Friday, June 10, 2011

Oakland Port Slips Into Negative Growth In May

The Port of Oakland, California's third busiest container port, saw total containers moved slip into negative territory in May, marking the first time this year the port has ended a month in the negative column. Despite the almost imperceptible drop of 0.1 percent over May 2010, the port remains in solid positive growth territory for the year to date.

Port officials reported handling a total of 194,039 TEUs in May, off 0.1 percent over last May.

On the import side, the port handled a total of 68,700 loaded inbound TEUs in May, a 2.4 percent increase over the year-ago period.

On the export side of the ledger, the port handled 62,973 loaded outbound TEUs, a 4.3 percent increase over May of last year.

The major downturn for the port, in fact the only negative column in May, was outbound empty containers, which dropped 33.8 percent over last May.

The slip into negative territory is not surprising when the month-over-month trend for the calendar year is considered. Although the total number of boxes moved in May was the second highest amount of any month this year, the port's monthly growth trend has been slowly dropping since the start of the year. In January, the port boasted a 15.8 percent increase over the year-ago period, only to follow with a 12.9 percent increase in February, a 5.9 percent increase in March, and a 2.8 percent increase in April.

For the calendar year, however, the port remains on positive ground, with a total of 314,709 TEUs handled, a 6.9 percent increase over the January to May period last year.