Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Cargo Imports Trending Up at Oakland Port

By Mark Edward Nero

Through the first 11 months of 2014, cargo imports are up four percent at the Port of Oakland compared to the same time a year ago, according to statistics released by the port Dec. 15.

The port saw 771,454 TEU import containers in the first 11 months of 2014, up from 741,662 containers during the same period in 2013.

For the month of November alone, imports increased 2.97 percent, the third straight month of gains over 2013’s numbers, according to port data.

“Our objective is to make imports a bigger percentage of the cargo mix in Oakland,” port Maritime Director John Driscoll said. “We’re progressing and the challenge now is to step up the pace in 2015.”

The port has attributed the increase to aggressive marketing, greater consumer demand and cargo diversions from congested Southern California ports. Through the peak shipping season, which concluded in November, thousands of imports rerouted to Oakland.

Overall volume at the port – imports and exports – is up 1.5 percent in 2014; however exports have dropped four percent, something the port attributes in part to a strong US dollar, which makes American goods more expensive overseas.

Oakland says that for the first 11 months of 2014, exports accounted for 54 percent of its cargo volume, bolstered by a strong agricultural market.