Port of Oakland February container volume declined

Oakland, Calif. – March 24, 2023: The Port of Oakland’s container volume experienced another slow month. Total year-to-date volume compared to this time last year fell 14.1%. Full TEUs (twenty-foot containers) dropped 23% last month, with 113,814 TEUs transiting the Port, in contrast to 147,620 TEUs in February 2022.

Empty TEUs dropped 14% compared to February 2022, registering 40,023 TEUs this February versus 46,768 TEUs in February 2022.

The Port said domestic inventories remain high as retail sales fell in February which has dampened cargo volumes for U.S. West Coast ports. A strong dollar is also impeding export volumes. The Port of Oakland’s goal is to be ready to move cargo efficiently when retail regains its footing.

Full imports fell 32% in February 2023, with 58,073 TEUs passing through the Port versus 85,286 TEUs the same month last year. One reason for the lackluster volume is West Coast ports losing their market share to ports on America’s East and Gulf Coasts.

Full exports also experienced a decline of 10.6% in February 2023, with the Port handling 55,741 TEUs compared to 62,334 TEUs in February 2022. Exports have been on the decline since 2020. The decrease was initially jump-started by tariffs imposed by the U.S. and China, and China’s restrictions on recycled materials, which is Oakland’s largest export. Exports continued to decline during the pandemic due to product supply chain disruptions and the scarcity of empty containers. 

Total Port of Oakland TEU activity last month was 153,837. This is a decline of 20.9% compared to February 2022.

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

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