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May 15, 2017

Oakland's container volume up with fewer but larger ships docking in April

A shipping industry trend toward bigger, more efficient container vessels is paying off at the Port of Oakland. The Port announced that 2017 container volume through April was up 2.8 percent over last year. At the same time, the Port said that the number of vessels arriving here was down 5.6 percent.

The upshot: fewer but larger ships are carrying more cargo to Oakland, easing dock crowding while reducing vessel emissions. "Shipping lines have moved to larger vessels to consolidate cargo and cut costs," explained Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. "We're the beneficiaries because we can handle volume growth efficiently and sustainably."

The Port said 539 ships visited Oakland in the first four months of 2017. That compared to 571 calls during the same period a year ago. The reduction meant fewer diesel emissions from ships heading in or out of Port. It also meant less clamoring for berthing space, which is in high demand at Oakland.

The Port said the average-size vessel visiting Oakland has the capacity to carry more than 8,000 20-foot containers. The average was closer to 5,000 just three years ago. Ships with capacity for 14,000 containers - the largest in North America - call Oakland weekly, the Port said.

The Port said 2017 containerized import volume in Oakland increased 3.5 percent through April. Export volume was up 3 percent.

Source: Port of Oakland