SEOUL, Nov. 27 (Korea Bizwire) – Korea’s transportation industry has shrunk for the first time in four years. As the shipping industry suffers from a severe slump, the cargo volume across the sea plummeted, which led to the downturn of the transportation industry as a whole in South Korea. The total sales of marine transportation posted 40.8 trillion won last year, down 9.3 percent from 45.0 trillion won in the previous year, painting gloomy pictures in the industry.
“Abenomics” in neighboring Japan is another main culprit in striking a blow to the transportation industry in Korea. A weak yen has made Japanese tourists reluctant to visit Korea, resulting in a sharp decrease in air transport demand between the two countries. It now became quite hard to find Japanese tourists in Myung-dong which used to be a hot spot for them. The exchange rate was 950 won to 100 yen in January this year, falling from 1,200 won in January 2013. Sales volume in the air transport industry recorded 21.0 trillion won last year, down 1.8 percent from 21.4 trillion won in the previous year.
The total sales of the transportation industry last year decreased 0.9 percent to 140.3 trillion won from 141.6 trillion won in the previous year due to the decline in the marine and air transport sectors, according to the National Statistical Office. But sales of the ground transport industry and the warehouse and transport service sector took a favorable turn. Overland transport sales last year posted 58.6 trillion won, up 3.7 percent compared with the previous year while service sales recorded 19.9 trillion won, up 6.4 percent.
The number of companies in the total industry was 360,000, up 4.6 percent compared with the previous year. In terms of transport types, 341,000 operate in the ground transport industry followed by 18,000 in the service area, 611 in the marine sector and 33 in the air industry. Last year, the number of workers per company was three while the average sales volume per enterprise was 390 million won with all the figures decreasing compared with the previous year.
By Veronica Huh (email@example.com)