Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Port of Oakland Container Volumes Rise Again

By Mark Edward Nero

Containerized cargo volume at the Port of Oakland was up for the second straight month in April, according to newly released data. The port revealed May 11 that its total volume – imports, exports and empty containers – rose 1.7 percent last month compared to April 2014.

That followed an 8.1 percent increase in March, and shows continued improvement from declines of 30 percent and 31 percent in January and February of this year.

Oakland’s import business also continued to rebound in April. According to port data, the volume of loaded import containers it handled last month rose 3.1 percent over 2014. That followed a whopping 39.4 percent increase in March.

Container volumes fell during the last quarter of 2014 and the first quarter of 2015 due to cargo congestion and related issues at most major West Coast ports.

“We’re moving out of the slack winter season and working to gain momentum,” Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll said. “We want to drive additional cargo through Oakland as the peak shipping season arrives.”

The cargo traffic news wasn’t all good for Oakland in April, however: the port also said Oakland export cargo declined 12.9 percent last month, and attributed the slump to the continued strength of the US dollar, which makes American goods costlier overseas and contributes to a widening US trade gap.