The Port of Oakland said containerized inbound volume reached an all-time high of 87,207 TEUs in June. That beat the previous monthly record of 84,835 containers set last July.
The 8.7 percent increase over June 2017 might be due to either a strong peak season or importers may have ordered aggressively June ahead of tariffs imposed this month by the United States and China.
“Retailers have been forecasting a good peak season for containerized imports, so June’s numbers weren’t surprising,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “But there’s uncertainty over the international trade picture, so we’re taking a wait-and-see approach.”
The Port said it’s too soon to project the impact of 2018 tariff increases on cargo from China. It said the increases would have affected about $225 million of China imports had they been in place last year.
Containerized outbound volume in June of 71,894 TEUs was down 4.7 percent from the 75,460 recorded in June 2017. Volumes in the first half of the year are down 1.8 percent. The port
attributed the decrease to a strong U.S. dollar, which makes American
goods costlier overseas, although port officials also are concerned that retaliatory tariffs by China might affect U.S. exports, especially of agricultural products that flow through the port.
The port said that total container volume in Oakland is up 2.3 percent so far this year. That’s in line with a January port forecast calling for 2 percent to 3 percent growth in 2018.