South Korea’s ports handled nearly 22.5 million 20-foot-equivalent units (TEUs) in 2012, an increase of 4.1 percent from 2011, derived in part from strong transshipments at Busan port, according to the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs (MLTMA).
In 2012 export and import cargoes rose in volume by 1.9 percent to 13.67 million TEUs from 2011. Transshipment cargoes went up to 8.45 million TEUs, an increase of 9.5 percent from the preceding year, but coastal cargoes dipped to 468,000 TEUs, a 19.8 percent fall that was attributed to the domestic economic recession.
Busan port, South Korea’s biggest, processed 17 million TEUs last year, for a 5.2 percent increase year-on-year that was linked to the increasing use of the port as a transshipment hub by global shipping lines.
Transshipments at Busan increased by 10.2 percent to 8.1 million TEUs, allowing the port to retain its ranking as the world’s second largest transshipment port.
Container volume at Gwangyang port expanded by 2.8 percent to 2.14 million TEUs from 2011, as cargo owners from its hinterland areas increased their import activities.
Incheon port was affected by a 1.4 percent decrease in trade with China, which accounts for more than 60 percent of Korea’s entire cargo volume. For 2012, Incheon recorded traffic flow of 1.97 million TEUs.
For December 2012, port cargo volume nationwide grew slightly, increasing by 0.7 percent to record 1.89 million TEUs, with transshipment volume for the period inching up by 3.2 percent to 703,000 TEUs.
In a media statement, MLTMA said that this year, the government will continue to cultivate Korean ports “through revitalization of port hinterland complex areas while attracting actively transshipment cargoes through expansion of feeder routes.”
Meanwhile, ports in Malaysia got a boost from an active intra-Asia trade in 2012, handling a total of 20.8 million TEUs to achieve a 2.8 percent growth in cargo volume over 2011.
Port Klang led other ports with a volume of 10 million TEUs, a growth of 4.2 percent year-over-year. The Port of Tanjung Pelepas processed 7.7 million TEUs, an increase of 2.9 percent over 2011.