Freight site visitors within the Port of Oakland hits an all-time excessive in Q1 – CBS San Francisco
OAKLAND (CBS SF) – The Port of Oakland posted an all-time high in freight traffic in Q1 of the year as US-Asia trade hit what officials said was “unprecedented.”
Port officials said in a statement that the total volume between January and March was 631,119 20-foot shipping containers. The previous record was 612,151 in the first quarter of 2019.
Officials believe April will be strong too when the totals are released in a couple of weeks.
Port spokeswoman Marilyn Sandifur told KPIX 5 last month that this was the busiest time in the port’s 94-year history.
“Whenever you see container ships anchored in the bay, you know this is unusual,” said Sandifur.
Industry analysts attribute much of the momentum to a pandemic-weary public buying more goods and spurring manufacturers and retailers to replenish their inventories.
Port officials said the surge shows no sign of easing as freight rates are near all-time highs, ships between Asia and the west coast are almost full, and ships often wait days for unloading.
“Our business has been growing for almost a year,” said Bryan Brandes, the port’s maritime director. “Based on the evidence, we expect the trendline to continue rising.”
The port recently added two new shipping routes that go directly to Asia. Late last year, the port received massive cranes that tower up to 400 feet to service some of the largest container ships in the world.