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Port of Oakland seeks to recover lost shipping services

Appealing to shippers looking for an alternative to Southern California’s jammed-up gateway, the Port of Oakland is winning back ocean carrier services that moved away in recent months.

In the coming weeks, French container shipping line CMA CGM SA is resuming a weekly service from China to Oakland and Switzerland-based Mediterranean Shipping Co. is launching an Oakland route to Southeast Asia. These follow two routes added in July and August by Honolulu-based Matson Inc. and Taipei-based Wan Hai Lines Ltd.

These first-call services, in which ships arriving from Asia make their first stop at Oakland, avoiding delays at other ports, restore some of the operations Oakland lost after backlogs arose earlier this year. The backlogs pushed container lines to other ports and contributed to bottlenecks at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Oakland’s struggles to maintain its oceangoing services this year highlight the difficulties facing the maritime sector and shippers. While several ports are severely congested, with Los Angeles and Long Beach showing the steepest backups, others are more lightly used as carriers eliminate calls at some ports and concentrate services to handle their operations more efficiently.


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