Import surge continues with “no end in sight as peak season nears” says port.
The Port of Oakland reports its H1 2021 container volume increased 11.4% over 2020 to hit 1.3M TEU. “If the pace holds, the Port’s year-end volume would surpass 2.6 million containers for the first time ever,” the port said.
“We’ve never seen this level of activity and based on the outlook we’re preparing for more,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director Bryan Brandes. “Our challenge is serving customers who expect us to handle their cargo efficiently.”
The port said it expects the upwards trend to continue based on three factors: record freight rates indicating there is still strong demand for container shipping; rising US inflation that signals strong consumer spending on goods manufactured overseas; and the upcoming August-November peak shipping season for holiday cargo items.
“Ports nationwide have reported difficulty keeping up with the unprecedented cargo surge. On average, vessels are loading and unloading 66 percent more cargo in Oakland than they did last year. One consequence has been cargo delivery delays,” the port said. It expects the delays to ease by late summer with the addition of more dockworkers, which has been agreed by the PMA and the ILWU.