Oakland looks to peak shipping season as year-long cargo surge ends

Port of Oakland sees year-long surge end

The Port of Oakland believes the peak shipping season will kick-start TEU traffic after the year-long surge came to an end with a 3.5% year-on-year (YoY) decline in July 2021.

In a statement, the Port said imports had increased by 16% YoY and total volume since July 2020 have gone by 9%.

It 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.

Port of Oakland Maritime Director Bryan Brandes said, “Vessel berths and container yards were crowded with some shipping lines bypassing Oakland.

“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.

West Coast ports such as Oakland have seen record-breaking traffic since the middle of 2020 when lockdown measures in China eased and e-commerce sales in the US boomed.

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