Cargo volume down in Oakland

Cargo volume is down at the Port of Oakland, mainly due to China’s zero-Covid-19 strategy and its ripple effect on ocean carrier scheduling, port officials said today.

The port’s total volume through April fell 7% compared with a year ago; containerized import loads were down 17% and exports dropped 18%.

In a press release, port officials 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, wreaking havoc on ocean carrier scheduling.

“U.S. exports have been hampered by vessel schedules thrown into disarray in China,” Port of Oakland Maritime Director Bryan Brandes said in the release. “Most of Oakland’s business depends on the Asia-U.S. trade route.”

Other factors are affecting cargo flow, including fewer ships making stops in Oakland, cargo backups at the port as importers are slow to retrieve shipments, and a container shortage that is making it harder to load exports, according to the port.

But officials said relief may be on the way. Cargo activity recently began to pick up in Shanghai, and Oakland officials are working with shipping lines to increase the number of vessel calls at the port, they said.

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