Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Oakland Imports Up for 7th Month

By Mark Edward Nero

Containerized import volume was up for a seventh-straight month at the Port of Oakland in September, the port said Oct. 12.

Oakland handled 1.6 percent more containerized imports last month than it did during the same month a year ago, according to data.

The import rally erased a wintertime decline in Oakland, and import totals for the first nine months of 2015 are now even with last year, according to the port. This represents a significant turnaround from January and February when import volume dropped nearly 40 percent.

“We’re pleased with the ongoing buildup of import cargo,” Maritime Director John Driscoll said. “Our job now is to maintain the momentum.”

But despite the growth in imports, overall containerized cargo volume – imports, exports and empty containers – fell 4.8 percent in September, the port said, caused mainly by a 12.6-percent drop in exports.

Two factors dampened export volume, according to the port: continued strength of the US dollar, which makes American goods more expensive overseas; and the economic slowdown in China, which has curbed its demand for foreign commodities.

Overall container volumes have been inconsistent during 2015; of the nine months measured so far, five saw increases in volumes, while the other four – January, February, June and September, suffered losses compared to the same months in 2014.

Complete Port of Oakland cargo statistics are available at http://portofoakland.com/maritime/containerstats.aspx.