Thursday, January 26, 2012

Port of Oakland Records Modest Year-Over-Year Growth

The Port of Oakland saw a total volume growth of 0.5 percent in 2011 compared with the year before, driven mostly by a huge leap in imports of empty shipping containers.

According to the port’s full-year statistics for 2011, a total of 264,471 empty TEUs were imported through Oakland in 2011, a whopping 26 percent increase from the year prior. Oakland also saw a modest increase in full exports, as 993,926 were moved last year, a jump of four percent from 2010.

According to the data, the port moved a grand total of 2.34 million twenty-foot equivalent units during the 12-month period, a slight bump up from the 2.33 million shipped in 2010.

The news wasn’t all good however, as there were negative trends in both the number of full containers imported during the year, and empty ones exported.

Full imports fell by 0.7 percent for the year to 797,228 TEUs, while the number of empty containers exported dropped by nearly 21 percent, to 286,879 TEUs.

Specifically for the month of December, imports and exports were up in three of four activity categories compared with the same month the year before.

Imports of empties were up 8.4 percent to 19,864 for the month, while exports of empties also rose, to 22,305, a 6.9 percent gain. Full exports were up by a modest 1.8 percent to 84,585 for the month.

The lone decline came in full imports, which were recorded at 63,246 for the month, a 3.7 percent drop from the same month in 2010.

Despite the year-over-year declines in the full import and empty export categories, 2011 on the whole was the second consecutive year of total volume gains at Oakland, after three straight years of declines.

In 2010, total volume rose 13.9 percent after a three-year period during which the yearly numbers were negative by 0.2 percent, 6.5 percent and 8.4 percent in 2007, 2008 and 2009, respectively.

Oakland is the third-largest container seaport on the North American West Coast, after the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.