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Port of Oakland may get fewer ship visits but that's good

Staff Writer |
New data indicates the Port of Oakland this year may receive its second-fewest container ship visits in a decade. A Port executive called it a positive sign.

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“This is a good trend,” said Maritime Director John Driscoll. “Our cargo volume is up but with fewer ships, we reduce diesel emissions and ease berth crowding.”

The Port said that through July, 954 container ships have visited Oakland in 2017. That’s down 7.6 percent from 1,032 visits at the same time last year.

If the trend persists, vessel calls for the full year would total about 1,650. That would be about 100 fewer ships than Oakland received last year.

The Port said 100 fewer ship calls should result in reduced diesel particulate emissions in Oakland.

It should also ease demand for berthing space at the Port’s marine terminals. With less vessel traffic, there’s little need for ships to idle in San Francisco Bay waiting for berths.

Vessel calls in Oakland have declined 15 percent since 2007, the Port said. The low point was 2015 when 1,433 ships visited.

Despite fewer vessel calls, the Port said loaded container volume is up 2 percent in 2017.

If that pace holds, Oakland could set a cargo record for the second straight year.

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