Cargo Numbers Soar at Port of Oakland

Cargo numbers at the Port of Oakland reached “an all-time high” with the movement of 1.08 million TEUs in the first five months of 2021, the port has announced.

If it continues that pace, the Northern California seaport could exceed 2.6 million boxes this year, a first for Oakland.

Meanwhile, imports in May soared 26% while exports rose 7% year over year, an indication that trade between Asia and the U.S. continues to grow despite challenges to the supply chain, the port said.

Consumer demand is driving imports at Oakland, which has seen 20% more cargo this year, most of it coming from China or nearby Asia countries, the port said.

The port is in uncharted waters, said port Maritime Director Bryan Brandes, as “record cargo volume coming through U.S. West Coast ports and a pandemic issue at a port in China are creating vessel congestion in both regions.”

Oakland has been experiencing a vessel backlog from the increased trade, but the port said the congestion should lessen in the fall as more dockworker hires come online to help ease the backlog, the port said.

“These are trying times for our tenants and customers, basically everyone involved in the supply chain,” said Brandes.

The TEU news isn’t all good, however; Oakland’s export volume through the first five months of this year is down 1 percent, according to the port, which attributed the performance to a shortage of containers and space on Asia-bound ships early this year.

By Pacific Maritime