Pier Group


By Chris Pocock / Photos courtesy of Port of San Diego

Since its founding in 1962, the Port of San Diego has been a gateway to imports from all over the world.

“We depend on shipping to get a lot of our goods from Asia and Europe,” says the Port’s PR representative, Marguerite Elicone.

Boatloads of cars - Acuras, Audis, Bentleys, Hondas, Lotuses, Porsches and more - comprise a big chunk of the water traffic, accounting for 15 of the Port’s 37 deliveries in June. American cars headed for China also pass through the Port.

Windmill parts from Belgium and Spain, bananas and other fruits and vegetables from Dole, and a variety of other cargo make their way to various parts of the U.S. through the port, which Elicone says is a boon for the local economy.

“The maritime businesses alone generate approximately 42,000 jobs in the San Diego region,” she says, adding that these businesses “have very good, family-sustaining wages and pump a lot of money into the region.”

In early August, more than 1,000 Volkswagen Beetles and Jettas arrived at the Port from Mexico. According to Elicone, this is good news not just for the local economy, but also for freeway traffic.

“If you didn’t have shipping, you would have a lot more trucks on the road,” she says.


Elicone estimates that each cruise ship arriving at the Port of San Diego generates an average of $1 million for the local tourism industry, a considerable amount given the 90 cruise ships expected to visit San Diego next year.


In 2011, the Port raked in nearly $81 through real estate management, leasing space to industrial tenants (such as General Dynamics and NASCO) as well as several restaurants and hotels.


Dole Food Company, Inc.’s relationship with the Port, which began in 2001, was extended for another 25 years on August 14. Approximately 95,000 20-foot containers of Dole fruit and vegetables arrive in San Diego each year through the company’s one million square-foot space at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal, which it lease from the port.