FILE PHOTO: Shipping containers are seen at the container terminal of the port of Oakland, California, U.S., October 28, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo

Congestion Eases as Container Volumes Fall at Port of Oakland

Mike Schuler
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December 28, 2022

The Port of Oakland reports that congestion has eased thanks to a big drop in November container volumes.

Total loaded container volumes at the Port of Oakland declined 15% compared to November 2021, to 131,929 loaded TEUs.

Full imports in November decreased 17.4% year over year, to 68,646 TEUs. Full exports were also down by 12.3%, to 63,283. Both imports and exports were down from October’s volumes, when the port handled 79,459 TEU imports and 66,408 exports.

On the other hand, November’s empty container exports rose 75.6% compared to the same month last year.

“This decline is not unexpected,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director Bryan Brandes. “Despite October gains, long-term indicators continue to predict a decline in demand for goods. The good news is that the reduction of incoming containers has allowed us to begin alleviating congestion at port facilities, increasing efficiencies in port operations.”

The Port of Oakland said with weakening demand and ocean rates continuing to drop, sailings will continue to be cancelled and the introduction of new services will be postponed.

“As a result, the wait-time for berths is less than earlier this year, so ships are spending less time at Port of Oakland facilities. Terminal yards are also beginning to shed extra containers from their yards,” the Port of Oakland said.

Looking at Oakland’s California peers, the cargo slowdown continued at the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach in November with imports falling 24% and 28.4% year over year, respectively.

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