The Port attributed the uptick in imports to retailers accelerating shipments to the U.S. in light of:

  • Cargo-carrying capacity that dwindles each month as shipping lines continue to cancel voyages;
  • An anticipated rise in freight rates.

Oakland’s overall container volume – which includes imports, exports and empty containers - fell 2.3% in June from 2019 totals. The Port handled the equivalent of 199,011 twenty-foot containers in June 2020 compared to 203,730 a year ago.

The Port said the cargo decrease resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic that continues to dampen global trade.

According to the Port, June export volume declined 5.7%. The Port said that the weakening export performance was likely due to reduced consumer demand in foreign markets caused by COVID-19 disruptions.

Additionally, China instituted new restrictions on wastepaper exports from the US which further dampened export volumes. The return of empty containers to origins in Asia decreased 14.5%.