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Port of Oakland handles over 200,000 TEUs in March

In the previous month, the Port of Oakland saw a significant uptick in container volume, with 202,816 TEUs passing through its facilities, marking a 19.1% increase compared to March 2023.

Import activity at the Oakland Seaport continued its upward trajectory for the fifth consecutive month, with a notable 38.4% surge compared to March 2023. Port operators handled 83,483 full inbound TEUs in March 2024, the highest volume recorded since August 2022. This growth is attributed to increasing incomes and net worth among consumers in major Northern California markets, bolstering import demand.

Meanwhile, full exports experienced their fourth consecutive month of growth, boasting a 14.8% increase compared to March 2023. A total of 75,352 TEUs were moved in March 2024, marking the highest monthly total for full outbound cargo at Oakland since April 2021.

In addition, empty imports experienced an 11.9% increase, reaching 20,254 TEUs in March 2024, up from 18,097 TEUs in March 2023. Conversely, empty exports declined by 9.5%, with 23,728 TEUs moved in February 2024, compared to 26,225 TEUs in March 2023.

“I am encouraged that the positive cargo trends we are seeing in 2024 continue. A strong economy and the need for retailers to replenish stock in their warehouses are driving import cargo activity today,” commented Bryan Brandes, maritime director of Port of Oakland.

Source: Container News


Port of Oakland imports and exports continue to grow

Container volume at the Port of Oakland surged in February, surpassing the volume recorded in the same month last year.

Imports experienced a significant increase for the fourth consecutive month, rising by 32.1% to 76,734 TEUs compared to 58,073 TEUs in February 2023. This growth was fueled by robust consumer spending in Northern California, according to the port’s announcement.

Meanwhile, exports also saw a notable uptick, rising by 24.2% to 69,242 TEUs in February 2024, compared to 55,279 TEUs in February 2023. This marks the third consecutive month of export growth and represents the highest monthly total since May 2022.

Overall, combined full TEUs for the first two months of 2024 have increased by 18.1% compared to the same period in 2023.

“The trends we saw in previous months have continued in February. Consumer demand remains strong in Northern California & Rocky Mountain states region for imports and in Asia for the region’s exports. We believe that cargo volume will continue to modestly grow for the rest of the year, reversing some of the declines we saw in 2022 and 2023,” stated Bryan Brandes, maritime director at Port of Oakland.

In February 2024, the Port of Oakland experienced a 9.8% decrease in empty imports, with 13,142 TEUs passing through its facilities compared to 17,299 TEUs in February 2023.

Similarly, empty exports declined by 7.2%, handling 23,633 TEUs in February 2024, in contrast to 38,014 TEUs in February 2023. This marks the seventh consecutive month of decline and suggests a trend of more containers returning to Asia loaded with US goods.

Source: Container News


Oakland reports container volume decline in 2023

Port of Oakland saw its container volumes decrease by 11.6% to 2,065,709 TEUs with full containers declining by 10.1% to 1,574,444 TEUs in 2023.

“2023 finished strong,” pointed out Port of Oakland Maritime Director Bryan Brandes, adding, “Carrier on-time performance has improved importer confidence and provided valuable vessel space for our agriculture exporters to move their products from Oakland.”

The Californian port’s full import and export container volumes rose in December 2023, showing signs that cargo volume at Oakland is returning. Full imports rose 16.4% to 76,347 TEUs and full exports climbed 12.9% to 65,801 TEUs.

“We anticipate a continued rebound in 2024 as we move on with our plans in modernizing the port and reducing emissions from our maritime operations,” said Brandes.

According to the port’s statement, US West Coast ports are seeing an increase in container activity due to shippers rerouting cargo originally destined to go through the Panama Canal, as the drought in Panama is limiting vessel traffic to US Gulf and East Coast ports through the canal.

Source: Container News


Oakland sees declined box traffic in November

The Port of Oakland reported a 6.8% drop in its container volumes in November, handling 132,648 TEUs.

Full imports rose 3.8% year-on-year, with 71,258 TEUs passing through Oakland port facilities this November. On the other hand, full exports declined by 3% to 61,390 TEUs. At the same time, empty imports experienced a drop of 0.6%, with 14,118 TEUs, while empty exports experienced a significant 49% decrease, with 19,613 TEUs moving through the US port.

