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Port of Oakland sees import volumes rising as shipping lines restore services

Port of Oakland
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Import cargo volumes at the Port of Oakland increased 6.5% in November 2021 as shipping lines began restoring vessel services.

In the first 11 months of 2021, the port’s imports have risen by nearly 8% compared to the same period the previous year.

The port has said that it welcomes the news following two straight months of declining import figures and has attributed the recovery to additional vessel traffic. A total of 75 ships called in Oakland through November, the most in six months.

“We’re gratified that shipping lines and cargo owners recognise the value of coming to the Port of Oakland. We’re working hard to move their cargo efficiently as ports elsewhere face headwinds,” said Bryan Brandes, Managing Director of the Port of Oakland.

Earlier this year, many shipping lines bypassed Oakland in a bid to avoid the mass congestion at the ports of Los Angeles and Los Angeles. Now, the port says cargo owners have chartered their own ships to reach the port in November, viewing it as an uncongested alternative to the southern California gateways.

This increase in import traffic is also said to benefit exporters who have previously been frustrated by the lack of vessel space.

Overall, the ports total volume – including imports, export, and empty container repositioning, is up 1% this year. If activity levels hold, 2021 could be the busiest in the port history.

Danny Wan, Executive Director of the Port of Oakland and President of the California Association of Port Authorities (CAPA), recently called for increased collaboration and solutions from all levels of government in order to solve the ongoing supply chain crisis.

Announced in November 2021, Wan went on to suggest that more federal funding is needed in California as the ports along the West Coast were underfunded by comparison relative to their degree of national economic importance and jobs generation.

The Executive Director for the Port of Oakland also asked for:

  • Training centres throughout the state to develop a stronger supply chain workforce.
  • Creation of a California freight policy that can authorise emergency action in times of cargo congestion.
  • Long-term state and federal infrastructure investment at ports.

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