Friday, January 16, 2015

Oakland Port Breaks Cargo Handling Record

By Mark Edward Nero

Cargo volume has reached an all-time high at the Port of Oakland, according to newly-released statistics. The port said Jan. 13 that it handled the equivalent of 2.394 million 20-foot freight containers in 2014. The amount breaks the record of 2.391 million boxes moved in 2006.

The Port of Oakland said overall container volume – imports and exports – increased two percent in 2014, while import volume alone for the year increased nearly 5.3 percent.

According to the port, three factors have contributed to the cargo surge: stronger US demand for Asian manufactured goods; its own marketing efforts; and cargo diversions from congested Southern California ports.

A freight backlog at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach has rerouted thousands of containers to Oakland, while a labor dispute between waterfront employers and dockworkers has magnified the slowdown.

A 20 percent surge in December loaded import containers also played a big role in the record performance, according to the port.

“An unprecedented series of events has brought us to this point,” John Driscoll, the port’s maritime director, said. “It’s our job now to efficiently manage the growth.”