Port of Oakland gains from trend: more cargo, fewer ships

Oakland, Calif. – May 12, 2017: A shipping industry trend toward bigger, more efficient container vessels is paying off at the Port of Oakland.  The Port said today that 2017 container volume through April was up 2.8 percent over last year.  At the same time, the Port said that the number of vessels arriving here was down 5.6 percent.

The upshot: fewer but larger ships are carrying more cargo to Oakland, easing dock crowding while reducing vessel emissions.  “Shipping lines have moved to larger vessels to consolidate cargo and cut costs,” explained Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll.  “We’re the beneficiaries because we can handle volume growth efficiently and sustainably.”

The Port said 539 ships visited Oakland in the first four months of 2017.  That compared to 571 calls during the same period a year ago.  The reduction meant fewer diesel emissions from ships heading in or out of Port.  It also meant less clamoring for berthing space, which is in high demand at Oakland.

The Port said the average-size vessel visiting Oakland has the capacity to carry more than 8,000 20-foot containers.  The average was closer to 5,000 just three years ago.  Ships with capacity for 14,000 containers – the largest in North America – call Oakland weekly, the Port said.

The Port said 2017 containerized import volume in Oakland increased 3.5 percent through April.  Export volume was up 3 percent.

About the Port of Oakland
The Port of Oakland oversees the Oakland seaport, Oakland International Airport, and 20 miles of waterfront. 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

Communications Director

Tel. 510-627-1565

[email protected]


Marilyn Sandifur

Port Spokesperson

Tel. 510-627-1193

[email protected]


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