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Oakland sees import bounce at the end of 2020

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The Port of Oakland saw imports grow by 11% year-on-year (YoY) in December 2020 as it continued to recover from the worst effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Total TEU traffic in December was 208,341, a YoY increase of 7.4%. The Port said it expected the increase in December’s imports when it saw November imports had decreased. 

Delays at the Southern California ports have affected the West Coast supply chain therefore impacting Oakland.

Port of Oakland Maritime Director Bryan Brandes, said, “We anticipated that some of November’s cargo would spill into December.

“The Port’s growing import volume in 2020 is a trend that began in June and it remains to be seen how long this trend will continue.”

The Port attributes the ongoing import demand to an e-commerce boom. Many high and middle-income Bay Area residents are continuing to shop online instead of spending money on travel, services and social events.

Overall, the Port’s total container volume was flat throughout 2020. Total TEU traffic was 2.46 million which is down 1.6% compared to 2.5 million in 2019.

The Port said this was due primarily to factory shutdowns in China earlier this year and Asia exporters affected by pandemic restrictions. The Port also pointed to lower demand as local businesses and consumers adjusted to regional shutdowns.

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