Friday, June 10, 2016

Oakland Experiencing Export Resurgence

By Mark Edward Nero

The Port of Oakland said June 9 that it is experiencing a containerized export rally.

The port reports that export volume increased 5.1 percent in May over the same period a year ago, making it the fifth-straight month of export gains in Oakland, and the highest volume in 17 months.

Port data indicates that Oakland shipped the equivalent of 83,969 loaded 20-foot export containers last month, the most since October 2014 when it shipped 86,065 TEUs. A slightly weaker dollar overseas has contributed to the export rally, the port said. As the dollar’s value declines, US goods become more affordable in other countries.

“Export cargo is critical to our success,” Maritime Director John Driscoll said, “so naturally we’re encouraged by what we’ve seen so far in 2016.”

Oakland cargo volume traditionally has been weighted more toward exports than imports. Exports accounted for 52 percent of Oakland’s loaded container volume through the first five months of 2016, the port reported.

Year-to-date, Oakland export volume has increased 13.6 percent over 2015. Import volume is also up, increasing 12.3 percent so far this year, according to data. May imports increased three percent from the same month last year.

The port’s total container volume is up 8.4 percent so far in 2016, with total volume including loaded import and export containers as well as empty containers.