Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Port of Oakland Experiences TEU Traffic Growth

After three straight months of losses, container traffic began to rebound at the Port of Oakland last month, growing nearly five percent compared with the same month in 2011.

Oakland moved a grand total of 203,446 TEUs in May 2012, a jump of 4.9 percent over the previous May. Numbers were up in three of four statistical categories the port tracks: full imports, full exports and empty exports.

A large factor in the port’s increased numbers last month was the number of empty outbound containers moved: the 27,537 TEUs exported in May was an increase of nearly 33 percent compared with the same month last year.

There was a modest increase in full exports for the month, with the 84,443 shipped out representing a 1.8 percent increase from the same time last year. There was a more substantial rise in full inbound containers however; they rose to 72,278 TEUs, a 5.2 percent increase over May 2011.

The category that saw a decrease was empty inbound containers, the number of which was 19,188, a decrease of more than 11 percent compared with the same month last year. For the calendar year to date, empty exports are down an even five percent; it’s the only category where Oakland saw a net traffic loss during the first five months of the year.

For the year to date, overall traffic is up a relatively flat 1.2 percent. The port started off the year on a good note, with a 7.5 percent rise in total TEUs in January, but that was followed by three straight months of month-over-month traffic declines.

The brightest spot for the port the previous two months has been its number of outbound exports, which rose 32.8 percent last month and 18.6 percent in April compared with the same two months in 2011.