Friday, September 11, 2009

Chinese Port Operator Reports Container Volumes Down

TEU’s Down 19% Throughout the Country
Shipping News Feature

HONG KONG – China Merchants Holdings (International) Co. has reported falling container numbers passing through the terminals it runs throughout the country. The news came as the group reported an annual profits fall of 14%.

Despite the troubled first half the groups chairman anticipates rising trade figures for the remainder of the year as he reported a month on month increase in TEU throughput of 11% up from June to July with a further 8% increase in the subsequent month. This follows reports of a 20 year low for the company, China’s biggest port operator.

The group has been diversifying of late particularly into bulk product handling to reduce its dependence on container traffic alone. It has control of most terminals in western Shenzhen plus interests in the other major Chinese ports including Shanghai, Hong Kong and Qingdao.

Chairman Fu Yuning spoke to the press yesterday to confirm the group would concentrate on cost cutting measures and said he believed the fall in trade had bottomed out but that recovery would be a long process. Despite the fall the group still posted profits in excess of $223 million.

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