Friday, March 25, 2016

Oakland Import Volume Surges

By Mark Edward Nero

The number of full import containers moving through the Port of Oakland leaped 89.7 percent in February 2016 compared to the same month last year, something that the port says demonstrates that it is continuing its cargo recovery from a 2015 coastwide labor contract dispute.

Oakland said it handled the equivalent of 70,620 twenty-foot loaded import containers in February, which was 33,484 TEUs more than the import volume for February 2015 and 11,705 more than the import total in February 2014, when contract issues were not impacting volume.

The total container volume last month – fulls and empties – was 188,139 TEUs, a 54.2 percent increase from the year before.

Export volume for loaded containers jumped up 37 percent this February from a year ago, the port said, attributing part of the huge increase to the strength of the US dollar, which is making it easier for American consumers to purchase products that are imported.

Another factor, the port says, is that with a multi-year labor contract now in place between the Pacific Maritime Association and International Longshore & Warehouse Union, Oakland says it expects to see container volumes for imports and exports return to the levels that were standard prior to the drawn-out contract negotiations.

“It’s good to see that our cargo volume for both imports and exports has jumped up again,” Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll said. “This is further evidence that we have regained the cargo that temporarily left our port a year ago.”

February cargo statistics for the Port of Oakland are available at