Amid reports of heavy congestion at major ports around the world, the authorities at the ‘congestion-free’ Port of Oakland are calling on shipping lines globally, to route more cargo through the Bay Area port.
The Port of Oakland Maritime Director Bryan Brandes said, “There’s no congestion at the Oakland seaport, and we’re ready for more business. We need ocean carriers to reinstate services in order to stabilize the supply chain, and our import and export partners echo this sentiment.”
Several shipping companies including German shipping giant Hapag-Lloyd has omitted the Port of Oakland, since the past summer, citing congestion delays, labor shortages and the temporary loss of one of the three piers of the port, due to the installation of new post-panamax cranes.
A minor increase of 4.2% was witnessed in containerized cargo volumes of the port, so far in 2021, as the port announced that it now has spare capacity for ships, and that there have been no vessel backlogs since August, 2021.
Last month, the port witnessed the lowest vessel calls since 2015, as just 54 vessels called at the port. Owing to which, a 13% and 18% decline in import and export volumes respectively was witnessed in September, 2021, as compared to that of the same period, a year back (2020), revealed the Port of Oakland.
The port believes that shipping lines can hep easing the gridlock elsewhere, by steering the vessels back to the port, while “import cargo would be available for pick-up within days of discharge from ships,” said the port.
Brandes further added, “We should see vessel calls and cargo volume recover in October and November. We have capacity in Oakland that needs to be put to use to help shore up the supply chain and support our economy.”
Japan-based Ocean Network Express (ONE) is also set to resume its transpacific service to the Port of Oakland in November, after it dropped the port back in 2019.
This announcement by the American port is expected to add some relief on global shipping, as the industry has hit prolonged supply chain disruptions.