Port of Oakland gets second first-call service in two weeks
Wan Hai Lines route connects NorCal with China and Taiwan, further boost for imports
Oakland, Calif. – August 6, 2021: For the second time in two weeks, a container shipping line is introducing Port of Oakland first-call service. The Port said today that Taipei-based Wan Hai Lines will commence its new service here August 8. Called the AA5, the route links Oakland with three Asian ports: Kaohsiung, Ningbo and Qingdao. First calls are where shipping lines make their initial U.S. stop after sailing from Asia.
The Port’s announcement follows the July 27 launch of an Oakland-China first-call service operated by Matson Lines. The Port has now introduced three such services in 2021 after going years without a prized first-call. It attributed the trend to aggressive marketing and a burgeoning Northern California economy.
“We’ve worked hard to make Oakland an attractive first stop for international shipping lines,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director Bryan Brandes. “We’re pleased that ocean carriers and cargo owners are recognizing the value of a Northern California trade gateway.”
First-call ports are where container carriers discharge the bulk of U.S. imports. Importers value first-call service because it provides more immediate access to cargo.
Until this year, Oakland-bound ships stopped first in Southern California before sailing north. With first-calls, the Port will likely break its all-time annual cargo handling record in 2021.
The Port said first-calls have strengthened Oakland’s position in the discretionary cargo market. Cargo destined for the U.S. interior can enter the country at any West, Gulf or East Coast port. Discretionary containers are usually discharged at the first U.S. stop, then shipped inland via rail. Oakland said it has ample rail capacity to ship import loads to the interior.
The Port said importers increasingly target the Oakland trade gateway because Northern California consumer demand is strong. It added that e-commerce retailers have established distribution centers near the Port. First-call service hastens delivery to consumers of goods produced overseas, the Port explained.
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 84,000 jobs. Connect with the Port of Oakland and Oakland International Airport through Facebook, or with the Port on Twitter, YouTube, and at www.portofoakland.com.