The Port of Oakland, as reported in February, saw imports and exports drop due to congestion in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Oakland is commonly the second or last port of call along the west coast after the Southern California ports, so those delays affected the ports throughput.
Other delays were caused by a reduction of berthing area during the installation of three new cranes, the tallest in North America, at Oakland’s largest container terminal.
Another recent concern is the arrival of the NYK Delphinus, which caught fire 50 miles off the coast of Monterey, CA while en route to Oakland. The engine room fire was extinguished and the vessel was subsequently tugged and arrived on Monday, which is still currently docked at the port.
To help ease the congestion, two new container services have begun this year calling Oakland. The first service, operated by CMA CGM, was launched in February and connects Oakland and Seattle with Shanghai, Yantian and Kaohsiung, with Oakland as the first port of call. The second service, operated by Wan Hai, was launched this May and connects the same ports but adds Ningbo and calls Seattle before Oakland.
In a press release last week, the Port of Oakland reported continued growth over the past three months, despite continued port congestion, with March and April both breaking records.
Last month the port released press following the record-breaking March volumes, reporting 97,538 TEUs in imports and 94,169 TEUs in exports. The March imports were a 45% increase from the previous year, March 2020, when the impacts from the coronavirus were initially felt.
This April saw a consecutive month of record-breaking volumes at the Port of Oakland. The port for the first time in their history recorded a monthly import volume over the 100,000 TEU milestone with 100,096 TEUs, a 25% increase from April 2020. Exports were decreased by 3.7% from the year prior, which the port explained was caused by the large amounts of empty containers. Regardless of the decrease of exports, the total volume of TEUs in April through Oakland increased by 8% from April 2020.
Using the port dashboard from BlueWater Reporting, the above table lists every container service calling the Port of Oakland along with their average vessel size in TEUs. This includes the two new dedicated services calling Oakland beginning this year, the CMA CGM “Golden Gate Bridge-GGB” and the Wan Hai “Asia America Service V-AA5”, with average vessel sizes of 8,321 TEUs and 2,715 TEUs, respectively.
The chart highlights the importance of trade from Asia to the Port of Oakland with 15 of the 23 container services containing a transpacific route.
The largest container service by average vessel size is THE Alliance’s “FP2” service with 14,008 TEUs. The service originates in Europe and calls Asia before arriving to the west coast of North America.