Cargo volume down 36.67% in February
March 17, 2015
Port of Oakland cargo volume down 36.67% in February
After-effect of U.S. West Coast contract dispute; recovery from backlog moving ahead
Oakland, CA - March 17, 2015 - February cargo volume at the Port of Oakland declined 36.67 percent from last year, the Port said today. But it added that the cargo backlog that caused the decline is on its way out.
“Cargo is moving and the backlog is shrinking,” said Maritime Director John Driscoll. “With capacity again available in our marine terminals, volumes should begin building soon.”
The Port said containerized import volume dropped 39% in February from the same period last year. Exports were down 34%.
Similar results are expected at most other major West Coast ports when results are announced this week. That’s the after-effect of a nine-month waterfront contract dispute that constricted cargo movement from Seattle to San Diego. Labor and management reached tentative agreement on a new pact Feb. 20. It awaits union ratification.
Analysts forecast an uptick in containerized West Coast trade volume as the cargo backlog disappears. In a sign that Oakland is recovering, the Port said today only three vessels were holding station in the Pacific Ocean just beyond the Golden Gate awaiting terminal berths. That’s a significant drop from the 20 vessels awaiting berths in mid-February, the Port said.
A large part of the Oakland backlog resulted from severe congestion at Southern California ports. Late-arriving vessels from Los Angeles and Long Beach bunched up in Oakland, disrupting schedules and causing container yards to overflow. The Port said it has now cleared out much of the cargo backlog. Some lingering cargo delays are caused by ships still stranded in Southern California.
Import containers in Oakland are getting to customers faster the Port said, because terminals have room to operate. It added that terminal gate operations have improved, which reduces waiting time for harbor truckers. The Port warned of periodic volume spikes that could temporarily slow operations if Southern California’s vessel backlog is cleared.
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.