OAKLAND, Calif. (KCBS) _ More and more ships are offloading at the Port of Oakland and officials hope that signals a partial recovery from one of the shipping industry’s worst years.

Port spokeswoman Marilyn Sandifur said they’ve seen a 13 percent increase in imports and exports this year.

“When we look at the numbers a little more deeply, we see that imports have risen the first half of the year about 16 percent compared to the first half of last year,” she said. “We see that we’re having some recovery.”

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Sandifur said the maritime industry as a whole suffered one of its worst years in 2009, with 20 major cargo carriers reporting losses of $20 billion.

But increased cargo traffic is churning up economic waters in the Bay Area.

“When cargo moves through the Port of Oakland, that really translates to jobs on the ground,” said Sandifur. “It’s not only just dock workers, but warehouse managers and retail employees at stores.”

Sandifur said it’s too early to say if the second half of 2010 will be as good or better than the first half at the Port of Oakland.


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