The Port of Dalian’s TEU throughput fell by 41.7% year-on-year (YoY) in 2020, making it the only one of China’s eight major ports to suffer a decline in traffic, according to the Ningbo Shipping Exchange.
Each of the other major Chinese gateways enjoyed modest throughput increases, further evidence that the country is emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent crisis.
However, the data also shows an alarming trend of decline for the Port of Dalian, which saw its TEU throughput plummet by 39.6% between January and November 2020.
Meanwhile, Tianjin was the best performing port in 2020, where volume increased by 6.1% and Ningbo-Zhoushan was second with an increase of 5.1%. Shanghai saw an increase in volume of 0.4%, the most moderate growth of the eight major ports in China.
Notably, all major ports saw TEU volume increase in the month of December 2020, except Dalian which fell by 66.2%.
Excluding the poor performance from Dalian, the uptick in trade was consistent with the rapid increase in imports experienced by the busiest gateways on the US West Coast at the end of the year.
The ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland all saw traffic fall at the start of the pandemic as trad with China slowed down but saw a busy final few months of 2020 when activity resumed.
The best performing major Chinese port in December was Ningbo-Zhoushan, which saw it TEU traffic rise by 33.5%, with Shenzhen being the second with an increase of 17.9%. In this instance, it was Guangzhou which saw the smallest increase, as it grew by 2.5%.
Ningbo-Zhoushan was the best performing port in the world when measured by cargo of all kinds for the 12th year in a row and saw its sea-rail transport container handling volume increase by 24.2% YoY in 2020.