Thursday, April 16, 2015

Oakland Monthly Cargo Volume Rebounds

By Mark Edward Nero

Containerized trade is rebounding at the Port of Oakland after two months of decline, according to newly released data. The port revealed April 15 that cargo volume in March increased 6.4 percent from a year ago.

That represents a significant turnaround from the 29.7 percent decrease recorded in January and a 33.7 percent drop in February. The port saw a grand total of 209,407 TEUs last month, according to data.

March was the first full month of cargo movement since the Pacific Maritime Association and International Longshore & Warehouse Union announced a tentative agreement on a new five-year contract. In the months before the agreement, productivity had slid significantly, with each side blaming the other for the congestion.

“We’re moving in the right direction again,” Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll said, “but we’ve still got plenty of work to do to make up for a slow start to the year.”

In February, only 35,923 import containers moved through Oakland. In March the figure jumped to 84,023. Oakland’s March imports increased 39 percent over 2014 totals. Exports declined 16 percent.

The port said exports decreased because of the strong US dollar, which made American goods less affordable overseas. Exports were also constrained by vessels bypassing Oakland to recover time lost at congested Southern California ports. Those ships are now returning to Oakland.

Complete Port of Oakland cargo statistics are available at