Oakland January import volumes boom while exports fall

Oakland, California, USA - August 30, 2019 : Container cargo Super-Post Panamax cranes lined up at empty dock in Oakland International Container Terminal Port on sunny day under blue sky

Import container volumes at the Port of Oakland boomed in January 2022, while exports saw a sharp year-over-year decline.

The port handled a total of 83,860 TEU in import containers in the month, an 8.3 per cent increase compared to January 2021.

This follows the news that Oakland processed over 1 million import containers in 2021, the highest amount in its 94-year history.

However, total container volumes in 2021 fell for the third consecutive year, only amounting to 2,448,243 TEU, down from 2,461,262 in 2020.

“As imports rise nationwide, Oakland continues to play a key role in strengthening the global supply chain,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director Bryan Brandes. 

“We’re also working closely with federal, state and industry partners to boost exports that include agricultural commodities as well.” 

According to the port, these volumes were most likely boosted by February Lunar New Year in Asia as US importers traditionally order considerable amounts ahead of holiday factory closures in Asian manufacturing centres.

An average of 2,800 containers were loaded or unloaded on every ship that docked at the port, up from an average of 2,500 containers per vessel last year. The total is almost up by 100 per cent in the past five years.

Overall, 69 ships called at the Port of Oakland in January 2022. This is down 14 per cent from the same month a year ago.

Export volumes saw a sharp 10.8 per cent drop in the month, only processing 61,704 TEU. Oakland exports could not find enough vessel space to load their containers for overseas destinations, the port added. 

A total of 47,641 TEU empty containers passed through the port in January 2022. This was made up of 11,866 TEU in imports and 35,775 TEU in exports.

© Port of Oakland

Danny Wan, Executive Director for the Port of Oakland, also recently presented his five-point plan to mitigate congestion along the US West Coast to State policymakers as port directors across California met virtually for Ports Day 2022.

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