Three months after the inauguration of the Expanded Panama Canal, the Port of Oakland said that the widened waterway is not affecting its business as its vessel traffic has gone up since the opening of the new locks.
The Port received 310 vessel calls in July and August, the first two months of operation for Panama’s enlarged waterway.
The number marks an increase of 12 percent in vessel traffic, compared to the same months in 2015 when 276 ships visited Oakland.
“The trend refutes warnings that larger ships would detour around the U.S. West Coast given Panama access,” the port said.
Additionally, Oakland’s cargo volume has increased in July and August, as the port said that these were two of its three busiest months this year for container-handling.
“Our customers need an Oakland gateway – not one thousands of miles away,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll.
Port of Oakland’s total cargo volume, including imports, exports and empty containers, increased by 1.7 percent in August. Import volume decreased 4.9 percent. Oakland’s total volume through the first eight months of 2016 is up 4.6 percent over 2015.