Business, Freight News, Sea

Port of Oakland import cargo volume at all-time high in June

[ July 16, 2018   //   ]

Port of Oakland containerized import volume reached an all-time high last month, according to data released today. The Port said it handled the equivalent of 87,207 20-foot import containers in June. That beat the previous monthly record of 84,835 containers set last July.
June import volume was up 8.7% over June 2017, the Port said. It explained that two factors may have led to the increase:
• Peak season – the summer-fall period when most U.S. imports from Asia are shipped – is expected to be strong.
• Importers may have ordered aggressively in June ahead of tariffs imposed this month by the U.S. and China.
“Retailers have been forecasting a good peak season for containerized imports, so June’s numbers weren’t surprising,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “But there’s uncertainty over the international trade picture, so we’re taking a wait-and-see approach.”
The Port said it’s too soon to project the impact of 2018 tariff increases on cargo from China. It said the increases would have affected about $225 million of China imports had they been in place last year.
The Port said that total container volume in Oakland is up 2.3% so far, this year. That’s in line with a January Port forecast calling for 2-to-3% growth in 2018.
Containerized export volume is down 1.8% through six months of 2018, the Port said. Exports decreased 4.7% in June. The Port attributed the decrease to a strong U.S. dollar which makes American goods costlier overseas.