Freight rail key to new business and jobs at Port of Richmond

Richmond, CA – An auto processing facility at the Port of Richmond was part of a $40 million renovation that established modern, efficient on-dock rail loading capability while enhancing the port’s role as a major entry point for vehicles from Asia.  These renovations created 200 full-time jobs.

“Freight rail is vital to the Port’s success”, said Jim Matzorkis, Executive Director for the Port of Richmond. “Richmond is unique in that the cars that are brought through this port can easily feed the entire southern half of the United States by rail. “

Over the next 15 years, Honda is expected to bring more than 145,000 cars annually into Northern California by way of the Port of Richmond.  This will create a second gateway in California for the auto manufacturer. The presence of rail transport has been vital to Honda’s plans to expedite new car deliveries. Vehicles will be loaded on to rail cars at the port, reducing congestion and greenhouse gas emissions by eliminating 70,000 individual auto shuttle trips on local streets adjacent to the port. With this expansion Honda will help create 200 long-term jobs and more than 100 construction jobs to the port. Subaru is also importing cars through the Port of Richmond. Their annual volumes are in excess of 70,000 vehicles.

“Transportation has always played a key role in Richmond’s economy. During World War II, the historic Point Potrero Marine Terminal was filled with workers at Kaiser Shipyards,” said Judith Morgan, President & CEO at the Richmond Chamber of Commerce.  “Now the Honda port of entry and its freight rail focused plan point the way to economic development and job creation and are a welcome boost for the city.”

“Richmond’s rail infrastructure upgrades are like many other development projects across the country: freight rail access leads to economic revival, “ added Matzorkis.

The Port of Richmond is a deep-water seaport located approximately nine miles from the Golden Gate Bridge and is northern California’s most diversified cargo handler ranking number one in liquid bulk and automobile tonnage among ports on the San Francisco Bay.