Pandemic cuts traffic at Hutchison terminals

the Containers in Hong Kong Kwai Chung Container Terminal

Hutchison Ports Trust (HPH) suffered a year-on-year (YoY) drop of 8% in fiscal year 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but claimed the worst effects are beginning to ease.

In its latest financial results, HPH said some its biggest terminals saw substantial drops in throughput, in particular Hutchison Yantian, which fell by 12% YoY.

Its operations at the Port of Hong Kong also fell by 3%, which it attributed to a downturn in intra-Asia, US and transshipment traffic caused by the paralysis brought on by COVID-19.

It also pointed to action taken by carriers, specifically the increase in blank sailings, for why it saw a decrease in its traffic.

“Based on the latest developments, manufacturing in China has mostly resumed and many overseas countries have loosened lockdown and border controls,” it said in a statement.

“It is expected that the negative impact of COVID-19 on our volume will gradually be reduced.

“To mitigate the sharp downturn in demand caused by COVID-19, shipping lines cut their capacity to maintain rates through an increase in blank sailings and service suspensions.

“Meanwhile, coordination among alliance members to optimise fleet and capacity continues – HMM joined THE Alliance effective 1 April 2020.

“Against this backdrop, HPH Trust will continue to build on its strengths and is committed to serving its customers, supporting and complementing this industry shift through its unparalleled mega-vessel handling capabilities and continuous process improvements.”

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