Import volume at the Port of Oakland rose 9 percent in January, marking the port's busiest January on record for inbound cargo, port officials said today.
The port handled the equivalent of 81,895 20-foot import containers in January, driven by shippers' rush to get loads from Asia to the United States ahead of still-looming threats of tariff increases on Chinese goods.
The port's export volume rose 0.6 percent compared to January 2018, officials said. Total container volume increased 3.2 percent year-over-year.
In addition to the threat of tariff increases, importers' push to stock up in advance of the Lunar New Year factory shutdowns in Asia also was a key factor, port officials said.
January marked six straight months of increasing imports in Oakland.
"Concern over international trade issues has driven unprecedented import volume," Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll said in a statement about the January volume. "We're watching closely to see what happens next."