Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Oakland Monthly Cargo Up 15 Percent

By Mark Edward Nero

The Port of Oakland said Sept. 14 that imports jumped 15 percent in August compared to 2014 totals, making it the sixth-consecutive month of gains ahead of the traditional autumn pre-holiday cargo surge.

The port cites the figures as proof that its containerized import volume keeps growing as peak shipping season nears.

“We’re building momentum before the peak,” Maritime Director John Driscoll said. “It’s an indication that the season could be a good one; but more importantly, it’s a sign that customers are counting on the Port of Oakland to deliver.”

Overall container volume in August – imports, exports and empty boxes – was up six percent to 216,911 TEUs compared to the same month last year, according to port data.

Although the port’s year-to-date total volume is 1.5 million TEUs, which is down 4.8 percent from a year ago, it still represents a significant recovery from the double-digit volume declines that occurred last winter.

Imports have led Oakland’s volume rebound. The port imported the equivalent of 82,492 full containers last month, the most since March when the port’s import rally began. Import growth has been continuous since the Feb. 20 tentative settlement of a West Coast waterfront labor dispute.

Also according to the port, an increase in longshore labor on the waterfront is helping to absorb volume growth. About 150 more dockworkers are being deployed at Oakland’s five marine terminals. With the additional labor, the port has cleared a summer backlog of ships waiting to berth.
The port’s full cargo statistics for August are available at http://www.portofoakland.com/maritime/containerstats.aspx