The Port of Hong Kong sustained a 4% fall in year-on-year throughput in November.
The number of containers handled at the Kwai Tsing terminals fell 1.7% to 1.326m teu compared to 1.349m teu in November 2017. Boxes handled by the midstream operators fell harder, by 11.7%, to record a throughput of 360,000 teu.
The cumulative total throughput in Hong Kong from January to November 2018 has declined 5.4% to 17.958m teu.
Barring a miracle Hong Kong’s total throughput for 2018 will fall to its lowest annual total since 2002, when the port handled 19.144m teu. A decade ago, in 2008, the port saw throughput hit a record high of 24.494m teu, a figure it has never equalled since. In 2017, the port handled 20.77m teu.
Shanghai too is facing falling volumes this year. In November box throughput fell 1.9% to 3.53m teu compared to 3.6m teu in the same month last year. In the first 11 months of 2018, Shanghai port handled 34.93m teu, showing a cumulative fall of 5.2% to 34.93m teu. As with Hong Kong, Shanghai port cannot hope to equal the 40.22m teu volumes achieved in 2017.
By contrast, the Port of Singapore, by avoiding the ravages of trade wars and typhoons, looks set to record its highest box volumes ever by the end of the year. Singapore handled 3.01m teu in November, edging up 1.26% compared to 2.98m teu 12 months ago. From January to November 2018 Singapore witnessed box volumes of 33.46m teu, an increase of 8.95 %, and almost within touching distance of its annual figure of 33.87m teu in 2017.