Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Oakland Container Volumes Up Slightly

By Mark Edward Nero

Imports extended their growth streak to five straight months at the Port of Oakland in July, according to newly released data. The port said April 14 that containerized import volume jumped 8.7 percent last month from a year ago.

Overall July volume in Oakland – including both loaded and empty containers – was up one percent compared to July 2014. The gains were in full cargo moved, however: the port moved nine percent fewer empty boxes in July than it did the same month a year ago.

Exports were up marginally during the month, according to the data. The July 2015 export volume increased 0.94 percent over last year; it was the first monthly improvement in Oakland exports this year.

The numbers reflect continued recovery after a slow start to the year. Volumes at all major West Coast ports dropped in January and February. Oakland imports have been on the rise ever since.

The port said a shortage of longshore labor slowed vessel operations in July. Some ships waited 36 hours to berth. Since then, additional dockworkers have joined the labor pool, the port said, adding that a backlog of vessels has significantly decreased since early August.

“We’re working hard to regain momentum,” Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll said.

Oakland terminals moved 1.29 million TEUs from January through July of this year, which is a 6.3 percent decline from the same seven month period in 2014.