More cargo but fewer vessel calls; the upshot: less diesel exhaust, lower cost

Oakland, Calif. - Port of Oakland import cargo volume increased 19 percent in March over 2016 totals, according to figures released today. The Port said the results contrast sharply with a 9.2 percent decline in February shipments to Oakland. It added that total loaded container volume – imports and exports – was up 9.3 percent last month.

The Port said increased imports reflect a return to normal trade patterns following February Lunar New Year celebrations in Asia. Many factories shut down for the holidays, curtailing shipments to the U.S.

“This is a nice rebound,” said Maritime Director John Driscoll. “We’re watching now to find out if it signals stronger trade growth for the rest of the year.”

According to Port figures, 402 ships called in Oakland during the first three months of 2017. That was down 5.6 percent from a year ago. At the same time, the Port said those ships carried an average of 8.4 percent more containers in and out of Oakland.

The Port said the numbers highlight a shipping industry effort to consolidate greater cargo volume on fewer ships. According to the Port, the trend promises three benefits:

  • Reduced vessel operating expense for shipping lines;
  • Less demand for berthing space at marine terminals; and
  • A reduction in diesel emissions at port thanks to fewer vessel calls.