Container throughput at the Port of Hong Kong fell 14 percent in 2009, but fourth quarter figures signaled the beginning of a turnaround.
For the full year, the port of Hong Kong handled 21 million 20-foot equivalent units, with 3.3 million TEUs of empty containers. Among laden containers, exports decreased more than imports but stayed ahead. Laden export containers fell 13 percent to 9 million TEUs. Laden import containers fell 12 percent to 8.7 million TEUs.
The slump was due mostly to the global economic downturn earlier in the year. In the fourth quarter, the port handled 5.6 million TEUs, representing a decrease of 4 percent year-on-year. Within this total, laden containers decreased by 1 percent to 4.7 million TEUs. Inbound laden containers decreased by 1 percent to 2.3 million TEUs, while outbound laden containers also decreased by 1 percent to 2.4 million TEUs.
On a seasonally adjusted quarter-to-quarter comparison, laden container throughput increased by 1 percent in the fourth quarter.
Total port cargo throughput in 2009 decreased by 6 percent compared to a year earlier to 243 million metric tons tonnes. Imports fell 5 percent to 139.3 million metric tons, outpacing exports, which fell 9 percent to 103.7 million metric tons.
In the fourth quarter, total port cargo throughput increased by 5 percent compared to a year earlier to 64.7 million metric tons.
Contact Thomas L. Gallagher at email@example.com.