Shanghai Struggles Drive Port of
Oakland Volume Declines
May 20, 2022
of Oakland cargo volume is down in 2022, a consequence principally of
China’s COVID crackdown and its ripple effect on ocean carrier
The Port reported today that total volume through April dropped 7
percent from the same period a year ago. Containerized import loads
through Oakland fell 17 percent last month, the Port said, while exports
sagged 18 percent.
The Port attributed much of the decline to factory and port shutdowns in
China, Oakland’s largest trade partner. The Port said disruption at
Shanghai, the world’s busiest port, is delaying U.S.-bound import
shipments and that wreaks havoc on ocean carrier scheduling.
“U.S. exports have been hampered by vessel schedules thrown into
disarray in China,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director Bryan Brandes.
“Most of Oakland’s business depends on the Asia-U.S. trade route.”
The Port said Oakland cargo flow has been affected by additional
drop in the number of ships stopping in Oakland;
Importers slow to retrieve shipments, thereby crowding container yards
and slowing cargo discharge from ships; and
A container shortage making it harder to load export shipments.
Oakland said relief may be on the way for harried supply chains.
Shanghai cargo activity has recently picked up, the Port said.
Meanwhile, the Port is talking to shipping lines about increasing the
number of Oakland vessel calls.
According to the Port, the pace of cargo operations should accelerate as
vessel schedules normalize. That’s welcome news as Oakland prepares for
peak shipping season, which industry experts say will begin earlier this
year. Retailers are likely factoring in more time for receiving their
goods based on the shipping delays they have been experiencing during
COVID, said the Port.
During the peak of port congestion in 2021, as many as 30 ships were
waiting to enter an Oakland berth. Today containerships number from one
to a few waiting to do business at the Port of Oakland.