Port of Oakland officials said Thursday that 2017 was the port’s busiest year in its 90-year history, as growth in imports allowed it to handle the equivalent of 2.42 million 20-foot containers.
That broke the previous record of 2.39 million containers that was set in 2014.
Port officials said they broke two more records in 2017 by handling 919,523 loaded import containers and 1.85 million combined imports and exports.
A strong U.S. economy and increasing consumer demand for retail products were key factors in achieving the import increase, port officials said.
“Our record-setting 2017 has set the stage for the future,” Port of Oakland maritime director John Driscoll said in a statement. “With new development projects already underway, we expect to increase our capacity and drive greater volume.”
Port officials said they expect Cool Port Oakland, a 280,000-square-foot temperature-controlled distribution center, to open late this summer. The clearinghouse for agricultural exports is projected to handle about 30,000 containers full of chilled and frozen meat products annually.
Port officials said work on its 440,000-square-foot Seaport Logistics Complex, a distribution center at the former Army Base in West Oakland that adjacent to the port’s rail yard, could begin by spring.
Port officials say the complex will make it faster and cheaper to import and export containerized goods internationally.