By Mark Edward Nero
Overall loaded container volume – imports and exports – declined 5.1 percent at the Port of Oakland last month, according to newly released data.
Containerized export volume declined 1.2 percent last month compared to February 2016 totals, while import volume was off 9.3 percent, according to the data.
It was only the second export decrease in the past 14 months, the port said.
Oakland blames the volume decline in part on inclement weather in the US interior, which curtailed shipment of Asia-bound exports through the port. The import volume decline has been attributed in part to Lunar New Year celebrations in China and elsewhere in Asia.
US importers stock up before Asian factories shut down for the holidays. Shipments typically moderate in the post-holiday period.
Port of Oakland export volume increased 9 percent in January and was up 10.5 percent last year, despite the US Commerce Department reporting that the US trade deficit reached a four-year high in 2016, attributed in part to export softness.