OAKLAND, Calif. – The Port of Oakland has introduced another new Asia-West Coast vessel service. Taiwan-based Wan Hai Lines launched its weekly AA5 Service here last month. The route links three ports in China and one in Taiwan with the Ports of Oakland and Seattle.
Wan Hai’s move marks the second new service at the Port of Oakland in the past three months. French carrier CMA CGM introduced a weekly service in February that includes an Oakland first call, meaning CMA ships on that service make Oakland its first stop in the United States.
Wan Hai’s new service stops at the ports of Kaohsiung, Shanghai, Ningbo and Yantian. Its ships make Seattle their first U.S. stop, then returning to Asia after visiting Oakland.
The Port said Wan Hai chose Oakland for three reasons:
With Oakland’s port volume up 9% this year, cargo owners increasingly want their containers shipped through Oakland.
The port is the nearest cargo gateway for e-commerce distribution centers springing up in Northern California.
Oakland has ready access to two Class I railroads, making distribution of goods to-and-from the U.S. Midwest convenient for cargo owners.
According to the Port, the new service from Wan Hai should add to Oakland’s growing business in containerized imports. Oakland reported a 45% jump in import volume last month, compared with April 2020, and projects continued strong volume through most of 2021. Port of Oakland’s containerized trade volume reached record levels in the first quarter of 2021, with total volume from January through March equaling 631,119 twenty-foot containers. That topped the Port’s previous record of 612,151 set in first-quarter 2019.
The new service also should benefit exporters shipping cargo from Oakland. Oakland will be the last U.S. stop for Wan Hai vessels headed back to Asia, so exports will spend less time on the water if they’re loaded in Oakland.
“We’re gratified with these new services because they reflect growing recognition that Oakland is an essential trade gateway,” said Port Maritime Director Bryan Brandes. “This means more business for the port and more jobs here connected to the shipping industry.”