Port of Oakland sees its busiest peak shipping season ever for imports

October imports set record; total cargo volume up 3.9 percent for year

Oakland, Calif. – November 16th, 2018

The Port of Oakland had its busiest peak season ever for imports during the past three months. The Port said today that it handled the equivalent of 250,686 loaded 20-foot import containers from August through October, the traditional highwater mark for container shipping. That broke the old peak season import record of 233,825 containers set in the summer and fall of 2017.

The Port attributed the increase in cargo volume to strong U.S. consumer spending. It added that U.S. shippers accelerated cargo growth by rushing imports into the U.S. ahead of a new round of tariffs to be imposed on Chinese goods. The twin influences supercharged peak season, which is the time of year when U.S. retailers build inventories for holiday merchandising.

“We’re pleased by our peak season figures,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “Now we’ll see how tariffs affect future trade flows.”

The Port handled 82,397 loaded 20-foot import containers last month, making it the busiest October in the Port’s 91-year history. That figure was a 7.4 percent increase over October 2017 volume.

Total volume—imports, exports and empty containers—was up 3.9 percent through the first 10 months of 2018, the Port said. If the trend continues, Oakland would set a new cargo volume record for the third straight year.

About the Port of Oakland
The Port of Oakland oversees the Oakland Seaport, Oakland International Airport, and nearly 20 miles of waterfront including Jack London Square. The Port's 5-year strategic plan - Growth with Care - pairs business expansion with community benefits, envisioning more jobs and economic stimulus as the Port grows. Together with its business partners, the Port supports more than 73,000 jobs in the region and nearly 827,000 jobs across the United States. Connect with the Port of Oakland and Oakland International Airport through Facebook, or with the Port on Twitter, YouTube, and at www.portofoakland.com.

Port of Oakland, press release