Freight News, Sea

Signs of Export Rally at Port of Oakland

[ April 13, 2016   //   ]

An export rally may be underway here at one of the nation’s leading gateways to Asia. The Port of Oakland reports that its 2016 containerized export volume is up 19.9% so far over 2015. March exports were up 9.9%, the third-straight monthly increase in Oakland.
Port officials attributed the gains to a recent decline in the strength of the dollar. US goods are more affordable overseas when the dollar’s value declines. Export volume declined for most of 2015.
“It’s too soon to declare this a trend, but we’re encouraged by recent signs,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “Exports are a critical component of our business.”
Oakland exports are closely watched. They comprise more than half the port’s total 2016 cargo volume while other West Coast ports depend on imports. Oakland is the leading gateway for Central Valley growers exporting to China, Japan and other Asian destinations.
The port said total containerized cargo volume – imports, exports and empty containers – is up 18.9% this year. Total volume for the month of March declined 14.5%, the result of a drop in imports. The port linked the decrease to an unfavorable comparison with extraordinary March 2015 volumes. That’s when the floodgates opened at West Coast ports following a protracted waterfront contract dispute. The port also said that March volume was limited by a seasonal post-Lunar New Year slowdown in imports from Asia.