The Port of Redwood City Celebrates Maritime Month!

Currents – March 2020

May is a special month here at the Port of Redwood City! It’s Maritime Month, when we celebrate how the Port serves as an economic engine, bringing $9.3 million dollars to our economy last fiscal year, thanks largely to our maritime industry.


In 1933, the U. S. Congress designated May 22nd as National Maritime Day.  Annually, ports across the nation recognize Maritime Day and the people serving in our maritime industry.  The Port is a driver of our regional economy, particularly the construction and development industry, and our maritime trade and commercial businesses on the waterfront support the economy with well-paying jobs.


Of course, this is a different May than most. As our workplaces continue to adapt to new ways of doing business and #stayathome orders begin to be lifted, our port has never stopped operating as an essential business.  We, too, have had to adjust some of our operations but as an essential service under the Maritime Transportation category, we are proud to remain open for business. Our maritime industry is essential because – like ports around the world – it keeps international trade flowing. We are connected to the global economy with imports from countries such as Australia, Canada, and Mexico, and exports to Asia and the far-east.


Kristine A. Zortman

Executive Director, Port of Redwood City

Building a stronger future

History tells us that the logging industry and lumber put the Port of Redwood City on the map, during the Gold Rush expansion in the 1850s transporting redwood logs.


While our lumber-hauling days are over, we continue to serve as a hub for raw construction and bulk materials that are essential to nearly any building project, from single-family homes and apartments to schools, office buildings and factories – not to mention sidewalks and sewers. Bulk cargo is raw materials that are shipped in large quantities, without packaging of individual pieces.


Here are a few examples of how the Port’s bulk cargo supports building in our region:


·     Cement along with slag, a byproduct of iron production, are both used in concrete and mortar – essential for laying floors and roofs and in constructing such as bridges, tunnels and docks.

·     Soda ash is used in manufacturing glass windows and doors.

·     Bauxite is the principal ore of aluminum. It’s a material with many construction-related uses including siding for houses.

A healthy balance of uses

Our Port is both vibrant and economically sustainable – with maritime business helping pay for our public amenities! Whether you enjoy fishing from the pier, boating or kayaking, it’s all part of a healthy balance of different uses on our waterfront.


Did you know that maritime business revenue helps pay the cost to maintain recreational water access? With a full mile of waterfront public access, walkways and viewing areas, the Port of Redwood City welcomes the public to enjoy our parks with picnic areas, public art and water access for boating. This recreational water access is part of what makes our region special.


As summer approaches, we hope that you return to our waterfront to enjoy some recreational activities.

Caring for our environment

We believe that to maritime business activity and environmental stewardship can exist in harmony. In fact, cargo shipping has multiple environmental benefits. Transporting cargo by ship instead of by truck means a significant reduction in truck trips that would otherwise clog our freeways and add to air pollution. It’s also a more environmentally friendly way to move materials from one area to another, compared with planes, trucks or trains.


Estimates in this New Economy article on shipping suggest that container ships emit roughly 40 times less carbon dioxide than large freight aircraft, and three times less than a large truck. According to the article, container ships are 2.5 times more energy efficient than train transport!


Port of Redwood City | 675 Seaport Boulevard, Redwood City, CA 94063