Busan transshipment bolsters moribund December
Most major ports in Asia saw a drastic decline in container volume in November and December, and the Port of Busan was no different — it saw import/export volume drop 19 percent in December compared to the same month in 2007.
But the port is taking heart in a slight uptick in transshipment traffic during December. Busan handled 452,000 TEUs of transshipment traffic during the month, a 1.5 percent increase over December 2007. The port said the increase was primarily due to carriers in the New World and Grand alliances using Busan as a transshipment hub to deploy tonnage to the northern ports of Dalian and Tianjin. Tianjin was one of the few success stories in China last year, and its rise holds promise for Busan if Korea’s biggest port can continue to serve as a platform for global carriers to route cargo to northern China.
“The Busan Port Authority will use the current crisis as an opportunity by employing shipper-oriented target marketing to attract more transshipment cargo,” BPA said in a statement Thursday.
Of the 13.4 million TEUs handled by Busan in 2008, 44 percent were from transshipment. Import/export cargo grew 12 percent during the year, while transshipment volume actually dropped 0.4 percent. But in the second half of the year, as demand for import/export cargo to North America and Europe dropped, Busan’s role as a transshipment hub for intra-Asia cargo grew.