Port of Oakland cargo volume dipped in July

A year-long cargo surge slowed and volume dipped at the Port of Oakland last month. The Port said today it expected containerized cargo volume growth to resume as peak shipping season arrives.

Though business dipped last month, the Port said year-to-date import volume has increased 16 percent. Total volume in the same period is up 9 percent, the Port said.

According to the Port, cargo volume declined 3.5 percent in July compared to the same month a year ago. Here’s the breakdown:

  • July containerized imports down 1.7 percent year-over-year;
  • July containerized exports down 4.7 percent Y-O-Y; and
  • July total volume, which includes imports, exports and empty container repositioning, down 3.5 percent Y-O-Y.

The Port attributed the declines to record cargo volume in the first half of the year. It explained that surging shipments stacked up on docks causing delivery delays. The Port said that as a result, shipping lines omitted several voyages to Oakland, leading to lower volumes.

“Vessel berths and container yards were crowded with some shipping lines bypassing Oakland,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director Bryan Brandes. “We’re working through those issues and preparing for a busy peak season ahead.”

The Port said that cargo volume should increase again from August through October.  Those are peak shipping months for retailers building holiday inventories. Oakland has introduced two new vessel services to Asia in the last month which should also boost volume. The Port said new services demonstrate continued reliance on Oakland as a key global trade gateway.

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