Port of Oakland August container volume dips

Oakland, Calif. – September 21, 2023: The Port of Oakland container volume sagged compared to the same time last year. However, due to an unprecedented uptick in August 2022 volume, the current statistics do not provide a complete picture.

Full TEUs (twenty-foot containers) declined 13.1% in August 2023, handling 135,253 TEUs compared to 155,682 TEUs in August 2022. However, the robust volume in August 2022 draws an unrealistic comparison to this August’s numbers.

Vessel calls have continued to grow throughout 2023, reporting 650 vessel calls through the end of August, rising 13% over the number of vessel calls in August 2022. This indicates that port operations are running smoothly, boasting better on-time performance of ships, and less congestion at docks and at inland warehouses.

“While August’s container volumes might not be where we want them to be, there are indicators that point to a bright future for the seaport,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director Bryan Brandes. “Improved port operations, coupled with our on-going investment in greening the port, will provide on-going benefits to importers and exporters.”

Full imports dropped 17.5%, with 72,481 TEUs transiting Port terminals, versus 87,844 TEUs in August 2022. Full exports shrunk by 7.5%, with 62,733 TEUs passing through Port facilities, compared to 67,838 TEUs in August 2022.

Retail and manufacturers, as well as other shippers that import through Oakland’s facilities, have reduced their import volumes. This continues a trend that began in 2021. Its estimated that shippers may have yet to find the appropriate level of new shipments to meet current demand.

Exports have slumped, pointing to the continued decline in the export of wastepaper and recyclable materials for processing. However, there is optimism that agricultural exports will pick up.

Vessels are running on schedule and unloading and loading cargo with little disruption, which are favorable conditions, especially for exporters.

Empty imports were down by 11.1%, moving 13,329 TEUs in August 2023, compared to 11,998 TEUs in August, 2022, while empty exports declined 29.6%, registering 30,579 TEUs in August 2023, down from 43,443 TEUs in August 2022.

Link to Port of Oakland container volume data: https://www.oaklandseaport.com/performance/facts-figures/ 


About the Port of Oakland

The Port of Oakland generates vital economic activity, community benefits and environmental innovation, as the Port decarbonizes its operations for a cleaner and greener future. Along with its partners, the Port supports 98,345 jobs in the region and $174 billion in annual economic activity. The Port oversees Oakland International Airport, the Oakland Seaport and nearly 20 miles of waterfront including Jack London Square, and a publicly owned utility. The Port of Oakland is Everyone’s Port! Connect with the Port of Oakland and Oakland International Airport through Facebook and Twitter, or with the Port on LinkedIn, YouTube, and at www.portofoakland.com.

Media Contacts

Robert Bernardo
Port of Oakland
Communications Director
(510) 627-1401
[email protected]

Marilyn Sandifur
Port of Oakland
Media/PR Manager
(510) 627-1193
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David DeWitt
Port of Oakland
Media/PR Specialist
(510) 627-1169
[email protected]


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