According to the latest announcement of a Japanese carrier alliance, Ocean Network Express (ONE), is ready to rejuvenate the port of Oakland by resuming its transpacific transportation to the US port.

Beginning on November 13, ONE will take the port of Oakland to its PS5 service again, having abandoned it in 2019. The route runs from Shanghai over Ningbo to Los Angeles and Oakland, returning to Shanghai via Tokyo. This implementation is welcomed by lots of agricultural exporters which have appealed for more capacity to Asia for a long time, according to the Agricultural Transportation Coalition.

In recent years, the port has taken most of its capacity to handle chilled and frozen perishables and also benefited from being the destination with the transpacific route, leading to shorter transit times to Asian markets.

In the first half of 2021, its beef exports have risen ~20% with an estimated value of $1.5 billion. Japan plays the biggest customer, accounting for 55%, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan took up 24% and the rest went to South Korea, which makes the port the main export gateway for US shipment to Asia. But despite the strong demand for US beef from Asia, Oakland’s exports declined by ~6% compared to the previous August. Overall, the port has reported a 14% growth in imports in the first eight months of 2021.

Ironically, the port reports there are only 68 vessel calls in August, even with a 40% slump from 12 months earlier.

According to the port officials, insufficient labour resources, severe congestion and the temporary loss of one pier as new cranes installation has contributed to the decline in cargo volumes. The situation now is much better with the piers fully operational and more dock workers recruited to boost the shipping process and the port is able to relieve some of the congestion at Los Angeles and Long Beach in the future.

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