Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Singapore Boosts Cargo Traffic by 7.1% in 2008

Singapore Boosts Cargo Traffic by 7.1% in 2008
(GulfNews – Bloomberg)

Singapore boosted container traffic by 7.1% last year, extending its reign as the world's busiest cargo-box port, after the global recession damped volumes at its near rival, Shanghai. Terminals in the city-state handled about 30 million 20-foot equivalent boxes in 2008, Transport Minister Raymond Lim said in a speech in the city today [Thursday]. Shanghai's traffic rose 7% to 28 million containers.

Shanghai failed to dethrone Singapore, as housing slumps and rising job concerns in the U.S. and Europe damped demand for Chinese-made furniture, clothes and toys. Still, the global recession has also hit Singapore, with the port suffering its first traffic decline in at least seven years in November.

"Shanghai has lost the opportunity to reach the top spot, and is unlikely to achieve the goal this year either," said Zhu Anping, an analyst at Shenyin Wanguo Securities Co.

Commentary: When a 0.1% difference in growth rates and a difference in 2 million containers provides a closing gap as deciding factors you can be sure the rivalry between Singapore and Shanghai over trade volumes will remain noteworthy news long into the future.

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