“We saw some canceled sailings in November as evidenced by the dip in vessel calls last month,” stated Port of Oakland maritime director, Bryan Brandes. “This caused our volumes to drop.”

This year the Californian port did not see the usual spike in import cargo volumes during late summer and the fall.

“Consumers continue to spend, and our local economy is growing, so the lack of an upswing in cargo volume is likely because retailers are working through excess inventory,” commented Brandes.

He added, “Meanwhile, we’ve been investing and implementing projects that will improve the efficiency of our maritime operations. This puts us in an excellent position to handle more cargo.”

Source: Container News


Typical Q4 spike in box volumes yet to be seen in Oakland

The port of Oakland’s September container volume remained relatively steady compared with August box throughput reaching 134,186 TEUs, marking a slight 1.2% increase over the same month in 2022.

September’s full exports jumped 9.1% year-on-year to 59,757 TEUs, but full imports inched down 4.3% to 74,428 TEUs. For the same month, Oakland’s empty imports dropped by 22.8% year-on-year to 11,208 TEUs and empty exports shrank by 29.8% to 26,429 TEUs.

“Shipping volumes have declined globally,” said the Californian port in a statement. “In response, shipping rates have declined to very low levels and ocean carriers have begun to alter their schedules, canceling some trans-Pacific vessel sailings.”

However, vessel calls at the port of Oakland continue to increase in 2023, with 744 calls, rising 17% over 2022.

“The Port of Oakland’s current container volume is consistent with the leveling off of global container traffic,” pointed out maritime director of Port of Oakland, Bryan Brandes, who went on to add that  “vessel calls to the Port have increased this year, pointing to a slow and steady recovery from the turmoil of the past couple of years.”

Although container volumes typically spike in the fourth quarter in preparation for the holiday season, the port of Oakland said it has not seen a noticeable increase yet.

“This may be attributable to a combination of high inventory levels, retailers ordering more goods from factories in Mexico and Canada rather than Asia, and/or consumer demand slowing in the Port of Oakland’s main market–Northern California,” explains the US port.

Source: Container News


Port of Oakland receives US$1.2 billion funding for hydrogen projects

Federal and state funding is on the way for hydrogen projects at the Port of Oakland. This is because the Biden administration announced on 13 October that California will receive up to US$1.2 billion as a designated hydrogen centre.

“We are grateful to have outstanding federal, state, and local support for our vision to become a zero-emissions seaport,” stated Danny Wan, executive director of the port of Oakland.

He further added, “It takes major investments to finance initiatives like hydrogen projects that will deliver a greener, cleaner environment. We thank the leadership of the Newsom Administration and ARCHES and the funding support from the Department of Energy to advance vital goals that address climate change. This is critically important for our Port, our City, our surrounding communities, and our region.”

California was chosen as one of seven regional hubs throughout the United States that will receive a total of US$7 billion in funding under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding.

The funds will be used to expand the domestic market for low-cost, clean hydrogen. These regional centres will manufacture and consume hydrogen, improve air quality, and provide green jobs to California’s workforce.

The Port of Oakland is a partner in the Alliance for Renewable Clean Hydrogen Energy Systems (ARCHES), a statewide public-private partnership that will provide the groundwork for California’s renewable, clean hydrogen hub.

ARCHES coordinated California’s federal hydrogen hub grant application, which included projects at the Port of Oakland.

Meanwhile, the Port of Oakland is building hydrogen fueling stations and replacing cargo handling equipment with zero-emissions hydrogen fuel cell technology. The Port of Oakland’s portion of the grant will be created in collaboration with ARCHES and the Department of Energy during the following months.

The Californian port authorised a bold effort to build a zero-emission seaport in 2019. The Seaport Air Quality 2020 and Beyond Plan lays out the strategy and procedures for transitioning from a fossil-fuel-based seaport to decarbonized goods transportation port operations.

Source: Container News


Port of Oakland sees lower box volumes

Container volume at the Port of Oakland fell in August compared to the same month last year with the Californian port handling 135,253 TEUs, down 13.1% year-on-year.

“However, the robust volume in August 2022 draws an unrealistic comparison to this August’s numbers,” noted the US port.

Vessel calls have continued to grow throughout 2023, reporting 650 vessel calls through the end of August, rising 13% over the number of vessel calls in August 2022.

