Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Kaohsiung’s shipping volume jumps with direct links

The Port of Kaohsiung has seen a substantial increase in activity since direct shipping links between Taiwan and mainland China were established. The volume of cross-Taiwan Strait containers has more than quadrupled (4.6 times) since the opening of direct links last December 15th.

According to statistics released by the Kaohsiung Harbor Bureau, the number of ships engaged in cross-strait trade docking at Kaohsiung more than tripled, increasing from 28 in December 2008 to 118 this March. The volume of cross-strait containers handled by the port for the same period soared from 16,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in December to 74,000 TEUs.

Taiwan’s exports to China are mainly of machinery and capital-intensive goods, while imports from China are mostly raw commodities and textiles, according to Kaoshiung’s harbormaster Tsai Ting-yi.

Tsai said that direct cross-strait shipping has helped businesses cut transportation costs by 15 to 30 percent. While direct routes were banned, ships had to take detours through waters near Japan or Hong Kong.

The port reached its handling capacity with a record trade volume of 10.2 million TEUs in 2007. Hit hard by the current global financial crisis and domestic recession, Kaohsiung Port’s handling volume dropped to 9.67 million TEUs in 2008.

With five terminals and 23 berths, the Port of Kaohsiung is Taiwan's largest container port and the 12th largest in the world in 2008. Among the top ten ports in the world, six are located in China.

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About Me

The Press Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in San Francisco represents the Government Information Office (GIO), Executive Yuan, Republic of China (Taiwan). GIO maintains nine Press Divisions in the United States, including the San Francisco office. The Press Divisions are in charge of promoting Taiwan's public relations and cultural exchanges. This blog is updated by the Press Division, TECO in San Francisco.