Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Port of Oakland Exports Continue Slide

Although imports of full and empty cargo containers both rose in November compared with the same month in 2010, it still wasn’t enough to counteract a months-long downward trend in overall TEU movement at the Port of Oakland.

The port moved a grand total of 199,775 TEUs last month, a 0.9 percent decrease from the same period last year. The largest reason, however, was a 19.4 percent drop in empty cargo container exports compared with November 2010. In all other categories – full exports, full imports and empty imports – the port saw increases of 0.1, 2.0 and 6.6 percent, respectively.

November was the fifth consecutive month and eighth out of 11 months so far this year that the export of empty containers was down at Oakland. Last month, however, was the least steep drop from the same month last year, however. In four of the eight months with negative growth – April, May, July and September – the percentage drop was more than 30 percent compared to the equivalent month in 2010.

For the calendar year to date, exports of empties are down 22.5 percent from 2010. This has resulted in a grand total of only 0.5 percent growth overall year-to-year at the port, despite full exports reaching 909,231 for the year – a 4.3 percent increase – and imports rising to 264,519 during the 11-month period, a 27.4 percent increase.

For the year so far, imports of full containers have dropped to 734,814 containers, a relatively modest 0.3 percent decrease from the first 11 months of 2010.