Port of Oakland loaded container volume from January through September increased 3.1 percent compared to the same period in 2018, according to data released today. The Port said that despite a dip last month, loaded exports are outpacing last year's numbers.
Loaded imports are up 3.5 percent and loaded exports are up 2.7 percent compared to the same January-September period in 2018.
The Port attributed this growth to continued demand for imports of goods to satisfy the demand from consumers in the strong regional economy of Northern California. Export volumes also continue to grow as U.S. shippers find new markets outside of China.
"We're encouraged that our loaded containers are showing strong growth," said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. "We remain cautious but optimistic that we can maintain this cargo volume performance through the rest of the year."
Oakland's grand total container volume is up 1.3 percent in the first nine months of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018. This is due to lower volumes of empty containers being repositioned from the U.S. back to Asia. Ocean carriers are moving less empty containers because Oakland's imports and exports are returning to a 50/50 balance after last year's surge of loaded imports. The Port of Oakland is unique on the U.S. West Coast because it has a balanced import/export ratio.