According to data compiled by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, the total volume of sea cargo reached 787.9 million tons in the January-June period, down 1% from 796.1 million tons tallied over the same period last year, reported Yonhap News.
Shipments of sand and metal tumbled 47.4% and 19.6%, respectively, from a year earlier, while those of automobiles retreated 1.1% year-on-year.
But movements of machinery jumped 13.5% and those of chemicals rose 11.2% over the cited period.
Container freight gained 3.9% to 14.1 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), while non-container cargo decreased 6.1% year-on-year to 519.4 million tons.
The Port of Busan, South Korea’s maritime gateway on the southeastern coast, handled 216.9 million tons of cargo in the first half, followed by the southwestern port of Gwangyang with 143.7 million tons, and Ulsan on the southeast coast with 97.9 million tons.