Lazy cargo volumes ticked up in April at South Carolina Ports and The Port of Oakland, showing a rise over the previous month as maritime cargo sites seek a recovery from the slump that followed a pandemic sprint for goods.
In April, South Carolina Ports moved 214,101 twenty-foot-equivalent container units (TEUs). While volumes are down 19% year-over-year as consumers continue to buy fewer goods compared to last year’s massive import boom, volumes trended up 11% month-over-month.
Likewise, SC Ports have handled 2.18 million TEUs thus far in fiscal year 2023, showing a drop in fiscal year volumes of about 9% from the same time a year prior.
The facility says it has been improving container operations in order to keep up with the growth of port-dependent businesses such as retail importers and advanced manufacturers, that are investing billions to establish and expand operations in South Carolina. “To support future growth, we are actively investing to increase our rail competitiveness by building a near-port intermodal hub that will further enhance fluidity for our customers,” SC Ports President and CEO Barbara Melvin said in a release.
The Port of Oakland reported a similar trend, saying that it handled the equivalent of 174,482 TEUs last month compared to 170,268 TEUs in March, marking its second monthly rise in a row despite a drop from last year’s pandemic-inflated peak.
Of that total, Oakland’s full TEUs dropped 11.2% compared to April 2022 with 133,333 units passing through the port this April. That included a drop of 16.8% for loaded imports and a dip of 3.9% for loaded exports. In comparison, empty exports rose 21.6% and empty imports declined 8.9%.
“Given the increase we’ve seen in business over the last couple of months, we are optimistic about a stronger second half of 2023 for the amount of cargo moving through Oakland,” Port of Oakland Maritime Director Bryan Brandes said in a release. “We also anticipate increasing the number of ocean carrier services offered at the Port of Oakland in the coming months.”