Important to the industrial development of Oakland, California was the opening of the Parr Terminal on the Western waterfront on August 10, 1920.  On of the outstanding features of the Parr Terminal service is that it made Oakland for the first time a Trans-Pacific shipping port.  The first Trans-Pacific ship, the Java-Pacific Steamship Tjitaroen, (10,500 tons) was at the dock discharging and taking on Trans-Pacific cargo from September 2nd to the 7th, 1920. 

The breadth of the service to Oakland manufacturers by the Parr Terminal was indicated by the fact that ships arrived from and departed for what was at the time referred to as the 'Orient' (which included the Philippines, Sumatra and Java), as well as Australia, South America, Puget Sound, Havana, England, Mexican Gulf, and the principal Atlantic ports of the United States.


Parr Terminal

Oakland, California

“Situated on the mainland of the great San Francisco Bay, the Parr Terminal offers to shippers a complete service, with fireproof warehouses, cargo sheds, coal and bulk oil storage, transfer tracks and car storage yards.”

“The Terminal owns and operates three miles of railroad tracks, directly connected with all railroad lines entering the City of Oakland, and giving service north, south and east.”

Mechanical Equipment

“Lumber, cedar bolts, ties, etc., are handled with gravity conveyors, or by locomotive crane.”

“Case Goods are handled with gravity conveyors or electric tractors and platforms.”

“Sacked Goods and bulky packages are handled with elevating platform electric trucks and skips and are stacked in warehouses with electric stackers.”

“Copra is handled by means of an airveyor, which vacuums the Copra from the ship’s hold and blows it into box cars at the rate of 40 tons per hour.”

Storage Facilities

“The main warehouse and transit shed is a concrete and steel building of 60,000 square feet floor space.”

“An auxiliary warehouse for the handling and storage of Nitrate, Copra and other cargoes that are not usually handled in general storage warehouses has just been completed.  This warehouse has 12,000 square feet floor space.”

“The open storage area is 160 feet wide and 1560 feet long, paralleling the waterfront, and is provided with two shipside tracks and one track on the land side of the storage area.”

Industrial Locations

“The Parr Terminal offers for lease on long terms ideal industrial sites adjacent to wharf and warehouse, with spur track facilities.  Sites ranging in size from half-acre to ten and twenty acre parcels are available.”

“A lease had already been closed with the American Manganese Steel Company, covering seven acres of ground on which they have erected and are operating a plant at a cost of over $300,000.00.  Other tenants include Lawrence-Reynolds Co. (Chemical Plant), Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Co., and H. J. Baker and Co. (Nitrate Depot).”

“Due to the facilities offered by the Parr Terminal (opened August 10th, 1920), Oakland has been selected as the port of call for the steamers of”

“The Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific S. S. Corporation

Struthers & Dixon, Inc.

Java-Pacific S. S. Company

European-Pacific Line

Matson Navigation Company

The Parr Terminal

Oakland, California

San Francisco Officer, No. 1 Drumm Street 1

References (For further research)

  1. Oakland Tribune Year of 1920 (Parr Terminal full page feature)