Global port throughput in the first quarter of 2013 was higher than last year, though growth remained subdued amid a slowly rebounding economy, according to the Shanghai International Shipping Institute's quarterly Global Port Development Report.
Overall, global throughput increased slower than expected in the quarter, driven largely by growth in China and South Africa, with some regions showing declines. Recession-riddled Europe showed the greatest weakness, with Rotterdam posting a 0.7 percent decline in container volumes, to 2.8 million 20-foot-equivalent units, and Antwerp down 2.8 percent to 2.1 million TEUs.
Throughput at Chinese ports increased 9.5 percent year-over-year in the quarter, to nearly 2.5 billion metric tons. Throughput at coastal ports reached more than 1.7 billion metric tons, up 9.4 percent, while inland river ports posted a 9.7 percent increase to 734 million tons.
Container throughput at Chinese ports reached 43 million TEUs in the quarter, up 8.2 percent year-over-year. Coastal ports handled 38.6 million TEUs, up 8.1 percent, while throughput of 4.5 million TEUs at inland river ports was up 9.3 percent.