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Port of Stockton
Port of Stockton.jpg
Country United States
Location Stockton, California
Coordinates 37°57′06″N 121°19′04″W / 37.95164°N 121.31764°W / 37.95164; -121.31764
Opened 1932
Land area 4,200 acres (17 km2)
Available berths 14
Vessel arrivals 230 (CY 2014)
Annual cargo tonnage 4.1 million metric revenue tons (CY 2014)
Value of cargo US$1.5 billion (CY 2014)
Wpdms usgs photo sacramento delta 2
Northern California's Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. The Sacramento River flows into the delta from the north and the San Joaquin River from the south through Stockton. Map show how far inland the Port of Stockton is.
San Joaquin River watershed
Map showing the Port of Stockton on the San Joaquin River

The Port of Stockton is a major deepwater port on the Stockton Ship Channel of the Pacific Ocean and an inland port located more than seventy nautical miles from the ocean, in Stockton, California on the Stockton Channel and San Joaquin River-Stockton Deepwater Shipping Channel (before it joins the Sacramento River to empty into Suisun Bay). The port sits on about 4,200 acres (17 km2), and occupies an island in the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta, and a portion of a neighborhood known as Boggs Tract. It is governed by a commission appointed by the City of Stockton and San Joaquin County. In 2012 it employed 4,500 people and made about $4.9 million in local tax funds.


The only natural outlet for the waters of the Central Valley to pass into the sea is through the narrow Carquinez Strait, at the inland eastern extreme of San Pablo Bay. Further inland are Suisun and Grizzly Bays, arms of the Pacific Ocean deep in the Californian interior. Further inland again from these last bays is the broad Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta, formed where the San Joaquin and Sacramento Rivers meet and cross together. This verdant triangle of land with deep black soils is at the heart of the Central Valley and stretches some fifty miles from Suisun Bay on the west to the cities of Stockton and Sacramento on the east.


Early years

Stockton California circa 1860
Stockton, California circa 1860

In 1846, the first cargo boat ascended the San Joaquin River. In 1848, John Doak established the first ferry service on the river, and the first freight vessel, the sloop Maria, visited Stockton. In 1849, Doak brought lumber from San Francisco to Stockton and began a lumber business. By the 1850s, the port had become a center of commodity shipping and the supply center for the goldfields. By the 1860s, the region saw a decline in gold production and an increase in agriculture.


The first dredging contracts for the Stockton Deepwater Channel were awarded in 1930. The Port District officially opened on February 2, 1933 when the Daisy Grey arrived bringing lumber from Oregon.


Port management recognized the increasing importance of containerized cargo and upgraded dock side facilities. The ship channel was improved dramatically in order to accommodate large PANAMAX class ships.

2000 to present

The Navy Ruff and Ready Island Naval Supply Depot built during World War II was phased out of use as a result of special legislation sponsored by Senator Dianne Feinstein in 1995. It was transferred to the port between 2000 and 2003. This area of the port is now known as the "West Complex".

Port services

Port of Stockton loading
Port of Stockton worker moving a container.
Container ships President Truman (IMO 8616283) and President Kennedy (IMO 8616295) at San Francisco
Two container ships pass in San Francisco Bay near the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge. Port of Stockton ships pass through the bay to get to the Pacific Ocean.
California Green Trade Corridor
California’s Green Trade Corridor Marine Highway project to Port of Stockton
  • The deepwater channel is about 35 feet (10 meters) deep, handling ships up 900 feet (275 meters) and 60,000 tons. Dockside transit sheds of up to 1.1 million square feet (102,000 sq. meters). Warehouse storage of up to 7.7 million square feet (715,000 sq. meters).
  • The port runs a marine highway barge service for moving containers to Oakland for shipping.
  • The Port is a Foreign Trade Zone.
  • The port has two 140-ton mobile harbor cranes.
  • The port handles both large volume of bulk cargo and containerization shipments on container ship.
  • For rail the Port has both Union Pacific (UP) and Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) railroads lines for North America shipping. California Northern Railroad for local lines. Port of Stockton has 60 miles of rail lines shipping over 2,090,400 short tons a year.
  • The port is serviced by Highways: Interstate 5, California State Route 4, and California State Route 99. Over 200 truck companies serve the Port. The East - West Interstate 80 is about 50 miles north of the port.
  • The port handles containers going in and out of Sacramento, as the Port of Sacramento is a container free port.
  • The Port is part of the California’s Green Trade Corridor Marine Highway project, as ships move cargo much greener than trucks and trains. Green Trade Corridor Marine Highway (ports of Oakland-Stockton-West Sacramento) can improve goods movement through Northern California.

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