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American Shipper

Shanghai tops Singapore in container volume

Shanghai tops Singapore in container volume

   The Port of Shanghai shot past the Port of Singapore in 2010 to become the world's busiest container port.

   Shanghai saw container volume last year rise 16.2 percent to 29.1 million TEUs, surpassing Singapore's 28.4 million TEUs, up 9.7 percent from 2009. Shanghai's passing of Singapore was little surprise as it had been inching ahead of Singapore in monthly container counts through the second of 2010.

   Analysts have forecast for years that Shanghai would eventually pass Singapore due to its more even mix of import/export and transshipment cargo. Singapore relies almost wholly on transshipment. Additionally, some port experts claim Shanghai long ago passed Singapore considering that Singapore double counts its transshipments.

   Meanwhile, Singapore-based global terminal operator PSA International said its 2010 volume rose 14.4 percent to 65.1 million TEUs at the company's 28 port facilities worldwide.

   PSA's flagship facility in the Port of Singapore saw volume rise at a somewhat slower clip — 10.1 percent to 27.7 million TEUs — while volume at its terminals outside Singapore rose 17.8 percent to 37.4 million TEUs.

   “The PSA Group recovered some of the volumes lost during the global economic slump in 2008 and 2009, and volumes handled in 2010 across our terminals worldwide were higher than anticipated helped by a much stronger recovery in the first seven months of the year,' Eddie Teh, PSA group chief executive officer, said in a statement. 'However, the lower growth rate in the last five months up to December 2010 indicates that weaknesses in the major global economies still persist and growth in 2011 is expected to be uneven and cannot be taken for granted.'

   PSA has grown to become the second largest container terminal operator globally ' behind Hong Kong-based Hutchison Port Holdings ' on the back of high growth at Singapore, which has been the busiest container port in the world the past few years, though it has steadily diversified its portfolio to terminals in 16 countries.

   Shanghai's container terminals are managed by the Shanghai International Port Group, which has used the PSA blueprint to develop Shanghai into a massive global hub — particularly since the development of the Yangshan deepwater port.

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