Port of Oakland’s official said, “This indicates that port operations are running smoothly, boasting better on-time performance of ships, and less congestion at docks and at inland warehouses.”

“While August’s container volumes might not be where we want them to be, there are indicators that point to a bright future for the seaport,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director Bryan Brandes, adding, “Improved port operations, coupled with our on-going investment in greening the port, will provide on-going benefits to importers and exporters.”

In more detail, full imports in August dropped by 17.5% with 72,481 TEUs, while full exports shrunk by 7.5% with 62,733 TEUs. Empty imports were down by 11.1%, moving 13,329 TEUs in August 2023, while empty exports declined 29.6%, registering 30,579 TEUs.

Exports have slumped, pointing to the continued decline in the export of wastepaper and recyclable materials for processing. However, there is optimism that agricultural exports will pick up.

According to the announcement, vessels are running on schedule and unloading and loading cargo with little disruption, which are favorable conditions, especially for exporters.

Source: Container News


Evergreen makes US$76 million investment in Oakland terminal

Evergreen Marine Corporation’s terminal operating subsidiary Everport Services has invested US$76 million in the port of Oakland.

No further information was released, with Evergreen citing confidentiality.

The disclosure of the investment coincided with Evergreen acquiring a 20% stake in Euromax’s terminal in the Dutch port of Rotterdam on 17 August.

Drewry Maritime Financial Research analyst Aditi Niranjan told Container News that many mainline operators have acquired terminal assets to increase the diversification of their business with the aid of the huge cash reserves they accumulated during the Covid-19-fuelled boom.

She said, “Along with diversification, these terminal assets will help increase the resilience of their overall business model.”

Besides Evergreen, Hapag-Lloyd has gone down the same path, acquiring a 40% stake in J M Baxi Ports & Logistics’ terminals in India and taking over SM SAAM’s ports and logistics business. Similarly, CMA CGM acquired the GCT Bayonne and GCT New York terminals, upping its presence in the US with seven terminals there.

Xeneta’s chief analyst Peter Sand told Container News that while liner operators have leverage with owning terminals, it can be tricky if the terminals serve external operators as well.

“It’s quite a competitive environment within the terminal business. If non-alliance operators believe they are getting bad treatment, they’ll surely discontinue relations,” noted Sand.

Source: Container News


Oakland’s container volumes drop in February

Port of Oakland reported another slow month for cargo traffic moving 153,837 TEUs in February, translating to a decline of 20.9% compared to the same month last year.

According to the statement, domestic inventories stay high, as retail sales dropped in February, reducing cargo numbers at US West Coast ports. A strong dollar is also impeding export volumes. When retail regains its footing, the Port of Oakland wants to be ready to transport cargo effectively.

Full imports dropped 32% in February 2023, with 58,073 TEUs moving through the Port compared to 85,286 TEUs the previous month.

One cause of the low traffic is that West Coast ports are losing market share to ports on America’s East and Gulf Coasts.

Full exports fell 10.6% in February, with the port processing 55,741 TEUs compared to 62,334 TEUs in February 2022. Exports have been declining since 2020. Tariffs placed by the United States and China, as well as China’s limitations on recycled materials, which are Oakland’s biggest product, sparked the decline.

Exports continued to fall during the epidemic due to product supply chain delays and a shortage of empty vessels.

Source: Container News


Port of Oakland reports box traffic decline

The Port of Oakland’s total loaded container volume dropped by 8% in August compared to the same month last year with 155,682 loaded TEUs.

Loaded imports declined by 10.2% recording 87,844 TEUs last month and loaded export containers experienced a 5.5% decline with 67,838 TEUs passing through the port in August.

In addition, full imports of the port of Oakland in 2022 year-to-date were down by 5% compared to the first eight months of 2021.

“We’re beginning to see signs of supply chain recovery after multi-year pandemic-related congestion, but we still have a way to go,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director, Bryan Brandes, who went on to add, “We will continue working with our industry partners to boost cargo fluidity and vessel service.”

Freight rates for cargo shipped from Asia to the United States continue to drop pointing to a softening in demand for imports, according to the Californian port, which noted that continued congestion at box yards may still be a factor in ship delays at the Oakland Seaport, with most docked vessels staying two or more days.

Source: Container News