China’s TEU throughput rose by 13.2% year-on-year (YoY) in January 2021 as seven of its eight biggest ports saw increases in trade, five of which by double figures.
According to the Ningbo Shipping Exchange, the Port of Dalian was once again the only major Chinese gateway to suffer a slump in volume as its TEU throughput fell by 61.7% YoY.
In 2020, Dalian’s TEU throughput fell by 41.7% YoY after a fall of 39.6% between January and November 2020.
Leading the way in January was Guangzhou, which enjoyed an increase of 19.5%, closely followed by Shenzhen with a bounce of 18.4%. Ningbo & Zhoushan’s volume spiked by 14.6%, Tianjin and Xiamen’s did so by 11.5% and 9.6% respectively.
In January 2021 China processed approximately 23.8 million TEU; additionally, its throughput for all types of cargo was 1293.7 million tonnes, an increase of 17.4%. All of China’s eight major ports saw cargo throughput increase, except Dalian where trade fell by 19.3%.
The data is more proof of how fast China’s exports has recovered since trade plummeted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since mid-2020, Beijing has reopened factories and resumed sending goods to its largest markets, in particular the US.
This has caused considerable congestion at some of the largest West Coast gateways, such as the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, with a knock-on effect at other Pacific hubs, including Oakland.
The surge in TEU traffic has led to some maritime and supply chain experts to call on the US federal government to take action to protect businesses and ports, including tighter regulation of the carriers and alliances.