Thursday, October 15, 2020

Good News from West Coast of US as Cargo Levels Break Record and Honour Bestowed

Californian Port Believes Fear of Covid Second Wave is Driving Up Imports
Shipping News Feature

US – It seems this is a good time for Oakland at the moment with the west coast port reporting record import levels of freight whilst it also receives an honour this week for being such an effective driver of the economy in the local region.

First those cargo statistics, the Port of Oakland has experienced its best September ever for import cargo volume with 93,916 twenty-foot (TEU) full import containers last month beating a 2019 record of 84,901 TEUs. The Port said that containerised import volume jumped 10.6% in September compared to 2019 totals. Exports were also up 5% compared to September 2019. Total TEUs for September were 225,809 up 9.3% compared to September 2019 when TEUs were 206,539.

The boost is attributed in the main to US retailers stocking up in preparation for the traditional holiday shopping season. Consumer products combined with pandemic-related items such as personal protective supplies helped make September a record-breaking month for imports.

Port of Oakland Maritime Director Bryan Brandes commented that several months into the current pandemic, retailers were ensuring they had restocked as they anticipated an early start to holiday season shopping which in turn led to the positive signs. It is also felt that traders were looking to get ahead of the game in case another major Covid wave arrived in the coming winter.

The port’s analysis is that importers appear to be accumulating their own stock as they continue to witness the spread of more factory closures and lockdowns. Compared to last year, this year’s first nine months show full imports up 0.4% and full exports down 0.2%.

More good news for the port as the East Bay Economic Development Alliance (East Bay EDA) honours the Port of Oakland at its 2020 Innovation Awards event today (15 October) for its significant contributions as a long-standing generator of jobs and economic vitality in the region. The award to be given via a virtual celebration.

The Innovation Awards event will include a two-minute video presentation ‘Port of Oakland 1927 to 2020’ highlighting historic milestones and major projects past and present that contribute to the Port’s reputation as an economic engine. Port of Oakland Executive Director Danny Wan, commented:

"We’re proud to be receiving this prestigious honour from the East Bay EDA. The credit goes to our dedicated Port Commissioners, senior managers and staff who have consistently supported projects that benefit our East Bay community with positive economic impacts.”

A study conducted prior to the pandemic, shows that the Port of Oakland and its partners support more than 84,000 jobs in the region and generate $117.6 billion annually in economic impact, and the port joins the ranks of other iconic East Bay entities including the East Bay Regional Park District, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Kaiser Permanente, and UC Berkeley as Legacy Award recipients. East Bay EDA Executive Director Stephen Baiter, observed:

“We are recognising the Port of Oakland as a catalyst for the East Bay economy,” said. “The Covid-19 pandemic has only underscored the importance of this critical asset to our region, our state and our world.”

Photo: A frame from the video ‘Port of Oakland 1927 to 2020’. The film is viewable in full from the included link.