OAKLAND (CBS SF) – Lower foreign and domestic consumer demand stemming from the novel coronavirus health emergency resulted in a 12.7 percent drop in freight traffic through the Port of Oakland in May compared to the same time a year ago.

“Since March, the port has seen indications of more significant cargo declines, so the May results are not unexpected,” said Port of Oakland Acting Maritime Director Delphine Prevost. “Ocean carriers have been reducing the number of vessels in service in anticipation of expected declines in import demand. It’s created challenges for exporters who are seeing less predictable vessel schedules and facing issues with finding capacity for their exports.”

The Port said May 2020 loaded import volume was down by 14.6 percent from May 2019 and loaded exports by 10.7 percent. The return of empty containers to Asia decreased 28 percent.

Total cargo volume fell by 16.8 percent.

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