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World's top 30 container ports' volume increases 4.7pc in first quarter

CONTAINER throughput at the world's top 30 container ports increased 4.7 per cent in the first quarter as trade volumes continued to recover from the low growth since 2012, according to an Alphaliner survey.

World's top 30 container ports' volume increases 4.7pc in first quarter
17 June 2014 - 22:44
World's top 30 container ports' volume increases 4.7pc in first quarter

CONTAINER throughput at the world's top 30 container ports increased 4.7 per cent in the first quarter as trade volumes continued to recover from the low growth since 2012, according to an Alphaliner survey.

Mainland China ports, which account for 10 of the top 30 ports, achieved mixed results. The aggregate growth of the 10 biggest Chinese ports reached 5.1 per cent in the first quarter, compared to the 7.3 per cent increase a year earlier.

Container volume through China's ports was up 5.5 per cent at 45.6 million TEU from January to March, with coastal ports growing 6.6 per cent, while river ports declined 3.8 per cent, said the Ministry of Transport.

Contraction at river ports reflects lower domestic demand in China, while export growth at the main coastal ports remains relatively strong, said Alphaliner.

European ports also showed mixed results, with North Europe's Rotterdam, Hamburg, Antwerp and Bremerhaven posting an aggregate growth of 2.3 per cent compared to a contraction of 1.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2013.

The two main US ports of Los Angeles-Long Beach and New York-New Jersey posted a combined growth rate of 2.9 per cent, a slight improvement from the 2.4 per cent growth recorded last year. 

The total throughput of 16 main North American ports grew by 1.7 per cent during the first quarter, with east coast ports up 3.1 per cent, outperforming the west coast ports that were up 0.6 per cent.

The five largest southeast Asian ports reported total growth of 3.7 per cent, up from 0.6 per cent growth last year. Singapore was up 3.9 per cent; Port Kelang by 5.7 per cent and Tanjung Pelepas volume increased 1.3 per cent.

This came "ahead of possible shifts later this year as the introduction of the new P3 services could see some of the transshipment volumes moved from Port Kelang to Singapore and Tanjung Pelepas", the report said. 

"Singapore is expected to add some five million TEU in annual handling capacity this year when it opens five berths at the new Pasir Panjang Terminal 5 while Tanjung Pelepas will add two million TEU with the launch of berths 13 and 14."

In the Middle East, volumes at Jebel Ali port surged by 17.5 per cent year on year to 3.6 million TEU, following on from growth of just 2.7 per cent for the whole of 2013 over 2012.

The strong performance resulted from increases in transshipment volumes amid strong demand growth in the Gulf region, as well as large infrastructure projects in East Africa. 

But Saudi Arabia's Jeddah port saw volumes plunge 5.7 per cent as it continued to struggle with congestion, and cargo diversions to the new King Abdullah port, 90 kilometres north of Jeddah.

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