Friday, July 20, 2012

Port of Oakland Container Traffic Flat

The total number of 20-foot-equivalent containers that were shipped through the Port of Oakland in June was down 1.7 percent compared with the same month last year, continuing what’s been a flat year for traffic so far for California’s third-busiest port.

Increases in the number of full imports and empty exports shipped during June were negated by drops in full exports and empty containers imported during the month.

Full imports were up 3.0 percent month-over-month, reaching 70,730 TEUs, the second-best month in that category so far this calendar year for the port, after the 72,278 containers that were shipped in May. For the year-to-date, the number of full imported containers is up just 1.6 percent compared to the first six months of 2011.

Oakland’s number of full exports dipped 9.2 percent last month, to 75,359 TEUs, making June only the second month in 2012 where traffic has declined in that category. For the half of the year, the number of full exports at the port is virtually the same as the same period last year.

The number of empty containers imported through Oakland continued a downward trend last month, with 133,850 being shipped through the port, a decline of 3.4 percent from the same month in 2011, and the fifth month out of the past six that the month-over-month volume was down. For the calendar year-to-date, empty imports have declined 3.4 percent compared with the first half of 2011. The only month so far this year to see improvement in empty imports compared with the same period in 2011 was April, which saw a 0.5 percent increase over the prior year.

Regarding empty exports, Oakland continued a positive trend last month, with its TEU volume rising a whopping 52.9 percent compared with June 2011. A total of 31,708 TEUs were shipped out of Oakland last month, the highest total so far in 2012.

Although monthly exports of empty containers actually dropped each of the first three months of the year compared with the same three months of 2011, for the second three months, traffic has been up sharply, resulting in a year-to-date increase of 4.8 percent in the category.

During the first half of the year as a whole, Oakland moved a total of 1.14 million TEUs, a 0.7 percent rise over the first half of 2012, according to port data.