THE annual container cargo transport capacity in the Japan-China trade totalled more than 1.22 million TEUs as of January 15, according to the Japan-China Marine Transportation Council.
This was up 24.7 per cent over the figures provided by the council in March last year.
Chinese ships carried 891,036 TEUs, up 7.3 per cent, while Japanese vessels carried 148,116 TEUs, up a staggering 65.8 per cent.
Another 186,432 TEUs were hauled by four third-party carriers --Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL), American President Lines (APL), Maersk Line and Sea-Land Service.
The Japanese vessel capacity was boosted by the opening of the Shanghai route by Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK), Mitsui OSK Line (MOL) and the expansion of the Dalian route by Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K-Line) last year.
However, the council assumed that not all the space on NYK and MOL vessels was used for their Shanghai-Japan operations.
This is because NYK uses space on its Honolulu service every other week for the Japan-China trade, while MOL uses space on its Japan-South America service vessels mid-way between Japan and China.
Chinese ships provided 186 sailings, up from 158; Japanese ships 38 sailings, up from 30; and third-party vessels 30 sailings, up from 20.
Chinese vessels provided 73 per cent of the capacity on the route last year, down from 81 per cent, while the Japanese lifted their share from nine to 12 per cent, and third-party carriers from 10 to 15 per cent.
The Chinese share declined because of increased sailings by third-party carriers.
As for monthly sailings, Japanese ships made 19 calls to Shanghai, Chinese vessels 51 calls, and third-party vessels 12.
Chinese ships made 22 sailings to Tianjin, Japanese ships seven and third-party vessels made 12 calls.
Qingdao saw 31 sailings by Chinese ships, three by Japanese vessels and eight by third-party ships. Dalian saw eight sailings by Japanese ships, 24 by Chinese ships and eight by third party vessels.
Of the 100 ship calls at other Chinese ports, 89 were provided by Chinese ships, 10 by third-party vessels and only one by a Japanese ship, according to the Japan-China council.