Slowing container traffic at the Port of Oakland in November is giving the busy container facility a chance to ease its port congestion problems, executives said today.
Both full imports (-17.4%) and full exports (-12.3%) were down compared to November 2021, as well as below October 2022 volumes. In all, the port’s total loaded container volume declined 15% in contrast to November 2021, recording 131,929 loaded twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs).
The report is the latest sign that global container flows are slowing down and congestion is easing at U.S. ports. For example, the 10 largest U.S. ports likewise saw a 5.5% drop in inbound container volume in September. But those changes are also triggering mild backups and delays at container storage depots and other facilities as freight patterns change.
With the weakening of demand, ocean rates continue to drop, sailings continue to be canceled, and the introduction of new services has been postponed, the Port of Oakland said. As a result, the wait-time for berths is less than earlier this year, so ships are spending less time at Port of Oakland facilities and terminal yards are beginning to shed extra containers from their yards.
“This decline is not unexpected,” Port of Oakland Maritime Director Bryan Brandes said in a release. “Despite October gains, long-term indicators continue to predict a decline in demand for goods. The good news is that the reduction of incoming containers has allowed us to begin alleviating congestion at port facilities, increasing efficiencies in port operations.”