• DATVF.ATLPHL
    1.712
    -0.101
    -5.6%
  • DATVF.CHIATL
    2.073
    0.027
    1.3%
  • DATVF.DALLAX
    0.990
    0.045
    4.8%
  • DATVF.LAXDAL
    1.500
    0.084
    5.9%
  • DATVF.SEALAX
    0.982
    -0.030
    -3%
  • DATVF.PHLCHI
    1.154
    0.085
    8%
  • DATVF.LAXSEA
    2.136
    0.044
    2.1%
  • DATVF.VEU
    1.646
    0.003
    0.2%
  • DATVF.VNU
    1.483
    0.024
    1.6%
  • DATVF.VSU
    1.245
    0.064
    5.4%
  • DATVF.VWU
    1.559
    0.007
    0.5%
  • ITVI.USA
    9,370.690
    -10.770
    -0.1%
  • OTRI.USA
    7.400
    -0.170
    -2.2%
  • OTVI.USA
    9,360.730
    -4.720
    -0.1%
  • TLT.USA
    2.750
    -0.010
    -0.4%
  • WAIT.USA
    156.000
    -2.000
    -1.3%
  • DATVF.ATLPHL
    1.712
    -0.101
    -5.6%
  • DATVF.CHIATL
    2.073
    0.027
    1.3%
  • DATVF.DALLAX
    0.990
    0.045
    4.8%
  • DATVF.LAXDAL
    1.500
    0.084
    5.9%
  • DATVF.SEALAX
    0.982
    -0.030
    -3%
  • DATVF.PHLCHI
    1.154
    0.085
    8%
  • DATVF.LAXSEA
    2.136
    0.044
    2.1%
  • DATVF.VEU
    1.646
    0.003
    0.2%
  • DATVF.VNU
    1.483
    0.024
    1.6%
  • DATVF.VSU
    1.245
    0.064
    5.4%
  • DATVF.VWU
    1.559
    0.007
    0.5%
  • ITVI.USA
    9,370.690
    -10.770
    -0.1%
  • OTRI.USA
    7.400
    -0.170
    -2.2%
  • OTVI.USA
    9,360.730
    -4.720
    -0.1%
  • TLT.USA
    2.750
    -0.010
    -0.4%
  • WAIT.USA
    156.000
    -2.000
    -1.3%
American Shipper

Export container volumes diverge at Long Beach, Oakland

Exports helped drive record throughput in September at the Port of Long Beach, but were the main reason the Port of Oakland experienced a 4.8 percent drop in container volumes.

   Exports helped drive record throughput for the month of September at the Port of Long Beach, but were the main reason the Port of Oakland experienced a 4.8 percent drop in container volume the same month.
   Long Beach terminals handled 655,624 TEUs of cargo, with export cargo up 6.1 percent to 125,639 TEUs. The volume of empty containers grew 14.6 percent to 197,076 TEUs, while imports actually dipped 1.9 percent compared to September 2014 – a sign that many retailers pre-built inventories ahead of the peak shipping season for Halloween and the end-of-year holidays.
   Further up the coast in Oakland, where exports represent more than half of the port’s activity, outbound cargo fell 12.6 percent to 69,424 TEUs. The port authority attributed the decline to the strong dollar, which has made U.S. goods more expensive for foreign buyers, and the economic slowdown in China, which has further curbed demand for U.S. products.
   The difference in export performance between the two ports might be explained by the mix of services and commodities, as well as their relative dependence on China, according to James Brennan, a partner at Norbridge, Inc., a Concord, Mass.-based transportation consultancy.
   Long Beach has a greater geographic coverage with carriers that call there and more frequent services that exporters could find desirable, said Brennan. More of Oakland’s exports might be China-centric, which would disproportionately hurt its volume given the state of the Chinese economy, he speculated.
   The export variance could also be related to specific types of commodities that tend to flow through each port, which could only be determined through a detailed analysis of commodity trends.
   Long Beach has more than double the product diversity of Oakland, according to data provided by trade research firm Zepol. Oakland is also a larger exporter of almonds, which have suffered from severe drought conditions in California. Crop yields are down and almonds are more expensive, and Oakland’s exports of almonds are down 10 percent by weight in August compared to a year earlier.
    Meanwhile, the Port of Long Beach also reported the best third quarter in its history with more than 2 million TEUs moving across its docks, an increase of 14.8 percent over the same period a year ago.
   Port officials attributed the increase to the recovery from the labor disruption at the beginning of the year and the return of some cargo that had been diverted to other ports. 
   Through the first nine months of the year, Long Beach has seen a 5.2 percent increase in cargo volumes, putting the port on track to exceed 7 million TEUs for the third time in its 104-year history and the first time since 2007. Imports and exports were both up about 10.5 percent in the third quarter, compared with the same three months in 2014.
   Oakland port officials are also touting seven consecutive months of import growth. The Port of Oakland handled 1.6 percent more containerized imports last month than in September 2014. This follows year-over-year increases of 8.7 percent and 15.1 percent in July and August. Through the first nine months import totals are even with last year, erasing a huge decline in January and February caused by the slowdown over the longshoremen’s labor contract.
   Overall, the port processed 197,485 TEUs in September. Year-to-date, box cargoes are down 4.8 percent to 1.7 million TEUs, with imports flat and exports down 12.7 percent.

Show More
Close