Port of Oakland Sees YOY Cargo Bounce Back in December

A cargo ship at a Port of Oakland container terminal. File photo.

The Port of Oakland’s overall cargo volumes were down sizably in 2023, but it saw loaded imports and exports rise by double-digits in December compared to the same month a year prior, according to data released by the Northern California seaport Jan. 22.

Oakland moved 76,347 TEUs in full imports in December, a 16.4% jump from 65,566 TEUs in December 2022 and the largest monthly total since July 2023, according to the data.

The port also handled 65,801 TEUs in full exports last month, a 12.9% increase from the 58,302 TEUs in December 2022.

The new numbers signal to the port that volumes are coming back, adding that West Coast seaports are seeing more cargo movement in part because shippers are redirecting its goods from the Panama Canal, where drought conditions are affecting vessel movement through the canal.

Oakland finished strong in 2023, port Maritime Director Bryan Brandes said.

“Carrier on-time performance has improved importer confidence and provided valuable vessel space for our agriculture exporters to move their products from Oakland,” Brandes said. “We anticipate a continued rebound in 2024 as we move on with our plans in modernizing the port and reducing emissions from our maritime operations.”

The port moved 2,065,709 TEUs in calendar year 2023, a 11.6% drop from 2022’s 2,337,607 TEUs.

By Karen Robes Meeks