P&O PORTS INCREASED VOLUME TO 9.8 MILLION TEUS IN 2001
P&O Ports, the marine terminals arm of the U.K.-based P&O group, increased its global container port volume to 9.8 million TEUs in 2001, a rise of 18 percent.
The port operator said that its 18-percent growth rate compares with an estimated average container ports industry average of 4 percent.
P&O Ports’ total volume in Asia increased to 4.3 million TEUs last year, from 3.8 million TEUs in 2000. The Americas region — U.S. and Argentinian terminals — handled 1.9 million TEUs, up 25 percent on the previous year’s 1.5-million volume. European ports increased traffic to 2.3 million TEUs, from 1.7 million TEUs. Ports in Australia and New Zealand had a virtually unchanged volume of 1.2 million TEUs.
“These growth levels compare favorably with broader industry trends,” a spokesman for P&O said.
The recession in Argentina continues to have a significant impact on the volumes being handled at the group’s TRP terminal in Buenos Aires.
“The consequences of the Argentine devaluation are difficult to predict although TRP should be reasonably protected as almost all of its revenue is currently U.S. dollar denominated,” the group said.
Container volumes throughout P&O's U.S. facilities have not been significantly impacted by the economic downturn, the group commented. In particular, volumes were strong at Port Newark Container Terminal.
For the fourth quarter, P&O Ports reported a global volume of 2.5 million TEUs, up 9 percent over the same quarter in 2000. Asian volume in the latest quarter was 1.1 million TEUs, up from 1 million. Americas traffic rose 5 percent, to 461,000 TEUs, from 437,000. European volume reached 611,000 TEUs, up from 533,000. Australia/New Zealand terminals handled 319,000 TEUs, down from 323,000 in the same quarter in 2000.
P&O Ports said that most commentators believe that, although there is considerable uncertainty, the current slowdown will last through the traditionally weak first quarter of the year and possibly up to the third quarter. “Thereafter stronger growth is expected to return albeit at slightly lower rates than have characterized the industry in recent years,” the ports group said.