Friday, January 18, 2013

Port of Oakland Ends 2012 on a Flat Note

Container volumes rose during 2012 at the Port of Oakland, but only just barely. California’s third-busiest port saw a grand total of 2.34 million TEUs during the calendar year, a net increase of just 0.1 percent over 2011.

Oakland saw its volumes seesaw throughout the year, with seven out of 12 months experiencing negative growth compared with the same month the year before. What helped save the port from recording a decline for the year as a whole was a 3.6 percent total increase in volumes in December, including a more than 22 percent jump in empty TEU imports.

But despite the December gains, the port experienced full year losses in two of the four categories it tracks: full imports and full exports. The 792,146 full containers imported represented a 0.6 percent decline from calendar year 2011, while the 986,841 full TEUs exported were a 0.7 percent drop from the same time period.

Additionally, the volumes of empty imports and exports grew by less than three percent each for the year. The 270,712 empty containers imported by Oakland terminals were a 2.4 percent increase over calendar year 2011, while the 294,725 TEUs exported represented a 2.7 percent gain.

Despite the overall flat growth, 2012 was still one of the busiest years on record for the port. Since 1990, Oakland has seen more than 2.3 million TEUs just four times. In addition to last year’s 2.34 million, 2.33 million containers were imported and exported through the port in2011, 2.38 million in