Port of San Francisco

Port of San Francisco

San Francisco Port management has embarked on the strategic planning of the port development so as to realize its economic returns by considering capital needs and available resources in the capital plan. They are also considering Waterfront Land Use plan to set goals and objectives for the use and improvement of the port property (“Strategic Plan 2016-2021”, n.d.). These two plans help to set a framework for the strategic plan for the port to be implemented in five-year term. Since the port is a public property, the vision is aligned with the delivery of services to the public and ensuring efficiency. According to the improvement plan, the port will change its aging infrastructure as well as address the problem of natural disasters on time and effectively. This is important because the port is an economic harbor in terms of private businesses and public transport services. Infrastructure such as seawall needs upgrading and improvement because of erosion, structural deterioration, earthquake risk and predicted sea level rise that might hinder its normal operations or functioning. This paper presents Improvement Plan for the Port of San Francisco and the impact its implementation will have on its freight flows.

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Port Improvement Plan

Investment and Budget Proposal

The port plans to improve its structure as well as invest in modern capital projects in order to attract maritime and non-maritime globally. The economic development of the territory around the port is flourishing and therefore, it is important to boost all the businesses involved in order to realize maximum returns from available resources and port property. The investments are necessary to strengthen the waterfront economy and expand it to its international usage. The proposed investments and budget will be submitted to the Mayor for action and approval (Sabatini, 2016)

Investment Projects

The plan begins by prioritizing the three projects which include Pier 70, Seawall Lot 337/Pier 48 and the Blue Greenway by 2020. The management emphasizes that these projects  will ensure the port sustainability thus making a step forward towards realizing the mission and vision of the port. Reuse strategy is to be implemented to improve and preserve the historical nature. The port is grounded on historical heritage as well as on economic functioning of the port (“Strategic Plan 2016-2021”, n.d.). The strategic goal of increasing the volume of cargo shipping will be achieved only by expanding these projects to accommodate both maritime and non-maritime from the country and internationally. In addition to the projects and expectation of increase of maritime and non-maritime services, the management is planning to ensure carbon neutrality by 2017 by minimizing carbon emission. They also plan to employ new environmental practices like green building, storm water management in ecological parks so as to enhance environmental preservation and protection through the strategy known as green port.

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Engaging the Public and other Partners

The management plans to ensure public participation to obtain feedback on the port initiatives. Partners and customers provide a good source of information and financial support, thus partnerships need to be maintained. Port commission and government agencies will also be engaged in the strategic improvement plan that will help to attain the mission and vision through the goals and objectives set (“Strategic Plan 2016-2021”, n.d.). 

Freight Signaling

Due to expected increase of the volume of cargo shipping, the port plans to modernize signaling system by launching new signaling  techniques. Intelligent Transportation System strategies such as traveler information and adaptive signaling will be implemented in the port. The  improvements in signaling system will contribute to handling small cargo like ferries and local ships.

Current and Future Freight Flows

            San Francisco Bay is one of the most populated area in California and one of the fastest growing economic hub in the region. Population is expected to provide and improve port services so as to accommodate the growth. The port also expects to have an increase in their freight flows due to the attraction of both maritime and non-maritime from the country and international. Provision of key amenities will play a key role in attracting residents, tourists and guests to the bay. The most common freight moved include electronics, machinery, waste and scrap, and crude petroleum and gasoline.

            According to the latest statistics of 2011, waste and scrap form the high percentage of 17% amounting to 74 million tons and followed by petroleum 10%, 42 million tons. This freight flow is expected to increase by the rate of 2.2% given the expansion and improvement that will be made especially by investing in modern projects (“San Francisco Bay Area Freight Mobility Study”, 2014). The employment levels are expected to increase since freight transportation offers jobs to the youths in the Bay. The port is an international passage, therefore the Bay has export and import flows. According to the latest data of 2011, exports comprised 6.8% and imports  10.7% of the total freight movement in the Bay. This amount is expected to grow at a faster rate since many improvements outlined in the strategic plans are geared towards attracting international cargo shipping (“San Francisco Bay Area Freight Mobility Study”, 2014).


San Francisco will be a gateway to international trade and transportation. The strategic plan that implements capital plan and waterfront Land Use Plan goals and objectives is a good way to the realization of its mission and vision. The goals of sustainability, economic vitality, renewal and stability are used in designing strategies that will enhance port improvement and upgrading to suit modern, global freight systems and transportation.

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