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Sunday, April 11, 2021

Maritime Logistics Professional

December 15, 2020

Port of Oakland: Imports Rise, Exports Fall in November

Ships lined up at Port of Oakland docks (photo courtesy of Port of Oakland)

Ships lined up at Port of Oakland docks (photo courtesy of Port of Oakland)

Full import containers at the Port of Oakland were up just under 1% in November 2020 compared to November of last year. Loaded export boxes at the Oakland seaport dipped 2.6% in November 2020 compared to the same month in 2019.

Full import containers in November 2020 totaled 78,045 TEUs (one TEU is the equivalent of a 20-foot container). This figure was 0.9 percent higher than November 2019 loaded imports which totaled 77,367 TEUs.

Although strong import demand continues in the U.S., November import cargo volume was not as high as anticipated at Oakland. Port officials said mounting cargo, congestion at Southern California ports, and the resulting vessel delays contributed to fewer containers than expected coming through the Oakland seaport in November.

“The cargo is there, it’s just delayed,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director Bryan Brandes. “We expect to see higher import cargo volume numbers this month compared to December 2019.”  

Full export containers in November 2020 totaled 79,667 TEUs. That accounts for the 2.6% drop compared to 81,780 TEUS that came through the Port of Oakland in November 2020.

Some California exporters say they are having a challenge finding enough containers to get their product to overseas markets. Import demand is prompting ocean carriers to rush empty containers back to Asia where they can be loaded for more goods headed to America. Additionally, China in recent years implemented restrictions on U.S. wastepaper which has dampened U.S. export volumes.

Year to date cargo volume, January through November 2020, totaled 197, 692 TEUs. This is up 0.2% compared to the same period last year with a total of 197,360 TEUs.