Major Japanese ports’ container traffic surges

Major Japanese ports’ container traffic surges

The Port of Tokyo is Japan's largest contianer gateway and set a new first-half record.

Major Japanese ports posted strong container traffic growth in the first half on the back of a moderate global economic recovery and the national government’s financial and other support measures.

The number of foreign trade containers handled by the Port of Tokyo surged 6.5 percent in the January-June period from a year earlier to a new first-half high of 2.2 million TEU. Imports led the growth, rising 7.1 percent to 1.2 million TEU as exports climbed 5.8 percent to 1 million TEU.

The Port of Yokohama’s foreign trade traffic rose 5.1 percent year over year to 1.3 million TEU, led by exports that rose 6.2 percent to 685,000 TEU as imports rose 3.9 percent to 605,000 TEU.

The Port of Nagoya in Aichi Prefecture, central Japan, handled 1.3 million TEU of foreign trade containers in the first half of 2017, up 5.1 percent from the same six-month period of 2016. Exports rose 5.4 percent to 661,000 TEU, while imports climbed 4.9 percent to 608,000 TEU. Aichi Prefecture is home to many auto companies, including Toyota.

The number of foreign trade containers handled by the Port of Kobe in the first half came to 1.1 million TEU, up 5.5 percent from a year earlier. Container exports were up 3.5 percent at 585,000 TEU, while container imports were up 7.8 percent at 528,000 TEU.

When including domestic trade, the Port of Kobe overtook the Port of Yokohama to become Japan’s second-biggest container port as its container traffic posted a 22-year high in 2016 after rising 3.5 percent to 2.8 million TEU. That is the second highest on record and the highest since 1995, when the port city was devastated by a powerful earthquake.

In the first half, the Port of Kobe handled a total of 1.5 million TEU in foreign and domestic trade, up 5.9 percent from a year earlier and marking a new first-half high. The Kobe municipal government attributed the strong overall traffic results to its increased efforts to capture cargo with the help of national government subsidies.

The Port of Yokohama’s overall container traffic in the first half of this year was slightly less than the Port of Kobe’s at 1.44 million TEUs.

The Port of Osaka, Japan’s fifth-biggest container port, just released its container traffic results for May and the first five months of this year on Oct. 6. The port handled 826,000 TEU of containers in foreign trade between January and May, up 5.3 percent from a year earlier. Container exports were up 6.7 percent at 377,000 TEU, while container imports were up 4.1 percent at 448,000 TEU.

Contact Tomoo Yatsuhashi at yiu45535@nifty.com.