Snapshots

Port of Oakland feeling the effects of the trade war

Port activity has mimicked the escalating trade tensions between the United States and China

April 16, 2019
  • Port activity has mimicked the escalating trade tensions between the United States and China. Empty container exports and full imports peaked in the months following the announcement as importers shipped empty containers to China with the intention of stockpiling goods in the US before the tariffs went into effect.
  • Although full import volumes slumped 5.0 percent year-over-year, the decrease follows a seasonal trend where activity falls during the retail low season between the holidays and summer. Additionally, the decline could be a countervailing response to the spike in import volumes last year as importers hurried to import goods ahead of the tariffs.
  • There has been no noticeable effect on real estate decision-making despite the decrease in port volumes. New development at the Port of Oakland has been booming since 2017.
  • Prologis has delivered almost 500,000 square feet between two buildings at the Oakland Global Logistics Center, and the Port completed a 266,000 square-foot cold storage facility last November. Over 460,000 square feet is currently under construction in the first phase of CenterPoint Landing. CenterPoint also has another two potential phases planned, and Prologis has a planned 190,000 square-foot warehouse to complete the Oakland Global Logistics Center. With it proximity to major transportation hubs, these warehouses are commanding some of the highest rents in the East Bay.

    Source: JLL Research, Port of Oakland

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