Amid all the trade tension talk between the U.S. and China, the Port of Oakland’s unique position as the Pacific Rim’s major outbound cargo gateway remains secure, as evidenced by November’s container throughput numbers.
Oakland’s export cargo volume increased 5.8 percent last month compared to November 2018, according to statistics released this week. It was the second straight month export levels have risen in Oakland, the port said. Export volume had previously climbed 10.8 percent in October.
Meanwhile, at the Port of Los Angeles, exports declined 9.2% to 138,545 TEUs, the 13th consecutive monthly decline of exports. Empty containers also declined 14.8% to 219,024 TEUs. Combined, November volumes were 728,918 TEUs.
As noted in our exclusive interview the port’s new executive director, Danny Wan, import consumer goods continues to evolve and grow based on needs generated by our strong local economy. But as for exports, the port continues to see strong results for the refrigerated segment as a result of various investments, its strategic location and high-quality products produced by American companies destined for foreign countries with growing economies.
According to port data, Oakland handled the equivalent of 81,781 loaded export containers in November. It attributed the strong showing to increased overseas demand – primarily in Asia – for U.S. goods perceived to have high quality. It singled out U.S.-produced farm goods, as an example.
The port said import volume declined 7.2 percent last month compared to November 2018, as shippers rushed cargo into the U.S. last year attempting to beat anticipated tariff increases.
Oakland’s total cargo volume – imports, exports and empty containers – was down 0.8 percent through the first 11 months of 2019, the port said. It attributed the decline mostly to a 10.5 percent drop in empty container handling compared to the same period a year ago. Empties are transported each month back to Asia – Oakland’s main trade partner – to be loaded with import cargo bound for the U.S.
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