Port of Oakland Import Volume Still Trending Up
Port of Oakland import business continues to grow though export recovery has yet to take off. The port said Friday that import cargo volume increased 6.3% in February 2022 compared to February 2021. Exports declined 10.3% over the same period.
The figures indicate continued strong U.S. consumer demand for goods manufactured overseas, the port said. The port added that it’s waiting to see results from recent measures implemented to stimulate exports.
“We’re gratified by the strength of the import business moving through Oakland,” said Port of Oakland maritime director Bryan Brandes. “And we’re certain that export totals are going to pick up as we increase capacity to transport U.S. products overseas.”
According to recent data, Oakland handled the equivalent of 169,000 20-foot import containers in January and February. At that pace, the port would break its all-time record of 1 million import loads set in 2021.
Imports have accounted for 58% of Oakland’s loaded cargo volume so far in 2022, the port said. That’s the highest import ratio at the port in decades.
Export cargo has been hampered by a container shortage and space constraints on crowded ships, the port said. Oakland has responded with three steps intended to boost exports: restoring vessel services suspended during the 2021 supply chain meltdown; attracting new vessel services; and teaming with the federal government to create a depot where containers are readily available for exports.
According to the port, Oakland marine terminals are busier than ever. The port said terminals are unloading an average of 2,809 containers on each ship at berth. That’s slightly ahead of last year’s record pace of 2,49 containers per ship.