Containerized import volume keeps growing at the Port of Oakland as peak shipping season nears. The Port said today that imports jumped 15 percent in August compared to 2014 totals. It was the sixth-consecutive month of gains ahead of the traditional autumn pre-holiday cargo surge.
“We’re building momentum before the peak,” said Maritime Director John Driscoll. “It’s an indication that the season could be a good one; but more importantly, it’s a sign that customers are counting on the Port of Oakland to deliver.”
The Port said overall container volume in August - imports, exports and empty boxes – was up 6 percent. Year-to-date total volume is still down 4.8 percent from a year ago. But that’s a significant recovery from double-digit volume declines in winter.
Imports have led Oakland’s volume rebound. The Port said it lifted the equivalent of 82,492 20-foot containers last month. That was the most since March when the Port’s import rally began. Import growth has been continuous since theFeb. 20 tentative settlement of a West Coast waterfront labor dispute.
The Port said an increase in longshore labor on the waterfront is helping to absorb volume growth. About 150 more dockworkers are being deployed at Oakland’s five marine terminals. With added labor, the Port said it has cleared a summer backlog of ships waiting to berth.