Port of Richmond (California)

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For other ports with similar names see: Port Richmond

The port and its cranes can be seen in this image taken from the Berkeley Hills.

The Port of Richmond is a major shipping terminal in California's San Francisco Bay.


The harbor is located in Richmond, California along the city's southern coast beside the Richmond Inner Harbor and boasts the third largest volume of tonnage in the state of California annually; a total of 19 million short tons. It ranks number one for ports of San Francisco Bay in vehicles and liquid bulk.[1] In addition to these the port can also handle dry-bulk, break-bulk, and containers. Seven of the terminals are city owned in addition to 5 dry-docks while there are 11 privately owned terminals from whence 90% of tonnage emerge. The port is served by a sophisticated rail network served by four major rail companies.[2] The port itself has been described as a "boondogle" and as unprofitable, however in 2012 operations finally broke even; furthermore a net profit was projected over the following decade.[3]


The port was constructed in the 1980s about thirty years after the World War II-era Kaiser Shipyards were decommissioned.

In 1993 the port received 26,000,000 tons of goods. The majority of the cargo was oil and other petroleum products. The port is located at the end of Canal Boulevard in South Richmond. Port Richmond also receives imported cars and delivers them to dealers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

The port is a major entry point for vehicles from Asia.[4] The port signed an $US85 million dollar 15-year deal in 2010 to import Honda vehicles to the city after spending 37 million on upgrades in infrastructure from warehousing to rail lines.[4] In 2011 the city signed a deal to bring in Subaru vehicles on a five-year, $1 million-a-year deal.[4] The port is currently flirting with Toyota and Chinese auto manufacturers to expand its unmet capacity.[4]

In 2012 controversy arose over a $4 million federal grant to build a new safety and operations center.[3] The port authority itself supported redeveloping a decrepit former headquarters while influential councilmember Tom Butt preferred to refurbish the Riggers Loft building, a historic landmark.[3] The port's suggestion allows for a building closer to the day to day operations of the port, however the loft option allows for cultural restoration of a World War II relic in addition to providing an opportunity for using excess space to lease as office space for a profit.[3] Councilmember Corky Boozé opposed the loft option stating that Butt was attempting to micromanage the port's affairs and that 500,000 dollars had already been spent on studying the preferred alternative.[3] Butt countered that the port's preference is a terrible idea and that he would support anything else, even if the Riggers Loft is deemed unfit.[3]


  1. ^ "Richmond, CA - Official Website - Port Operations". City of Richmond. Retrieved 2007-06-26. 
  2. ^ "History of Richmond". City of Richmond. Retrieved 2007-06-25. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Dueling proposals compete for federal money to build security center at Richmond port, Robert Rogers, Richmond Confidential, 24-04-2012, access date 25-04-2012
  4. ^ a b c d Subaru coming to Port of Richmond. Katharine Tam. Contra Costa Times. 27-01-2011. Retrieved 28-01-2011.

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