Feb 21, 2013

Western ports disappear from top 10 container ports list

Box handling performances in 2012 at world's major container ports are now all released. According to a tally by Kaiji Press (KP), with Tianjin Xingang moving up to the 10th place for the first time, seven Chinese ports, including Hong Kong, are ranked in the top 10 ports. Thus, Western ports disappeared from the top 10 list with Rotterdam, ranked No.10 in 2011, stepping down to the 11th position. Also looking into the ports ranked below 11th, Chinese and Southeast Asian ports showed brisk performances, while handlings at Western ports stagnated. Dalian and Xiamen both exhibited two-digit growth. Surge was particularly conspicuous at Port Kelang and Indonesia's gateway port Tanjung Priok which are drawing attention for their expanding trades.

The statistics were compiled by KP based on 2012 figures released by individual ports. No major change was observed among higher ranking ports, with Shanghai retaining the No.1 position. Yet, its performance was not as brisk as in 2011 (up 9.3% year-on-year) given the stagnant economy at its major destination ports in Europe and the U.S. In the latter half of 2012, its monthly turnout some times dipped below the level in 2011. Throughput at Singapore broke the 30 million-TEU barrier for the first time. Throughput at Pusan, attracting voluminous transshipment cargo, was also brisk with an increase of 5.2%.

Four Chinese ports of Ningbo, Qingdao, Dalian and Xiamen were all fared well, recording two-digit growth, respectively. In particular, Dalian posted an increase of 25.9% handling volume in 2012 after that of in 2011 (6.4 million TEUs, up 21.6% year-on-year), showing a strong growth of more than 20% for two years in a row. Its throughput in 2012 jumped to 8 million TEUs in one stroke. Qingdao also achieved good record, exceeding an increase of 8.4% posted in 2011. With this, the port closed in on Guangzhou. Among ports in Europe and the U.S., European ports were particularly in poor condition with their continuing stagnant economy. Major ports in North Europe such as Rotterdam, Hamburg and Antwerp experienced year-on-year dip across the board. Of the top 25 ports, only Bremerhaven achieved year-on-year growth with an increase of 3.2%. As for North American ports, Los Angeles recorded throughput topping 8 million TEUs for the first time, but its growth rate was mere 1.4% due to the influence of port workers' strike. Handlings of Long Beach are currently on the increase with additional services to the port since late 2012, but its rank slipped to No.22 from the 20th place in 2011. Performance by New York/New Jersey was on a par with 2011.

World's Top 25 Container Handling Ports in 2012
Rank Port TEU up/down
* Compiled by KP based on each port's performance record.
* Figures in parentheses on Rank column denote that in 2011.
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