The Port of Stockton lies on the banks of the San Joaquin River about 65 kilometers south of the Port of West Sacramento and about 96 kilometers east of the Port of San Francisco in central California. With West Sacramento, it is one of California's two inland ports. In 2000, the City of Stockton was home to about 243 thousand people, and over 563 thousand lived in the Stockton-Lodi metropolitan area.
While Stockton began as an agricultural community, it has grown to contain diverse industries like telecommunications and manufacturing. Due to its central location near both Sacramento and San Francisco and its relatively affordable land prices, several major companies (including Duraflame, Golden State Lumber Company, and Pac-West Telecommunications) have selected the Port of Stockton as the base for their regional operations.
The Port of Stockton was originally part of the Rancho del Campo de los Franceses, which had been granted by the Mexican government to William Gulnac in 1844. In 1849, Captain Charles Weber bought the land and established the city of Tuleburg.
The Port of Stockton grew quickly during the famous 1849 Gold Rush as a supply point for gold miners since it was located at the head of navigation on the San Joaquin River. In 1850, it was renamed to honor Commodore Robert F. Stockton who had claimed California for the United Sates in 1846.
When irrigation was introduced and the Central Pacific Railroad arrived in 1869, the Port of Stockton grew as a market for farm produce and wines. The river's deep-water channel was completed in 1933 to make the Port of Stockton a supply depot for military operations in the Pacific.
While the Port of Stockton continues to be an important center for agricultural production of fruits, vegetables, and wines, it has also grown as a commercial and industrial center for the area.
Largely due to the flow of people escaping the high-cost San Francisco Bay area, the Port of Stockton has had a population boom in the past decades. Due to this increase, the city was greatly affected by the housing bubble of the early 2000s. Real estate values tripled from 1998 to 2005, and the financial crisis of 2007 hit the Port of Stockton harder than most American cities. Housing prices fell almost 40% in 2008, and the city experienced a near-10% foreclosure rate and high unemployment. As a result, crime has increased dramatically.