Thursday , 22 August 2019
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Port of Oakland warns about tariff uncertainty

Tariffs are squeezing customers who ship through the Port of Oakland according to its maritime director John Driscoll.

Fallout from an ongoing US-China trade war could include reductions in containerised cargo volume, he told the port’s Efficiency Task Force.

Driscoll said: “Our customers are impacted by tariffs. We’re hoping we can get through this period because we believe the future can be bright.”

Cargo volume at the US West Coast port is actually up this year by 4.6%, with China accounting for roughly 38% of Oakland’s business.

However, the inference is that tariff increases on US-China trade could stymie further growth.

Driscoll added: “We thought our numbers would go down because of the trade war. It could still happen, but it hasn’t so far.”

The Port executive said that potential Trump Administration tariffs against Mexico would have negligible impact in Oakland.  The port does little business there, he explained.