Ships Start Returning to Oakland as Cargo Delays Wane

Ocean carriers that were bypassing the Port of Oakland to overcome schedule delays are beginning to restore their weekly calls at the port, the port said in a statement.

As informed, nearly all Oakland services can be expected to be restored by May.

The port said that the return of ships can be seen as a signal from the maritime sector that recent West Coast cargo delays are fading.

“Some vessels that were omitting Oakland have already started to return, and a look at schedules indicates that the rest will be back soon,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “This tells us that shipping lines are confident we’re recovering from the recent logjam.”

The two largest container carriers, Denmark’s Maersk and Geneva-based MSC have already resumed Oakland calls. The G6, an alliance of Asian and European shipping lines, has restored two services and plans to restore two remaining services later in April. By early May, published schedules show Asian alliance CKYHE vessels back on normal rotations that include Oakland, according to the statement.

More than two dozen vessels bypassed Oakland in January and February to make up for lost time.

Vessel bypasses contributed to a 31.6% decline in container volume at the port in January and February. Volume is expected to improve as carriers restore full service.

The temporary service suspensions resulted from a labor-management dispute that slowed all West Coast shipping. Vessels stranded for weeks at Southern California ports skipped Oakland to reach home ports – mostly in Asia – on time.

The labor impasse ended with tentative agreement Feb. 20 on a new longshore worker contract.

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