Trade Expansion: Port Everglades, Oakland
First Cuba to U.S. Cargo Shipment Arrives at Port Everglades
The first commercial shipment from a Cuban cooperative to a private U.S. business in more than 50 years – two container loads of artisanal charcoal – arrived January 24 at Port Everglades aboard Crowley Maritime’s K Storm
The import shipment followed 15 years of Crowley’s liner and logistics teams operating within the framework of regulations of both the U.S. and Cuban governments to transport U.S. exports to the island. Crowley was the first U.S. carrier to obtain a license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Department of the Treasury to provide regularly scheduled common carrier services for licensed cargo from the United States to the Republic of Cuba.
Crowley launched its Cuba service in December 2001, becoming the first U.S. carrier to re-enter Cuba in nearly 40 years, and has maintained a regularly scheduled service ever since, currently operating from Port Everglades in Florida. Cargos have included frozen poultry and other foodstuffs, as well as equipment for sporting events, concerts, and other major projects.
Port of Oakland Trade Transformed by California Growers
Rising Asian demand for California farm products has sent agricultural exports soaring at the Port of Oakland, up 233 percent in the past five years.
"Agricultural commodities now account for 53 percent of our total export tonnage," according to Beth Frisher, the port’ business development manager. "And California growers are producing the lion’s share of that amount."
In 2016, farm exports shipped from Oakland totaled 3.9 million metric tons. That was up from 1.2 million metric tons in 2012. California producers supplied 70 percent of the port’s agricultural exports last year.
Ms. Frisher attributes the upturn to:
- Rising demand for high-quality U.S. farm products from Asia’s middle class
- Oakland’s status as the last West Coast port of call before ships head back to Asia, cutting days at sea and increasing product shelf life
- Oakland’s proximity to growers in the Sacramento, San Joaquin, Salinas and Napa valleys who export to Asia
Fruits and nuts are Oakland’s leading agricultural commodity exports, followed by meats, and beverages and spirits (including California wines). Japan, China and South Korea are the top overseas destinations.
Oakland report exports overall increased 10.5 percent in 2016 and accounted for 53 percent of the port’s containerized cargo volume.
Ms. Frisher foresees 2017 as another year of export growth – especially for agricultural commodities. Heavy rains this winter have eased five years of drought, she said. The result should be bountiful harvests next fall.