Officials at the Port of Oakland on Tuesday announced record-setting import and export volumes for the month of March.
The equivalent of 97,538 20-foot shipping containers were imported through the port in March — a 45 percent increase from the same period in 2020, according to port officials.
Also in March, the equivalent of 94,169 20-foot containers were shipped out with U.S goods bound for other markets.
Both import and export totals set single-month records at the 94-year-old port and officials expect volumes to remain high in the near term.
“Ships are full, ocean freight rates are sky high and the need for empty containers to ship more cargo is never-ending,” Port of Oakland Maritime Director Bryan Brandes said in a news release. “We just don’t see conditions easing in the next several months.”
Overall, for the first three months of 2021, the port has seen a 9 percent increase in total volume and Oakland port officials noted that the “cargo boom” is happening at ports all over the world.
Oakland’s gains are attributed to “pandemic-weary” people buying overseas goods as a form of “retail therapy,” retailers and manufacturers replenishing inventories and U.S. exporters, especially farmers, continuing to meet overseas demand for American products, according to port officials.