Port of Oakland Loaded Box Volume
May 14, 2020
of Oakland loaded container volume edged up last month but a likely
downturn is ahead. That was the message Port officials delivered today
as the coronavirus pandemic pressured global trade.
The Port reported that April loaded container volume increased 1.4
percent compared to the same month last year. Export loads rose 3.6
percent, the Port said, while imports dipped 0.9 percent.
The outlook in coming months is for reduced cargo volume, the Port
added. That’s because 11 percent of scheduled Oakland vessel calls in
May and June have been canceled by shipping lines. Ocean carriers
worldwide are scrubbing voyages due to dwindling demand by shippers for
vessel space. The culprit: a global economic downturn resulting from the
April cargo performance was better than expected, but it was most likely
a blip resulting from the release of pent-up demand when factories
re-opened in China after being quarantined,” the Port said in a
statement. “We’re faring better than some other ports, but our forecast
in the coming months is overall volume throughput decline of 5-to-10
The Port said exports leaving Oakland for overseas markets continue to
be a bright spot midst the pandemic. Export volume has increased
year-over-year in three of the past four months, according to Port data.
The Port said growth in exports to Southeast Asian markets has offset
shrinking trade with China. It said Asian demand is strongest for U.S.
The Port said its total cargo volume – imports, exports and empty
container shipments – declined 6.5 percent last month. It attributed the
decline to a 29 percent drop in shipments of empty containers back to
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