Over the course of 2013, American Shipper
will bring you a view of six containerized import regions in the United States based on data supplied by the trade intelligence firm Zepol Corp.
The regions to be profiled bimonthly are the Pacific Southwest, Bay Area, Pacific Northwest, Gulf Coast, South Atlantic, and North Atlantic. The reports will include a picture of those regions biggest imports by liner carriers, non-vessel-operating common carriers (NVOs), origin country, and product type. The figures are calculated on the most recent 12-month period.
In this installment, we’ll examine the Bay Area region, and more specifically, the Port of Oakland.
Oakland is the fifth busiest port in the nation in terms of container volume, and is particularly a key gateway for U.S. agricultural exports. This analysis, however, only examines import volume. Oakland enjoys an advantage over some other major U.S. ports in that it is the single choice in the region, whereas most ports compete more intensely with other regional ports for business. The figures provided are from April 2012 through March 2013, unless state otherwise.
Oakland saw its collective inbound volume fall 2 percent from 2011 to 2012 to 764,569 TEUs. In the most recent 12-month period, Oakland’s volume was slightly lower still at 762,979 TEUs. Import volume in February much higher in 2013 than the same month in 2012, but was 14.7 percent down in March. Those discrepancies are largely due to the placement of the Lunar New Year this year versus 2012.
The top five liner carriers into Oakland were Evergreen Line, Mediterranean Shipping Co., APL, Hanjin Shipping, and Hapag Lloyd. Evergreen’s share of total Oakland inbound volume was 12.9 percent, followed by MSC at 9.8 percent, and APL at 9.1 percent.
The three largest NVOs serving Oakland are Apex Shipping (with a 4.5 percent share of total inbound volume), Blue Anchor Line (2.7 percent), and Orient Express Container (2.3 percent). Apex’s volume puts it near the 10th largest liner carrier into Oakland, MOL, which had 39,433 TEUs of inbound volume over the last 12 months.
About 51 percent of Oakland’s imports over the last year originated in China. That compares to 62 percent of volume into the Southern California port
The next four biggest origins (Taiwan, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and Thailand) provided between 4.7 percent and 3.1 percent, indicating that the other half of Oakland’s volume is quite fragmented and diversified.