With the Port of Oakland handling about 1.3 million TEUs in the last six months, the Northern California seaport could possibly exceed 2.6 million TEUs by the end of the year, a first for Oakland, according to the port on Friday.
Oakland moved 11.4% more containers in the first six months of this year compared to the same time in 2020. Imports in Oakland have risen year-over-year for five straight months, including in June when imports jumped 15% compared to the same time last year.
“We’ve never seen this level of activity and based on the outlook we’re preparing for more,” said port Maritime Director Bryan Brandes. “Our challenge is serving customers who expect us to handle their cargo efficiently.”
The port says imports are driving the record numbers and that the trend is expected to continue because of upcoming holiday and fall peak season, high demand for vessel space likely due to record freight rates and strong consumer spending for products made overseas likely due to increased U.S. inflation.
Oakland, which has been moving an average of 66% more cargo this year than last year, has been trying to keep up with record cargo demand like other major West Coast ports. Oakland anticipates that the presence of more dockworkers will lead to fewer delays in delivering cargo by late summer.