A total of 3.073 billion tons of shipments were moved to and from ports in China in the first quarter (January-March) of 2020, down 4.6% from a year earlier, according to the nation’s Ministry of Transport (MOT). Oceangoing freight accounted for 1.021 billion tons, up 0.3%. Containers amounted to 55.18 million TEUs, down 8.5%.

Looking at container volumes at major ports, Tianjin in the north was responsible for 3.71 million TEUs, down 1.9%. In contrast, throughput continued to register positive growth at Qingdao, Shandong Province, going up 2.2% to 5.04 million TEUs.

In the Yangtze River Delta region, Shanghai incurred a double-digit contraction, where containers plunged 10.4% to 9.33 million TEUs. Those to and from Ningbo-Zhoushan fell 8.2% to 6.15 million TEUs, while Xiamen on the southeast coast handled 2.52 million TEUs, down 6.5%. Ports in the Pearl River Delta did not perform well, with containers to and from Guangzhou plummeting 10.3% to 4.74 million TEUs and to and from Shenzhen, 11.9% to 5.33 million TEUs.

On the southwest coast, there was a port in northern Guangxi Province doing very well at a time when the entire world was under the adverse influence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Processing 920,000 TEUs, up 32.6%, it was the only port in China to enjoy a double-digit improvement in container lifting.




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