The Port of Hong Kong, getting off to a slow start in 2011, saw ocean container volume grow a scant 1 percent in the first quarter from a year ago, according to the Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government.
Overall container volume reached 5.5 million 20-foot equivalent units but the volume of loaded containers was flat at 4.6 million TEUs, with inbound and outbound volume virtually unchanged. Empty containers increased 5 percent to 0.9 million TEUs.
The data represent a particularly slow start for Hong Kong, the world’s third-largest container port after Singapore and Shanghai. Hong Kong, one of the world’s most expensive ports of call, handled 23.6 million TEUs last year, up 12.2 percent from 2009.
On a seasonally adjusted quarter-to-quarter comparison, loaded container throughput decreased 2 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, with inbound volume falling 4 percent and outbound down 1 pecent.
On a tonnage basis, the port’s total cargo throughput recorded virtually no change compared with a year earlier at 62.7 million metric tons. Both inbound (35.9 million metric tons) and outbound cargo (26.8 million) was flat.
On a seasonally adjusted quarter-to-quarter comparison, total port cargo throughput decreased by 4 percent in the first quarter. Within this total, inward and outward port cargo decreased 5 percent and 2 percent, respectively. The seasonally adjusted series enables more meaningful shorter-term comparison to be made for discerning possible variations in trends.
Within port cargo, seaborne cargo increased 3 percent over a year earlier to 43.2 million metric tons, while river cargo decreased by 6 percent to 19.5 million metric tons in the first