The number of empty containers that shipped out from the Port of Oakland last month was up by double digits compared with the same month last year, but the sharp increase still wasn’t enough to counter a slight overall decline in volume for the month.
Oakland moved a grand total of 20,127 TEUs in April 2012, a 18.6 increase from the previous April, but the grand total of TEUs that the port moved during the month was down 1.8 percent, to 188,085.
The decline was due to percentage decreases in the number of full and empty containers imported through Oakland. The number of full exports was 80,279, which was a decrease of 5.5 percent compared with April 2011. Meanwhile, full imports fell to 63,390, a drop of 3.2 percent, according to recently released port data.
Other than the leap in empty containers exported, the only other category where Oakland saw a gain last month compared with April 2011 was empty imports. A total of 24,289 unfilled TEUs were brought into the port last month, a year-to-year rise of 0.5 percent.
Last month however, was the first one during this calendar year that the port saw declines in the volume of both imported and exported full containers. During the first four months of 2012, Oakland saw a 0.6 percent gain in full imports and a 1.8 percent rise in full exports compared with the same period last year. For the year to date, the port has seen flat volume growth, 0.2 percent, compared to the same four-month period in 2011, according to the data.