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Port of Oakland import cargo volume up 1% in November

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Full import containers at the Port of Oakland were up just under 1% in November 2020 compared to November of 2019. Loaded export boxes at the Oakland seaport dipped 2.6% in November 2020 compared to the same month in 2019.

Full import containers in November 2020 totalled 78,045 TEU. This figure was 0.9% higher than November 2019 loaded imports which totalled 77,367 TEU.

Although strong import demand continues in the US, November import cargo volume was not as high as anticipated at Oakland. Port officials said mounting cargo, congestion at Southern California ports, and the resulting vessel delays contributed to fewer containers than expected coming through the Oakland seaport in November.

“The cargo is there, it’s just delayed,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director Bryan Brandes. “We expect to see higher import cargo volume numbers this month compared to December 2019.” 

Maritime experts say that huge import volumes have disrupted normal shipping schedules, resulting in cargo delivery delays through ports.

Full export containers in November 2020 totalled 79,667 TEU. That accounts for the 2.6% drop compared to 81,780 TEU that came through the Port of Oakland in November 2020.

Some California exporters say they are having a challenge finding enough containers to get their product to overseas markets. Import demand is prompting ocean carriers to rush empty containers back to Asia where they can be loaded for more goods headed to America.

“The Port of Oakland is working closely with ocean carriers, importers, freight forwarders, agricultural exporters, and container providers to help facilitate communications and solutions for any equipment shortages,” said Maritime Director Brandes.

Additionally, China in recent years implemented restrictions on US wastepaper which has dampened US export volumes.

Year to date cargo volume, January through November 2020, totalled 197, 692 TEU. This is up 0.2% compared to the same period last year with a total of 197,360 TEU.

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