The Port of Oakland handled 87,207 teu in June, an increase of 8.7% year-on-year and a new monthly record for the US facility.
The Port attributed the performance to the peak season – most Asian imports are shipped in the summer-autumn period – and also to the possibility of importers ordering aggressively ahead of the tariffs that were imposed this month by the US and China.
The port said it was too early to project the impact of the tariff increases, but said they would have affected around US$225m of Chinese imports had they been in place last year.
John Driscoll, Port of Oakland maritime director, said: “Retailers have been forecasting a good peak season for containerized imports, so June’s numbers weren’t surprising. But there’s uncertainty over the international trade picture, so we’re taking a wait-and-see approach.”
US President Donald Trump has implemented a 25% levy on US$34bn worth of Chinese goods, and tariffs on an additional US$16bn worth of goods are currently being prepared.
Total container volumes for the year are up by 2.3% at Oakland, and the port is has forecast 2-3% growth in 2018.
Exports were down 1.8% in the first six month of 2018, and were down by 4.7% in June. The port attributed this fall to the strong US dollar which makes goods costlier overseas.
The monthly record throughput beat the previous record of 84,835 teu, which was set last July.