The Port of Hueneme, California, realized the best cargo year it its 76 year history announcing all-time increases in import/export trade.
The total tonnage for FY 2012-2013 jumped to 1,438,596 metric tons representing a 9.2% increase over FY 2011-2012, and a 2.8% increase over the Port’s previous record of 1,399,670 metric tons set in FY 2005-2006. This represents a continuing path to economic recovery bringing the Port beyond trade levels realized prior to the economic downturn.
Port Commission President Jason Hodge comments on the rising figures, “The success of the Port ties directly to our community and strategic partners. Together we are creating jobs and building a bright future for the citizens of the Port, community and region.”
The growth in freight activity was seen in the Port of Hueneme’s niche markets of automobiles, high and heavy cargo, fresh produce, fertilizer, and domestic commodities (fish and petroleum products). Automobile imports shot up 12.2% over last fiscal year while exports held steady at a 1.2% growth. A portion of this increase is attributed to additional imports from Hyundai and Kia. A large fraction of the export increase was driven by more foreign manufacturers (Honda and Toyota) operating from new facilities within the United States and sending their autos to the Asian market. The one millionth U.S. manufactured Honda was exported through the Port last December.
BMW realized a significant jump in the automobile trade recording a robust 35% increase in imports. According to Al Cardona, National VDC Manager at BMW, “BMW’s overall processing volume through the Oxnard Vehicle Distribution Center has increased over the same period last year and the same trend is expected to continue for the remainder of the year.”
According to Michael Wynn, Global Auto Processing Services (GAPS), Senior Executive Vice President, “Our export volumes to China were down marginally, however with the new Honda export business to South Korea and the new Cadillac ATS going to China the second half of this year promises to see export volumes grow. In the meantime, our import volumes continue to rise and overall levels continue to head in the right direction."
Shallow draft cargo (fish, lube oil, and vessel fuel) increased 6.6% for the year. Offshore domestic oil trade saw a modest 1.1% decrease.
Port Director Kristin Decas remarks on core reasons for growth: “This year’s cargo performance sets a significant new milestone for the Port, a record driven by our customers and business development teams. We commit to continued partnerships and strategic planning to maximize the social and economic benefit the Port brings to our community and industries served.”