Friday, March 22, 2013

Port of Oakland Container Activity Up

Monthly container volumes at the Port of Oakland surged more than 12 percent in February 2013, as shippers in Asia increasingly moved goods West prior to the start of Lunar New Year celebrations.

Oakland terminals moved a total of 187,701 TEUs in February, a leap of 12.5 percent from the same month in 2012. The growth came mostly in full imported containers, the number of which surged by 28.5 percent to 64,525 TEUs.

Oakland also moved substantially more full exports and empty imports than the same month the year prior.

A total of 833,666 full TEUs were exported during the month, a 6.9 percent jump from February 2012, while 22,934 empty imports were brought in, a 6.1 percent gain.

The one area Oakland saw a decline was in empty TEUs exported; the 35,960 containers moved was a 1.6 percent drop from the same month last year.

Due to last month’s surge, Oakland’s year-to-date container volume is now on the plus side. Over 380,000 TEUs were moved during the first two months of a year, a year-over-year increase of 4.8 percent, despite a 1.7 percent decline in monthly volume during January.

Oakland’s increase in Trans-Pacific trade can be attributed in part to the Lunar New Year holiday, which can slow goods production in many Asian countries that export to the U.S. The holiday is determined by the lunar calendar and in 2012 started in late January, which affected February 2012 numbers.

This year the holiday was in mid-February, meaning its effects are likely to be reflected in March containers statistics.