Port of Oakland loses 21 per cent to East Coast dominance

Helicopter view of the Port of Oakland, California.

The Port of Oakland recorded a container throughput of 153,837 TEU in February, reflecting an almost 21 per cent decline compared to February 2022.

Total year-to-date volumes compared to this time last year has also fallen 14.1 per cent.

Full TEU dropped 23 per cent last month, with 113,814 TEU transiting the port, in contrast to 147,620 TEU in February 2022.

Empty TEU dropped 14 per cent compared to February 2022, registering 40,023 TEU this February versus 46,768 TEU last year.

Full imports fell 32 per cent in February 2023, with 58,073 TEU passing through the Port versus 85,286 TEU the same month last year.

One reason for the lacklustre volume is West Coast ports losing their market share to ports on America’s East and Gulf Coasts, according to the Port of Oakland.

Exports have been on the decline since 2020.

Full exports also experienced a decline of 10.6 per cent in February 2023, with the port handling 55,741 TEU compared to 62,334 TEU in February 2022.

READ: Port of Oakland ends 2022 on glum note

The port reported that the decrease was initially jump-started by tariffs imposed by the US and China, and China’s restrictions on recycled materials, which is Oakland’s largest export.

Exports continued to decline during the pandemic due to product supply chain disruptions and the scarcity of empty containers. 

In August 2022, White House Port and Supply Chain Envoy visited the Port of Oakland to address on-going supply chain issues in the US.

More recently, the Port of Oakland’s stake in a newly expanded solar array at Antelope Valley Solar Ranch went online.

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