Container volume at the Port of Oakland reached an all-time high in 2018, handling 2.55 million TEU during the year.
The number represents an increase of 5.2 percent from 2017 volume, and is the second straight year of record volume in Oakland, the port said.
Port figures show that import cargo volume increased by 5 percent, while exports declined 3.5 percent. The volume of empty containers returned to origin destinations for future import loads increased 19.7 percent.
“Last year was the busiest one ever at the port for a variety of reasons,” John Driscoll, Port of Oakland Maritime Director, said.
Multiple influences were at work in 2018 shaping cargo flows, including the trade dispute between China and US that prompted shippers to accelerate import orders ahead of anticipated tariffs, a strong dollar that made US exports costlier overseas, and a buildup of empty containers in the US that required repositioning to Asia because of the import surge.
“Our objective now is to build on this performance to grow import and export volume,” Driscoll concluded.