Towards the end of the high season and at the cusp of the year-end, the trend of a dismal year for China and Hong Kong ports looks firmly in place as Chinese port operator Cosco Pacific saw November throughput at all its ports fall 0.7% while the port of Hong Kong, reflecting the weaker performance of the Pearl River Delta ports saw an 8.1% drop in throughput overall.
The main Kwai Tsing terminals at Hong Kong port saw volume drop 11.2% to 1.24m teu from 1.40m teu in the previous corresponding period while the non-Kwai Tsing terminals saw a slight 3.6% rise in throughput to 390,000 teu from 377,000 teu previously. Overall volume fell from 1.78m teu to 1.63m teu in November.
Among Cosco Pacific’s terminals, only the Bohai Rim ports and the Southeast Coast ports managed to turn in good positive growth in November, posting a 3.7% and 13.1% rise in throughput to 2.14m teu and 358,000 teu respectively.
The Yangtze River Delta ports saw throughput fall 10.9% to 752,400 teu while in the Pearl River Delta cluster, which includes the group’s two terminals in Hong Kong, throughput was almost flat, growing just 0.7% to 1.72m teu from 1.71m teu previously. Cosco Pacific’s overseas ports meanwhile saw volumes fall 9.3% to 733,600 teu.
Looking at the individual terminals however, having already seen falls in volume in three months out of the last four, the trend seems to have stabilized with particularly weak performances at one or two individual terminals weighing heavily on the overall result.
For example, a 41.5% drop in volume at Ningbo Yuan Dong Terminals, the previously busiest port in the Yangtze River Delta cluster, impacted heavily on the region’s overall numbers as growth at other terminals was not enough to make up for the drop.
In the Pearl River Delta, a 7.4% drop in volume to 125,200 teu at Cosco-HIT Terminal weighed down positive performances at Yantian International Container Terminals and the group’s other Hong Kong terminal, Asia Container Terminal.
Likewise at the Southeast Coast ports, many of which are in a ramp up phase and start from low bases, performance at individual terminals has been patchy as well. Growth at Xiamen Ocean Gate almost doubled to 98,400 teu in November while at Jinjiang Pacific Ports, which has been having issues over the past few months, falls continued with throughput sliding 27.5% to just 25,100 teu.
The more established terminal at Quanzhou meanwhile continues to keep steadily building volumes and capacity, with throughput rising 8.7% to 115,400 teu from 106,200 teu in the previous corresponding period.
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