THE Port of Oakland loaded container volume decreased 12.7 per cent in May year on year, according to data released by the port authority.
"Since March, the port has seen indications of more significant cargo declines, so the May results are not unexpected," said Port of Oakland acting maritime director Delphine Prevost.
"Ocean carriers have been reducing the number of vessels in service in anticipation of expected declines in import demand. It's created challenges for exporters who are seeing less predictable vessel schedules and facing issues with finding capacity for their exports," she said.
According to the Port, May 2020 loaded import volume dropped 14.6 per cent from May 2019. Loaded exports declined 10.7 per cent. The return of empty containers to Asia decreased 28 per cent. As a result, total cargo volume declined 16.8 per cent.
The Port pointed to lower consumer demand in domestic and foreign markets, both driven by coronavirus pandemic uncertainty, as the main reason for declining trade volume. Overall, the January-to-May 2020 cargo statistics show a 7.8 per cent decrease compared to the same time period in 2019.