Asian demand drives volume; a new, bigger growth spurt likely this fall
Containerized meat shipments moving through the Port of Oakland have increased 27 percent in the past four years. The Port said yesterday that even greater growth is likely this fall when a new refrigerated distribution center opens.
According to just-released Port data:
- Oakland exported the equivalent of 60,000 20-foot containers laden with fresh and frozen meat products – primarily beef, pork and poultry - during 2017. That was up 24 percent from 2013 totals.
- Oakland imported about 6,000 containers of meat last year, a 64 percent increase.
The Port valued Oakland’s 2017 containerized meat shipments at more than $8 billion. It said two-thirds of all meat exports went to Japan. South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan were other major export markets. Imported meat shipments came primarily from Australia and New Zealand.
The Port said greater containerized meat volume reflects overall strength in the market for farm goods. Agricultural shipments moving through Oakland increased nearly 43 percent between 2013 and 2017, the Port said. Fruit and vegetable volume jumped 36 percent.
“We’re benefiting from a number of positive influences,” explained Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “Asian demand for U.S. agriculture is soaring, American growers continue to improve productivity and the Port of Oakland is in the sweet spot: on the edge of the Pacific Rim and adjacent to California farm country.”
The Port said it expects meat shipments to grow further beginning in September. That’s when a 283,000-square-foot refrigerated distribution center known as Cool Port Oakland is scheduled to open. It’s estimated that the facility could handle up to 50,000 containers of beef, pork and poultry annually.
Source: Port of Oakland