Driven by Taiwan's surging international trade, as well as growing arrivals of larger ships, the Kaohsiung Port in southern Taiwan is expected to finish 2014 with container handling volume of 10.5 million TEUs (twenty-equivalent unit), the first time over the past 8 years, according to Taiwan International Ports Corp. (TIPC), a government-funded operator of commercial ports on the island.
The forecast is realistic, as Kaohsiung Port handled over 909,000 TEUs in November, adding to cumulative container handling volume of 9.65 million TEUs for the first 11 months of 2014. Based on data from shippers that dock at the port, TIPC forecasts containers of around 850,000 TEUs to be handled in December, hence totaling 10.5 million TEUs for 2014, up 5.66% over 9.93 million TEUs in 2013.
TIPC says such predicted performance suggests Kaohsiung Port's gradual return as a globally top-ranked port, given that the port's container handling volume had spiraled downward to stay at only 8-9 million TEUs since peaking at record high of 10.25 million TEUs in 2007. The firm optimistically forecasts the port's annual container handling volume to exceed 10 million TEUs in the future.
TIPC bases its upbeat outlook mainly on Taiwan's steadily growing international trade, which has resulted in a 7.22% yearly growth in the port's inward and outward container throughput over the past 11 months of 2014.
Another key factor sustaining Kaohsiung Port's current performance is the increasing arrivals of large container ships with capacity of over 10,000 TEUs. TIPC says during January-November, arrivals of such ships totaled 98, including 37 with capacity over 13,000 TEUs to surge 308.33% over 24 in the same period of 2013, with per-vessel container handled averaging 3,588 TEUs.
TIPC says the Hong Kong-based Orient Overseas Container Line is the biggest contributor to Kaohsiung Port's current container throughput, while Taiwan-headquartered Evergreen Marine Corp., which is setting up new large-sized pier cranes and upgrading related facilities at the Pier 115-117 and Pier 79-81 it leases in the port, is expected to contribute ever more in the coming years.
Among shipping lines with berths in the port, TIPC says Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp. shows the strongest growth potential to see container volume handled to exceed 3 million TEUs a year in the short term, given the Terminal No.6 being one of only few automated terminals that serves larger vessels.
Additional good news for Kaohsiung Port being the Kaohsiung Port Free Trade Zone finished the first 11 months of 2014 with trade volume and value of 553,711 tonnes and NT$36.427 billion (US$1.21 billion), respectively, up 13.27% and 37.13% year-on-year, says TIPC. (SC)
|Kaohisung Port's Container Throughput by Year Unit: TEU|
|| Inward Containers
|| Outward Containers
|| Transshipped Containers
|| 10.256 M.
|| 2.581 M.
|| 2.553 M.
|| 5.122 M.
|| 9.676 M.
|| 2.535 M.
|| 2.695 M.
|| 4.445 M.
|| 8.581 M.
|| 2.226 M.
|| 2.314 M.
|| 4.040 M.
|| 9.181 M.
|| 2.380 M.
|| 2.515 M.
|| 4.285 M.
|| 9.636 M.
|| 2.491 M.
|| 2.640 M.
|| 4.504 M.
|| 9.781 M.
|| 2.457 M.
|| 2.651 M.
|| 4.672 M.
|| 9.937 M.
|| 2.583 M.
|| 2.606 M.
|| 4.747 M.
| Jan.-Nov., 2014
|| 9.650 M.
|| 2.525 M.
|| 2.547 M.
|| 4.577 M.
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