Containerized meat shipments moving through the Port of Oakland have increased by almost 27% over the past four years, according to data released by the port.
The port exported the equivalent of 60,000 TEUs of fresh and frozen meat products during 2017, consisting primarily of beef, pork and poultry. The volume represented a 24% percent growth compared to 2013.
Meanwhile, Oakland imported about 6,000 TEUs of meat last year, a 64% increase over 2013.
“We’re benefitting from a number of positive influences,” said John Driscoll, maritime director of the Port of Oakland. “Asian demand for US agriculture is soaring, American growers continue to improve productivity and the Port of Oakland is in the sweet spot: on the edge of the Pacific Rim and adjacent to California farm country.”
Containerized meat shipments at the port in 2017 amounted to a value of more than US$8 billion. Two-thirds of all meat exports went to Japan, with South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan being the other major export markets. Meat imports mainly came from Australia and New Zealand.
The port attributed the growth to overall strength in the agricultural produce market. Agricultural shipments moving through Oakland have increased nearly 43% between 2013 and 2017, with fruits and vegetables having risen by 36%.
Meat shipments are expected to grow further from September 2018, when the 283,000-square-foot Cool Port Oakland is scheduled to open with the capability to handle up to 50,000 containers of beef, pork and poultry annually, according to the port.