The Port of Oakland moved a record 2.4 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (teus) in calendar year 2006, an increase of approximately five percent over 2005. Imports accounted for most of the increase as exports were flat.
Interesting to note is that historically the Port of Oakland handled approximately 60% exports and 40% imports whereas today the volume of business is 49% exports and 51% imports. Although the export business is robust at the Oakland seaport, the shifting balance between exports and imports reflects both the US consumer demand for imported finished goods from Asia and increased manufacturing overseas.
President of the Oakland Board of Port Commissioners, Anthony Batarse, expects that additional growth in global trade will continue to increase business at the Oakland seaport, “We anticipate handling more containers in 2007, given the forecast for continued global economic improvement.
We have the capacity for more business because we made a major investment in funding the expansion of the Oakland seaport. This benefits our region and supports our responsibility as an international gateway.’
Port of Oakland Executive Director Omar Benjamin stated that it is Trans-Pacific trade that added to the Port’s business, “As anticipated, imports from Asia pushed our numbers up in terms of the volume of goods coming through the Port of Oakland. We remain committed to continuing to invest in our future with the -50 ft harbor deepening project and other maritime improvements.’
The Port of Oakland opened its first office in Shanghai, China in September 2006 to enhance its existing partnerships and develop new business. The Port is interested in seeing the development of a Shanghai-Oakland express route in 2007. This premium service would offer Northern China’s shippers the fastest possible transit times to the Bay Area for their intermodal cargo. China has rapidly become one of the leading producers and exporters of consumer products in the world. Regarding the tonnage that moves through the Port of Oakland (imports and exports), 77% moves between Oakland, California and the East (Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea).