Global Cargo Throughput Boosted by 6.8%

 08 Sep 2017 10.34am

Shanghai International Shipping Institute has produced a positive report on the state of trade through major ports, which pegged global throughput increases at 6.8%.

The institute announced publication of its Global Port Development Report of Q2 2017 on September 4, 2017.

Worldwide container shipping demand has been behind the improving trend since Q4 2016.

Accordingly, container throughput at major ports in Q2 2017 was up by 7.2% over the same period in 2016.

International trade was active, foreign trade was boosted, and commodity prices were high, thanks to the stable global GDP growth of 2.7%.

Overall positive trends were affected by developments in the different regions of the world.

In China, the domestic throughput of ports boomed, due to the state’s "Belt and Road" initiative which has increased the density of waterway transport networks along the Yangtze River and in coastal areas.

China's larger ports accomplished a domestic trade cargo throughput increase of 7.0% to 2.23 billion tonnes.

South Korean ports were busy, with Busan Port of reporting cargo throughput of 100 million tonnes which was 18.1% higher than it was in the same period last year, and Kwangyang Port and Taesan Port growing cargo 11.2% and 8.9% respectively.

European major port throughput rose by 8% year on year, and by 5.3% quarter on quarter to 6.8 million TEU.

Read a related technical paper by the OECD’s Olaf Merk on the impact of the ‘One Belt One Road’ (OBOR) policy for both Chinese and European Ports.

In the Americas, the Ports of Santos and Vancouver were notable achievers, gaining double-digit growth rates year on year. They say container throughputs of 948,000 TEU and 819,000 TEU respectively in Q2.

On US West Coast, major ports benefitted from mergers of ports and terminals and optimization investments.

The Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach enjoyed a good production performance in Q2, with container throughput at Port of Los Angeles increasing by 6.6% year on year to 2.242 TEUs, and the Port of Long Beach increasing by 17.6% quarter on quarter to 1.865 million TEUs.

Global terminal operator markets enjoyed relatively stable development overall. The report noted a lack of change in the rankings of the world’s top ten ports for cargo throughput. At the same time equity throughput performance in Q2 varied among terminal operators.

All major terminal operators all registered positive growth in terms of the equity throughput, except for COSCO Shipping Ports Limited.

DP World sustained its good momentum from the previous quarter, ranked the first in terms of growth rate, and its growth rate significantly increased by about 5% compared to that in the same period last year.

DP World’s growth rate is expected to ultimately exceed that of China Merchants Port Holdings Company Limited in the near future.

Maersk kept a relatively stable development trend, with a year-on-year growth rate of 4.3% which is 1.7 percentage points higher than the same period last year.

Dry bulk throughputs at major ports around the world presented divergent trends. Dry bulk throughput for the Port of Qinhuangdao in China doubled in Q2 on a year-on-year basis to 78.633 million tonnes, but coal terminal throughput at the Port of Hay Point, Australia dropped off by 82%.

Read More: In the US, the threat to trade of protectionism from President Donald Trump's administration has not been realised yet, and imports through US ports in particular are soaring, according to data from National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

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