John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
Peek into a major player in global commerce.
Folks might know the Port of Oakland as a gnarly site for late-night biking or as the (incorrectly) rumored inspiration for Star Wars AT-AT walkers. But few actually know it—understand its immensity, and the choreography of the hulking machines that keeps it humming.
While much of the port is walled off by barbed-wire fence, it’s not impervious to the prying eye of drones. Videographer Eddie Codel recently took a quadcopter tour of the area, and the footage he captured is fascinating. “The Port of Oakland is the fifth busiest container port in the US,” he writes. “Here’s what it looks like when container cargo is unloaded from ships by massive cranes. Be sure the watch in fantastic 4K UHD.”
Granted, this video will find its biggest appeal in a niche audience (people who like “shipping containers” and “large cranes,” says Codel). But even normies with no machine fetishes should appreciate the peek into a major, but rarely thought-about, player in global commerce.