The Port of Oakland saw its October imports grew 10.4% year-on-year (YoY), despite containerized export volume overall falling by 0.5% during the same period.
The Port said in a statement that total volume for October was 216,686 TEU, an increase of 5.8% YoY. In October 2019 the port handled were 204,880 TEU.
The Port attributed the jump in imports to the pandemic changing consumer spending habits. It said consumer products are driving the strong import performance from Asia. In turn, this is causing retailers to continue stocking up fearing a second wave of factory shutdowns.
“We’re cautiously optimistic because our industry partners are pointing to continued strong import demand heading into 2021,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director Bryan Brandes.
“Peak season is here, and we’re seeing retailers stocking up on as much product as possible.”
Compared to last year, the first ten months of 2020 show full imports up 1.4% and full exports down 0.2%.
Oakland is the latest port in the US to report positive volume in the latter part of 2020; its two large West Coast neighbours have both done likewise.
The Port of Long Beach enjoyed its busiest month on record in September 2020 when it processed 800,000 TEU for the first time. The Port of Los Angeles also witnessed a record month a processed 980,729 TEU.