Monday, August 12, 2019

US Port Sees Containerised Import and Export Totals Rise in July as Tariff Increases Loom

Record Ever Month for TEU Traffic in 92 Years of Trading
Shipping News Feature
US – Amongst all the talk of trade wars one place which certainly seems to be receiving a boost due to projected rising import tariffs, however temporary, is the West Coast Port of Oakland in California which has reported its busiest ever month in the port's 92-year history for containerised import cargo. The July figure saw the 90,000 container threshold for a month broken for the first ever time, and it wasn't imports alone which rose.

The previous import record was set in June 2018 when 87,207 TEU entered and last month’s total was a 7.5% rise on the same period last year. This July however also saw exports jump by 10.2% against the total 12 months ago, the fifth-straight month of year-over-year gains in export volume.

Strong July cargo volume can foreshadow a busy peak season in container shipping. August through to October are months when American importers traditionally stock up for Christmas and Thanksgiving holiday sales. The Port cautioned, however, that the trade conflict makes estimating future cargo throughput difficult, and executives refused to be drawn on how the projected new levies might impact Oakland’s trade volumes

The July figures come just days after the Trump Administration indicated it may impose those new tariffs on Chinese imports which could be implemented starting next month. The Port’s total cargo volume for all of 2019 so far is up 3.1% percent despite that lingering trade war with China, and Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll, said simply:

“This is the fourth-time import volume has increased in the past five months. This demonstrates the continued strength of the US economy and consumer purchasing power.”