Port of Oakland loaded import volume grew 1.9 percent last month from June 2019, according to data released today. The gain was unexpected given that shipping lines canceled 10 percent of their scheduled Oakland visits due to the trade-related impact of coronavirus.
The Port attributed the uptick in imports to retailers accelerating shipments to the U.S. in light of:
- Cargo-carrying capacity that dwindles each month as shipping lines continue to cancel voyages; and
- An anticipated rise in freight rates.
Oakland’s overall container volume – which includes imports, exports and empty containers - declined 2.3 percent in June from 2019 totals. The Port handled the equivalent of 199,011 twenty-foot containers in June 2020 compared to 203,730 a year ago. The Port said the cargo decrease resulted from a coronavirus pandemic that continues to dampen global trade.
According to the Port, June export volume declined 5.7 percent. The Port said that the weakening export performance was likely due to reduced consumer demand in foreign markets caused by COVID-19 disruptions. Additionally, China instituted new restrictions on wastepaper exports from the United States which further dampened export volumes. The return of empty containers to origins in Asia decreased 14.5 percent.
Source: Port of Oakland