Officials at the Port of Oakland, Calif., are calling on shipping lines to route more to the port in the middle of supply chain crises elsewhere. The port says its marine terminals are congestion-free and is urging the restoration of shipping services that have bypassed Oakland since summer.
“There’s no congestion at the Oakland seaport, and we’re ready for more business,” said Port of Oakland maritime director Bryan Brandes, yesterday. “We need ocean carriers to reinstate services in order to stabilize the supply chain, and our import and export partners echo this sentiment.”
The port says containerized cargo volume is up 4.2 percent in 2021 but insists there’s capacity for more. That’s in contrast to Southern California ports where up to 70 ships daily wait at anchor for berth space. The port said it hasn’t experienced vessel backlogs since August.
Oakland’s call for cargo comes as the U.S. struggles to remedy supply chain gridlock, with ports on the west, gulf and east coasts experiencing major delays in moving cargo.
Oakland said shipping lines can help ease the gridlock by steering ships back to Oakland. Several ocean carriers omitted Oakland in recent months, the port said. It explained that excessive Southern California delays necessitated immediate return of some ships to Asia without stopping in Oakland.
According to the port, 54 vessels stopped in Oakland last month. It was the lowest vessel call total since 2015, the port said. As a result, September import volume declined 13 percent from September 2020, the Port said. Exports were down 18 percent.
The port says it expects service restoration to begin next month as supply chain congestion grinds on elsewhere and that vessels would find clear sailing to berth without gridlock. It adds that import cargo would be available for pick-up within days of discharge from ships.
“We should see vessel calls and cargo volume recover in October and November,” says Brandes. “We have capacity in Oakland that needs to be put to use to help shore up the supply chain and support our economy.”