The Port of Oakland’s seaport, located in the ART Subregional Project area, is the fifth busiest container port in the United States and handles 99% of containerized goods moving through Northern California.

Port of Oakland and downtown - 9008

Photo credit: Michael Layefsky

Maritime facilities at the seaport that were evaluated include deep water berths, container cranes, and berth and railway terminals. Road and rail access to the seaport was also evaluated because it is critical to maintaining goods movement. The seaport is served by local streets and roads, Interstate 880, the Union Pacific rail line, and an intermodal rail yard.

The seaport is owned and operated by the Port of Oakland, an autonomous department of the City of Oakland that funds its own operations and is governed by a Board of Port Commissioners.

Key findings

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Photo credit: Roadside Pictures

While the Port of Oakland’s maritime facilities are not particularly vulnerable to sea level rise or storm events, seaport operations are at risk because they rely on vulnerable roadways and rail lines. Rail in the project area, and the region as a whole, is highly vulnerable due to its location adjacent to the shoreline and because damage at any point in the system can result in system-wide disruptions. Loss of the rail service to the seaport could result in increased truck traffic, affecting congestion and air quality in surrounding neighborhoods, local roadways, and interstates.

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Photo credit: Claudio Accheri

Disruption of seaport operations would have significant economic consequences because the San Francisco Bay region cannot replace the cargo capacity provided by the Port of Oakland.

The seaport exports a significant amount of perishable goods, such as agricultural products, and past disruptions to seaport operations have demonstrated how vulnerable these businesses are to shipping delays.

Project Findings and Materials

For more information:

  • Lindy Lowe
  • 415-352-3642