Volume Declines at Port of Oakland Amidst China COVID Shutdowns
OAKLAND, CA - Crucial updates on the global supply chain have been brought to light as officials with the Port of Oakland have reported a 7 percent decline in total cargo volume through April 2022. According to authorities, this decrease is a result of China’s COVID lockdown and its ripple effect on ocean carrier scheduling.
"United States exports have been hampered by vessel schedules thrown into disarray in China," said Port of Oakland Maritime Director Bryan Brandes to NBC Bay Area. "Most of Oakland's business depends on the Asia-U.S. trade route."
As noted by the source, officials attribute a majority of the decline to the COVID crackdowns in China, Oakland’s largest trade partner, forcing factory and port shutdowns. Disruption at the world’s busiest port in Shanghai has delayed U.S.-bound imports and created pressures for ocean carrier scheduling.
Other factors currently impacting cargo flow also include a decrease in the number of ships stopping in Oakland and importers being slow to retrieve shipments, causing crowded yards, slowing cargo discharges, and container shortages, which has made it harder to load export shipments.
In April, the containerized import load declined 17 percent, and exports dropped 18 percent.
According to the source, officials anticipate cargo operations to pick up as vessel schedules normalize, but as these challenges persist, retailers should likely factor in more time for receiving goods based on the shipping delays caused by COVID.
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