Cargo volume at California’s Port of Oakland reached an all-time high in the first quarter as a “nonstop trade surge” pushed both imports and exports into record territory, the port said today.
Containerized trade from January through March equaled 631,119 twenty foot equivalent units (TEUs), topping the port’s previous record of 612,151 set in the first quarter of 2019.
The surge comes from unprecedented activity levels in trade between the U.S. and Asia, with no sign that the activity will slow down, Port Maritime Director Bryan Brandes said in a release. “Based on the evidence, we expect the trend line to keep going up.”
The court’s booming business in boxes is driven by a jump in consumer spending as a coronavirus-weary public indulges in "retail therapy” spending to counter the frustration of lockdowns, the port said. To keep up with that demand, manufacturers and retailers are rushing to replenish warehouse inventories with goods sourced in Asia.
Looking further into the future, port leaders cited three variables that point to continued trade growth: