STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) — As container ships pile up at ports in Oakland, Long Beach and across the state, bulk ships pass freely at the Port of Stockton.
Public affairs director Jeffery Wingfield said the port saw record numbers in June.
“This is the busiest that it has been in the history of the port,” Wingfield told FOX40. “We’re starting to see the business pick up quite a bit.”
The blockade of ships at bigger ports means more business for them.
“We focus mainly on anything that doesn’t conveniently fit into a container,” Wingfield explained.
He said while the Port of Stockton doesn’t take container ships, some companies are now pulling their product from containers and onto bulk carriers to reroute to smaller ports that aren’t backed up.
“We’re starting to see a lot of interest in animal feed, steel products and other things that potentially could go into containers, but now they’re trying to take them out and utilize ports like Stockton,” Wingfield told FOX40.
Port officials say they have the capacity to accept even more ships. Calls for new business have gone from roughly five per week to five or more per day.
“We’ve been focused a lot on infrastructure projects to alleviate any pinch points and keep cargo moving freely,” Wingfield said.
Wingfield said the port usually moves about 4 million metric tons of cargo per year. This year, that number will be closer to 5 million.
He said what’s good for the port is good for the local economy.
“We’re the fourth busiest port in California,” Wingfield said. “That’s more cargo, that’s more jobs, more economic impact and value to the city of Stockton and the region.”