SHANGHAI : China’s zero-tolerance in the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown in Shanghai have affected the Port of Oakland in the United States, which has seen a 7% reduction in its box volumes in April, compared to the same month last year.
In particular, the port’s containerised import loads fell 17% last month, while exports sagged 18%. The decline is largely due to the closure of factories and ports in China, Oakland’s largest trade partner.
According to the Port of Oakland, the disturbance in the port of Shanghai is delaying the import shipments to the US and that wreaks havoc on ocean carrier scheduling. “US exports have been hampered by vessel schedules thrown into disarray in China,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director, Bryan Brandes, who admitted that “most of Oakland’s business depends on the Asia-US Trade Route”.
Apart from China, the cargo flow in Oakland has been affected by additional factors, such as the reduction of the number of ships stopping in the Californian port. At the same time, importers are slow to retrieve shipments, and as a result, there are crowding container yards and slowing cargo discharge from ships. Additionally, there is container shortage and it is making the loading of export shipments a hard challenge.
However, the port seems to remain positive, as it believes that perhaps the relief of the supply chain is on the way. “Proof of this could be the fact that cargo activity in Shanghai has recently increased,” noted a port official.
Furthermore, the port is in talks with shipping lines about increasing the number of Oakland vessel calls.