Port of Oakland fruit, veggie cargo up 36 percent in four years
More gains likely as buildout to handle temp-controlled products goes on
Oakland, Calif. – April 25, 2018: Port of Oakland containerized fresh fruit and vegetable shipments have jumped 36 percent since 2013, according to data released today. The Port said further gains are likely as it adds capacity to handle temperature-controlled cargo.
About $6.1 billion worth of containerized fruit and veggie shipments moved through Oakland in 2017, the Port said. The volume equaled 135,000 20-foot containers. The Port’s volume was less than 80,000 containers just four years ago.
“This is high-value cargo that has to be handled carefully and shipped promptly,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “Growth in our volume would indicate that we’re doing the job effectively.”
Exports accounted for 103,000 containers of Oakland’s 2017 fresh fruit and vegetable cargo volume. That was a 44 percent increase from four years ago. Fruit and vegetable imports jumped 16 percent.
The Port said oranges and grapes were among top exports. Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong were leading export markets.
The data is watched closely because Oakland is considered one of the country’s most important agricultural gateways. The reasons:
- Oakland is adjacent to major growing regions in the Central, Napa and Salinas valleys.
- Producers export through Oakland because it’s the last U.S. destination before outbound vessels head to Asia. That means their cargo isn’t delayed at intermediate stops.
The Pacific Merchant Shipping Association said that Oakland shipped 42.3 percent of America’s 2017 fruit and nut exports to China. It handled 93 percent of wine exports.
The Port said it expects fruit and vegetable shipments to grow because it’s improving the ability to handle temperature-controlled cargo. Refrigerated export containers are now being delivered principally at night to Oakland’s largest marine terminal. That speeds up handling and wait-time for sensitive cargo by avoiding busier dayside operations. Oakland’s second-largest terminal is adding hundreds of electrical plug-in spaces for refrigerated containers this summer. That means it can safely store more perishable cargo until the containers are loaded on vessels.
Exports make up half of the Port of Oakland’s total cargo volume. Farm goods account for 40-to-50 percent of the Port’s total exports.
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 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.
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