International Trade and Transportation

Oakland's attributes combine to position the city as one of the most important international trade markets in the world. The first new facilities of the Oakland Global Trade and Logistics Center will open this year, increasing the Port’s capacity. Transportation, Wholesale Trade, Logistics and related sectors employ more than 25,000 in Oakland.


Oakland's attributes combine to position the city as one of the most important international trade markets in the world.

  • Strategic, central location
  • Extensive multi-modal transportation infrastructure
  • Proximity to innovative Bay Area businesses and the world’s largest concentration of venture capital
  • A concentration of world renowned academic institutions

Home to a dynamic metropolitan chamber of commerce and several ethnic chambers of commerce, Oakland’s diversity makes it home to everyone.

Port of Oakland

Oakland is a premier export seaport; shipping products to markets in Asia from Oakland can typically save a day of transit time because of Oakland's central location on the West Coast of North America. As such Oakland is the “Cool Port” for agriculture, dairy, meat and poultry, and value-added food and beverages as the agriculture industry expands exports through high quality production and food safety innovations. Incoming freight connects with domestic interior markets via a well-developed transportation network of air, rail and road freight service. Since 1865, when Oakland became the terminus of the Transcontinental Railway, Oakland has been the major transportation hub of the Bay Area. In 2013 the total commodity value of imported goods moved through the Port of Oakland totaled more than $22 billion ($22,458,000,000) with the highest percentage in machinery, apparel and electronic equipment. Exports totaled nearly $14 billion ( $ 13,942,000,000) in value, with the largest percentages in food or beverage products, including:

  • Fruits & Nuts ($3,139,000,000)
  • Electrical Machinery ($2,491,000,000)
  • Meats ($2,149,000,000)
  • Foodstuffs ($1,027,000,000)
  • Wine & Spirits ($937,000,000)
  • Dairy Products ($569,000,000).

In business enterprises, Oakland is home to large logistics firms, such as non-maritime Fed Ex and UPS regional distribution facilities at Oakland International Airport. Oakland is home to large trucking carriers as well as family-run specialty distribution firms and other specialty transporters. A new 360,000 sf privately-developed facility on Pardee Lane added significantly to Oakland’s privately-owned supply of warehouse facilities.

For detailed information visit Port of Oakland website or call (510) 627-1100. Watch a video on the Port of Oakland. Watch the Everyone's Port video.

Foreign Trade Zone

Foreign Trade Zones (FTZs) facilitate trade and increase the global competitiveness of U.S.-based companies. Oakland is home to one of the largest FTZs on the West Coast. The City of Oakland, as the Grantee to FTZ #56 since 1980, is embarking on a federal application to expand its FTZ allowance to the "Alternative Site Framework (ASF)", which, when approved by the federal FTZ Board, will allow the City to forward individual site applications for either "User" sub-zones (which can include manufacturers or production sites), or "Magnet" zones (covering a collection of businesses operating and reporting to the FTZ as a singular entity) to the federal government for approval. Under the ASF designation, individual sites within 60 miles or 90 minutes drive time of the City limits can apply to be approved as their own sub-zone within the Oakland FTZ #56 license. Each site will be responsible for its own reporting to Customs Border Patrol, but the cash deferral advantage of being a FTZ sub zone, and the potential efficiencies of customs processing within one's own facility can be a great economic incentive for companies, and save both money and time of goods otherwise in delays at the point of entry.

Benefits of participating in the Foreign Trade Zone:

  • Duty deferral, reduction or elimination
  • Reduced Merchandise Processing Fees
  • Lower inventory costs and improved cash flow
  • Streamlined import/export documentation entry procedures

Oakland has one General Purpose Zone for the benefit of those who chose to maximize Foreign Trade Zone benefits without needing any FTZ subzone designation of their own. Oakland’s current General Purpose Zone operator Matson Logistics has been providing such warehousing, as well as consulting services, since 2008. For more information about Matson Logistics FTZ services, contact Bill Whelan at Matson, (510) 383-9406.

For more information on Matson Logistics' services in Oakland

For general information about Oakland's Foreign Trade Zone license, contact Eric Simundza at

EB-5 Visa Program

Oakland is home to two EB-5 regional centers that work to attract entrepreneurial immigrants to engage in commercial enterprises. The goal: each business will benefit the U.S. economy and directly create at least ten full-time jobs. The minimum qualifying investment is $1 million in areas such as Oakland. Congress allocates approximately 10,000 immigrant visas per year to the EB-5 category (including visas for the spouses and minor children of investors). Regional Centers are designated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Three thousand of the 10,000 total annual EB-5 visas are allocated for investors who invest within designated “regional centers.” Under the pilot, foreign investors can pool their investments into Regional Centers which make large investments that create jobs. Regional Center investors are permitted to demonstrate through “reasonable methodologies” that their investment resulted in the creation of ten or more direct or indirect jobs. For more information, contact:

Sister Cities

Through its Sister City relationships, Oakland strives to promote cultural understanding and stimulate economic development as it strengthens global cooperation at the municipal level. Oakland enjoys commercial and cultural exchanges with cities around the globe.

  • Fukuoka, Japan
  • Nakhodka, Russia
  • Sekondi-Takoadi, Ghana
  • Dalian, China
  • Ocho Rios, Jamaica
  • Livorno, Italy
  • Sntiago de Cuba, Cuba
  • Bahir Dar, Ethiopia

To learn more about sister city relationships, visit

All Sister City associations are community-based organizations and open to all Oakland residents. For more information on Oakland’s Sister City Program, please Sun Kwong Sze at or (510) 238-7577.

Contact Us

Phone Numbers

Email Address