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Port of Oakland container volumes end 2020 down 1.6% from 2019

New York — Container throughput at the Port of Oakland, California, in 2020 fell 1.6% from 2019 after a slump in trade during the second quarter, but import growth remained strong in December, the port said Jan. 13.

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Total volumes at the Northern California port were 2.46 million twenty-foot equivalent units in 2020, a slight drop from 2.5 million TEUs in 2019, the port said in a statement. Volumes in December were up by 7.4% year on year as heavy congestion at Southern California ports delayed some import cargoes on rotation up the US West Coast in November.

"We anticipated that some of November's cargo would spill into December," Port Maritime Director Bryan Brandes said. "The port's growing import volume in 2020 is a trend that began in June and it remains to be seen how long this trend will continue."

Total imports volumes in December were 105,294 TEUs, up by 10% from the same month last year. Total exports were up by 4.8% year on year to 103,048 TEUs.

The port said it attributed the import growth to an e-commerce boom as Bay Area residents continued to shop online instead of spending money on travel, services and social events.

Platts Container Rate 13 – North Asia to West Coast North America – assessed Jan. 13 at $4,500/FEU, up from $1,550/FEU on the year-ago date.