Port of Oakland loaded container volume up third month in a row

Oakland, Calif. – June 22, 2023: Port of Oakland full containers (both imports and exports) in May 2023 were up by about 18 percent compared to February 2023. 

Port of Oakland – aerial of a maritime terminal stacked with containers

Although Oakland loaded cargo TEUs (twenty-foot containers) have been climbing for three months, the loaded container volume remains below last year, registering a 19% decline in the first five months compared to the same period in 2022. The spike in goods movement from high consumer spending during the pandemic lingered into 2022 pushing volumes higher in the earlier part of last year.

Total full TEUs declined compared to May of 2022, posting a 22.7% drop, with 134,398 TEUs. Full imports fell 28.2% with 70,887 TEUs processed by the Port, versus 98,792 TEUs in May 2022. Importers continued to favor East Coast and Gulf Coast ports last month due to the remaining uncertainty around contract negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and Pacific Maritime Association (PMA).

Last week’s positive news on the tentative agreement between the ILWU and PMA will restore shipper’s confidence in West Coast ports as they are the most efficient gateway for goods moving between Asia and the U.S.,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director Bryan Brandes. 

Full exports registered a 15.4% decline, with 63,511 TEUs transiting port facilities, compared to 75,067 TEUs in May 2022. They are down 9% year-to-date compared to the same period in 2022. Exporters may be moving less volume than they typically do, since shipping schedules have been less reliable than prior to the pandemic. Also, consumers may be more cautious about spending with rising food costs. Additionally, there is a long-term trend of shipping less U.S. recyclables to China.

Empty exports dropped 19.5%, with 28,315 TEUs handled by the Port in May 2023, as opposed to35,188 TEUs in May 2022. Empty imports rose 3.8%, transiting 15,836 TEUs in May 2023, versus 15,254 TEUs in May 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 oversees the Oakland Seaport, Oakland International Airport, nearly 20 miles of waterfront including Jack London Square, and a publicly owned utility. 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 84,000 jobs. 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
[email protected]

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

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