Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Container Volumes Continue to Decline in China, the U.S. and Europe

Container Volumes Continue to Decline in China, the U.S. and Europe
(eye for transport)

Container throughput at various ports continues to decline, with only three of China's Top 10 ports showing a negligible increase in volumes.

China's biggest port in terms of volumes – Shanghai – handled 5.61 million TEU in the period January-March 2009, down 15% compared with same period last year.

Throughput for Shenzhen (3.88 million TEU) and Guagngzhou (2.15 million TEU) were down 21% and 24% respectively.

Ningbo-Zhoushan, Xiamen, Dalian and Lianyungang also reported volumes declines of between 2% and 10%, although volumes for Qingdao, Tianjin and Yingkou were up 2%, 1% and 9% respectively compared with the first three months of 2008.

By comparison, the Port of Los Angeles handled 1.53 million TEU in the first quarter of this year, down 17.43%.

The Port of Rotterdam handled 2.25 million TEU in Q1 2009, down 16% compared with 2.68 million TEU during the same period last year, and the Port of Antwerp handled 1.74 million TEU, down 16.3% from 2.07 million TEU in Q1 2008.

Hans Smits, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, says that throughput is expected to decline by between 6% and 10% for the whole year.

Antwerp Port Authority CEO Eddy Bruyninckx says the volume decline is in line with forecasts announced at the beginning of the year, and total container volume for 2009 is expected to drop by up to 20%.

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