Ports in China handled 12.45 billion tonnes of cargos and 202 million teu of containerized cargo in 2014, up 5.8% and 6.4% year-on-year, according to data released by the Ministry of Transport on 30 April.
The container throughput of Chinese ports was only 10 million teu back in 1998 and the figure rocketed to 50 million teu in 2004. Container volumes surged to 100 million teu in 2007. In 2010, Shanghai overtook Singapore as the world’s busiest port, as consumer demand and manufacturing in China grew.
By the end of 2014, China had navigable rivers spanning 126,300 km and its ports operated 31,705 berths. Last year, the country invested CNY2.52 trillion (USD405.8 billion) in its railways, highways as well as waterways.
In 1Q15, the country’s major ports handled 2.7 billion tonnes cargos, up 2.2% y/y, 1.9 billion tonnes of which were handled by coastal ports while the rest were handled by river ports.
The throughput growth in 1Q15 was slower than that in 1Q14, indicating weak demand for major commodities, such as coal and iron ore, a coal trader told IHS Maritime. The trader added that it is not possible for Chinese ports to maintain the same level of growth as before.
Container throughput of Chinese ports amounted to 49 million teu in 1Q15, up 7.3% y/y. The recovery of the US economy drove global trade up, the trader said.