Friday, August 25, 2017

Fewer but Bigger Ships at Oakland

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Oakland could receive its second-fewest container ship visits in a decade this season , as multiple larger ships carrying more cargo come to the port.

Thus far this year, 954 container ships have visited Oakland, down 7.6 percent from the 1,032 visits registered during the same period in 2016. If the trend continues, the port anticipates 100 fewer ships coming to Oakland. Maritime Director John Driscoll sees that statistic as a positive sign.

“This is a good trend,” he said. “Our cargo volume is up but with fewer ships, we reduce diesel emissions and ease berth crowding.”

The number of ships calling to Oakland have fallen 15 percent since 2007, with the lowest number of calls taking place in 2015, when only 1,433 ships visited.

Yet Oakland posted a two percent increase in loaded container volume in 2017 and is on track to set a cargo record for the second consecutive year.