a booth at the 18th Annual Dia De Los Muertos Festival staffed by Port employee volunteers as part of our ongoing community participation.  Employees distributed information about the Port of Oakland in English and Spanish, free beverage holders, almonds (thanks to one of our exporters, Blue Diamond Growers), and an assortment of organic Luna Mini Bars (thanks to Clif Bar and Company). The Dia De Los Muertos Festival is held in the culturally-rich Fruitvale neighborhood.

Partnership Highlight

The Port thanks its non-profit strategic partner, Bay Planning Coalition (BPC), for its work since 1983 through a broad coalition to enhance the quality of life in the San Francisco Bay Region.  BPC activities have expanded to cover not only the permit process, but also essential planning, communication and consensus-building related to navigation and dredging, water and air quality, water supply, transportation, and wetlands and wildlife issues.

California Freight Advisory Council Met in Oakland

The Port, Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC) and Metropolitan Transportation Commission hosted the California Freight Advisory Committee (CFAC) for its fall meeting. Caltrans, in collaboration with the state’s Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, established the CFAC in response to guidance provided in the federal transportation legislation, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21). CFAC is comprised of public and private sector freight stakeholders, including representatives of ports, shippers, carriers, freight-related associations, the freight industry workforce, the transportation department of the State, and local governments. The group is tasked with designing a state-wide freight mobility plan and expects to produce a draft plan for public comment by summer 2014.

Top Honors for Aviation Director
Deborah Ale Flint

Congratulations to the Port of Oakland’s Aviation Director, Deborah Ale Flint, for being selected as the 2013 Director of the Year in the small/medium airports category by Airport  Revenue News (ARN). Director Ale Flint was selected by ARN’s editorial staff from a pool of highly qualified candidates for excelling in key areas such as leadership, community work, service and efforts to advance the airport industry.

2014 Calendar

Port Board Meetings
Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014
Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014
February 27, 2014
March 13, 2014
March 27, 2014

Jack London Square events


Oakland Restaurant Week | January 17-26, 2014

Save the date: January 17-26, 2014! More than 40 of Oakland’s top restaurants will be participating this year, offering a variety of fixed-priced menu options and special deals. Participating restaurants at Jack London Square include: Bocanova, Forge, Haven, Lungomare, Scott’s and Yoshi’s.

Farmers’ Market


Every Sunday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Water Street, between Franklin and Harrison Streets

Jack London Square is home to a Farmer’s Market that is organized and managed by the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association. It offers the best of California’s agricultural bounty direct from local farmers to you. 


Port of Oakland by the Numbers

5th busiest container port in the nation
55% exports and 45% imports (containerized volume)
More than 10 Million passengers use OAK annually
More than a Billion pounds of air cargo at OAK in a year
20 miles of waterfront including Jack London Square
6 parks


Join Us!

If you are a person seeking a job, a business looking for new opportunities, a community member who wants better parks and cleaner air, a government official looking to support your constituents, join us. We can do more by working together.

To find out about job opportunities with the Port of Oakland, one of our valued business partners, or related to one of our many infrastructure projects, click here to contact us. For current Port of Oakland job listings click here .  

To do business with the Port or learn more about our certification process, click here to contact us.  

For the current listing of RFPs and RFQs click here

To lease space at Oakland’s Jack London Square, please click here to contact us.


To voice your support for the Port, schedule informational briefings, or request additional details about the positive economic impact of the Port of Oakland, please click here to contact us.



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