Container volumes increase 30pc in Shenzhen

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 03 March, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 03 March, 2004, 12:00am

Container throughput in Shenzhen continued to surge in the first two months of the year, rising a comparative 30 per cent on the back of strong exports and imports in the Pearl River Delta.

Shenzhen saw a total of 1.77 million teu (20-ft equivalent units) moved across its docks in January and last month, with almost half of the volume handled by the city's western port facilities.

Shekou Container Terminal moved 283,488 boxes in the first two months, up a comparative 48.3 per cent, while the neighbouring Chiwan Container Terminal saw combined throughput jump 53 per cent year on year to 405,165 teu.

'Shipping lines have started two new services at Chiwan, helping to boost our container throughput,' a senior executive from the terminal said.

A European service run by China Shipping Container started calling at Chiwan at the end of last month, as did a Mediterranean service jointly operated by Norasia and CMA.

'Two more services will call at our port this month,' the executive said.

Strong cargo flow in the Pearl River Delta also prompted liners to deploy bigger ships. Instead of using vessels with a capacity of 4,000 teu, they are now using ships with a capacity of 6,000 teu.

'Our existing clients [shipping lines] are also bringing in more cargo,' the executive said.

Throughput growth in the west outpaced Yantian, Hutchison Whampoa's facility in eastern Shenzhen, which is also the busiest terminal in the city because of its high base.

Yantian handled 836,871 teu in the first two months, up a comparative 20.98 per cent.

Michael Chan, head of research, transport and logistics with Bank of China International, said that western Shenzhen was taking a larger market share compared with a year ago.

'There's sufficient cargo volume in Shenzhen,' said Mr Chan. 'But combining the throughput figures in the west, total volume is bigger than Yantian. Maybe it is too expensive.'

Western facilities handled 49.5 per cent of Shenzhen's total throughput in the first two months, compared with about 46.3 per cent last year.