Port of Oakland Cargo Volumes Down in September

The Port of Oakland headquarters building. Photo: Mark Nero.

Loaded cargo container volumes at the Port of Oakland dropped 7.9% last month from the same time a year ago, according to data released by the port Oct. 28.

The Northern California seaport handled 132,599 loaded TEUs in September, which was lower than the 143,991 TEUs it moved in September 2021. 

Imports fell 4.9% to 77,803 TEUs last month, while loaded exports dropped by 12%, to 54,756 TEUs year over year.

So far this year, Oakland is moving 5% fewer imports than it did during the same nine-month period in 2021.

The port attributed the declining import numbers to a higher amount of retail inventories, which have slowed import demand. Oakland also pointed to the ongoing congestion throughout the supply chain, from lack of warehouse capacity to older imports lingering at terminals.  

“Ocean carriers operating out of the Port of Oakland have yet to reinstate many scheduled services,” the port explained in a statement. “Exporters are less inclined to book cargo on ships that will not arrive on a predictable schedule.”

Meanwhile, empty containers grew in September. Empty exports rose 38.3% and empty imports grew 23.9% year over year.

By Karen Robes Meeks