Chiwan terminal's trade soars

PUBLISHED : Friday, 04 October, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 04 October, 2002, 12:00am

Containerised trade moving through Chiwan Container Terminals (CCT) surged a comparative 83 per cent last month, securing its status as the second-largest Shenzhen port.

CCT's throughput for the month reached 117,954 teu (20 foot equivalent units) against 64,615 teu for the comparative period last year.

Year-to-date volumes swelled to 836,277 teu, almost double last year's 427,000 teu.

'The business is far better than we expected,' said a CCT source. 'We put on new services and we have seen extra loadings.'

With at least a month to go in the peak holiday season, throughput is expected to reach 1.15 million teu for the year, a 76 per cent increase over the 643,000 boxes moved last year.

Export growth in the southern China region is expected to continue, bringing business for terminals in the Pearl River Delta.

CCT has 17 international carrier services calling at its docks, six of which were added this year.

A source said executives at Shenzhen port, which comprise Yantian, Chiwan and Shekou, expected throughput to increase a comparative 34 per cent this year to about 6.8 million teu.

'Major ports in Shenzhen are congested,' he said. 'We need to increase our capacity by deploying new equipment and berths.'

He said the lockout on the US west coast would affect CCT less than its competitors because more than 70 per cent of its routes serve the European and Middle Eastern markets.

Union dock workers from Seattle to San Diego were locked out this week after being without a contract since July 1.

CCT has three routes serving the US.

The source said CCT was likely to continue to benefit from an overflow of business from Hutchison's Yantian International Container Terminals (YICT), where congestion was forcing shippers to look for other options.

Nearby Shekou Container Terminals (SCT) has pulled its way out of the red this year after earlier losing its major client, China Ocean Shipping Co (Cosco), and about 200,000 teu of cargo volume a year.

SCT's chief executive, Cheyenne Yu, said the facility moved about 90,000 teu last month. In the year to date about 500,000 teu were handled, similar to last year's figures.

Mr Yu said he was optimistic about the second half of the year with a continued surge in empty imports indicating export orders would be strong in the coming three to five months. One-third of SCT's volume is empty boxes.

'We are happy with the business so far. We anticipated a peak season in July and August and it turned out even better than we expected,' Mr Yu said. 'October remained robust and we don't see a drastic drop in cargo volume in November and December with the orders we have on hand.

'I think the situation will remain promising to the end of this year.'

Mr Yu projected SCT's throughput would increase a comparative 10 per cent by the end of the year despite the bad start.

'Our Europe volumes have jumped about 10 per cent compared to last year, which is better than we expected,' said Mr Yu. 'Southeast Asia also recorded an improvement, with cargo throughput increased by 40 per cent.'

Despite the uncertain economic conditions in the US and Europe, China's exports remained robust because it was the manufacturer of most of the world's daily necessities, Mr Yu said, adding that exports counted for 60 per cent of CCT's volume.