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Rail News: Intermodal

Port of Oakland set peak-season import record

Higher consumer spending drove up the port's import container volume.
Photo – Port of Oakland


The Port of Oakland handled 250,686 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in the third quarter, breaking its peak-season import record of 233,825 TEUs set in 2017.

The August-to-October period is traditionally the busiest for container shipping, port officials said in a press release. They attributed the jump in import container volume to strong U.S. consumer spending.

“U.S. shippers accelerated cargo growth by rushing imports into the United States ahead of a new round of tariffs to be imposed on Chinese goods,” port officials said. “The twin influences supercharged the peak season, which is the time of year when U.S. retailers build inventories for holiday merchandising.”

In October, the Northern California port handled 82,397 TEUs, marking the highest October import volume in its 91-year history. On a year-over-year basis, imports climbed 7.4 percent. BNSF Railway Co. and Union Pacific Railroad serve the port.

Through 2018’s first 10 months, the port’s total volume — imports, exports and empty containers — rose 3.9 percent compared with the same 2017 period.

“If the trend continues, [we] would set a new cargo volume record for the third straight year,” port officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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