OAKLAND (BCN) – A fourth shipping company this year has decided to make the port of Oakland its first stop after leaving Asia, port officials said Thursday.
The world’s second largest carrier Mediterranean Shipping Company begins to rise weekly from Oakland to ports in Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and Singapore starting on 6 November.
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Port officials said the MSC’s decision is important because, among other things, it allows Oakland to grow its thriving import traffic.
Port officials are excited about the new service because Southeast Asia is an “important, growing market,” said Port Maritime Director Bryan Brandes.
“We are also pleased that shipping continues to recognize Oakland’s role in world trade by adding more and more capacity,” Brandes said.
Other shipping companies that added first stops in Oakland this year are CMA CGM, Matson and Wan Hai Lines, according to port officials.
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Most US import cargo, which is usually time-sensitive, is unloaded at first ports of call.
The Port of Oakland’s import volume has grown, now up to 55 percent of the total volume, thanks to rising consumer demand. Traditionally, imports have been 50 percent of the port’s total volume.
The new service offered by MSC will be welcomed by both importers and exporters of US goods, port officials said, as space on cargo ships has been limited, causing delays and increasing freight rates.
Port of Oakland officials added that another benefit of MSC’s new service is the ability of importers to avoid ports in Southern California. Ships waiting up to two weeks at a berth before heading to Oakland.
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