The Port of Oakland has welcomed the CMA CGM Africa FOUR vessel at the beginning of its first direct service linking China and the Southern Californian port.
On 12 February 2021, the CMA CGM vessel stopped at the port, becoming the first US stop for ships in the new weekly Golden Gate Bridge (GGB) service.
Connecting the ports of Shanghai, Yantian, and Kaohsiung in China to Oakland, ships in the service will sail from Asia straight to the SoCal hub and on to Seattle, before returning to China.
This is the first time in over a year since Oakland has been offered as a first-call service to U.S importers – a service expected to increase containerised cargo volume in Oakland.
“This opens up so many possibilities,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director Bryan Brandes.
“Our customers can significantly improve the transit time for getting their products to consumers with a first-call and also use Oakland to reach the U.S. interior through our rail connections.”
The first-call service, hosting ships carrying around 5,000 to 6,000 TEU, is expected to increase rail cargo shipments from Oakland, the port said.
Imports destined for destinations such as Chicago or Memphis are usually discharged on the West Coast and shipped by rail. Due to increased transit time for rail, the first-call service to Oakland is vital.
Ed Aldridge, President of CMA CGM America and APL North America, commented, “The CMA CGM Group is pleased to introduce this Golden Gate Bridge service as we seek new ways to provide our customers with differentiated services, fast transit times and efficient access to their inland destination.”
Oakland’s first-call service is a response to the significant e-commerce growth in the U.S.
Transit times for Oakland-to-Kaohsuing will be 19 days. Vessels will berth at the Oakland International Container Terminal.