Loaded shipping container volume reached an all-time high at the Port of Oakland in 2016. The Port reported on 9 January that it handled the equivalent of 1.83 million loaded 20-foot containers last year. That was up 7.6 percent from 2015, topping the previous record of 1.82 million 20-footers set in 2013.
The Port attributed the milestone to a year-long containerized export boom as well as growth in imports. It said the record is important on two fronts:
- Loaded container volume is a key measure used to calculate fees paid by Oakland’s marine terminal tenants.
- Increased volume means the Port gained, instead of lost business in 2016 though it consolidated five terminals into four.
“This is a gratifying outcome,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “The job now is clear – build on the momentum we created in 2016.”
The Port said its total 2016 volume equaled 2.37 million 20-foot containers, up 4 percent from 2015. Total volume includes full and empty containers.
Containerized export volume jumped 10.5 percent in 2016, the Port said. In December, exports were up 13.5 percent. It was the fourth straight month of double-digit export growth.
Oakland import volume increased 4.7 percent last year, the Port said. December imports were up 6.1 percent.
The Port said exports accounted for 52 percent of Oakland’s loaded container volume in 2016. Imports accounted for the rest.
The Port said its 2016 goal was to protect cargo volume despite reducing the number of marine terminals. Terminals are where ships, trucks and trains converge to move the world’s containerized trade. Oakland consolidated terminals to eliminate a capacity glut, then spread its subsequent volume increase among remaining terminals.