Port of Oakland cargo surge cooled off last month

Oakland, Calif. – March 15, 2019: A six-month-long containerized cargo surge came to a halt, as expected, at the Port of Oakland last month.  The Port said today that its total February cargo volume was down 1.3 percent from a year ago.

February import cargo decreased 5 percent, year-over-year, the Port reported.  It was the first decline in import volume since July 2018.  February exports were down 8.2 percent.  The shipment of empty containers back to origin destinations increased nearly 7 percent.

The Port attributed decreased volume mostly to a pause by shippers following a 2018 global trade frenzy.  Shipments spiked last year as importers rushed cargo to the U.S. ahead of anticipated tariff increases.  Analysts have since predicted an import slowdown due to jammed warehouses and delays in tariff hikes.

The Port said export volume has been held down by a strong U.S. dollar.  When the dollar is strong, American goods are costlier for overseas purchasers.

Shipping lines have responded to lower volumes by canceling some Asia-U.S. voyages, the Port said.  Asia is the Port’s primary trading partner.  Oakland reported a 9.7 percent drop in February vessel calls compared to last year.

About the Port of Oakland

The Port of Oakland oversees the Oakland Seaport, Oakland International Airport, and nearly 20 miles of waterfront including Jack London Square. The Port’s 5-year strategic plan – Growth with Care – pairs business expansion with community benefits, envisioning more jobs and economic stimulus as the Port grows. Together with its business partners, the Port supports more than 73,000 jobs in the region and nearly 827,000 jobs across the United States. Connect with the Port of Oakland and Oakland International Airport through Facebook, or with the Port on Twitter, YouTube, and at www.portofoakland.com.

Media Contacts

Mike Zampa
Port of Oakland
Communications Director
(510) 627-1565
[email protected]

Marilyn Sandifur
Port of Oakland
Port Spokesperson
(510) 627-1193
[email protected]



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