SEJONG, Jan. 25 (Korea Bizwire) – The volume of cargo processed at South Korea’s seaports reached a record high last year despite a global economic slump and the collapse of the country’s leading shipper, the government said Wednesday.
Cargo handled at seaports across the nation totaled 1.5 billion tons in 2016, up 2.7 percent from a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries. Trade cargo totaled 1.23 billion tons, while domestic shipments came to 265 million tons.
The increase came mainly from the 3.1-percent rise in non-container cargo to 1.06 billion tons.
“Meanwhile, container cargo also increased 1 percent (on-year) to 25.9 million twenty-foot-equivalent-units (TEUs) in spite of many difficulties including a global economic slump and the court receivership of Hanjin Shipping,” the ministry said.
By port, the country’s largest port in Busan handled 19.4 million TEUs, down 0.2 percent from 2015. But direct trade cargo at the Busan port grew 2.6 percent to 9.6 million TEUs.
While transshipment cargo processed there dipped 2.8 percent to 9.8 million TEUs, affected by Hanjin’s trouble, Hyundai Merchant Marine and other local shipping lines are filling in for Hanjin, said the ministry.
Busan was the world’s sixth largest port by cargo volume, with China’s Shanghai at the top, it added.