Friday, January 15, 2010

Port of Oakland sees first upsurge of year

Port of Oakland sees first upsurge of year

San Francisco Business Times - by Eric Young

Oakland’s port ended a punishing 2009 with an upsurge of imports during December, breaking a streak of monthly declines.

The port, the nation’s fifth largest, said it handled 17.9 percent more imported cargo containers last December than the same month a year ago. That contrasts with 11 consecutive months of declines in imported cargo shipments.

The overall number of cargo containers handled at Oakland’s port in 2009 were 2,051,172. That is an 8.2 percent decrease in overall volume compared to 2008.

The port set a record for cargo shipments in 2006 with 2,391,745 containers handled that year.

Hit hard by the global recession, the port has had to cut back on expenses as revenues declined the past two years. Port officials laid off workers and slowed capital expenditures in 2009 for the second straight year. Port officials said they needed to cut operating expenses by $10 million to balance its estimated $280 million budget, which covers the Port of Oakland’s maritime, aviation and commercial real estate divisions.

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