Protectionism the cause of slowing growth in world ports

AN overall slowdown in first quarter volumes at ports worldwide has
been blamed on trade protectionism, after the throughput growth rate
decreased by 2.9 percentage points compared to the same period a year
earlier, according to the Shanghai International Shipping Institute

However, SISI's Global Port Development Report published in May also
showed that the cargo throughput itself of the major ports globally
maintained growth in the first quarter, rising by 3.4 per cent year on
year, reported UK's Port Strategy.

The report pointed out that in Q1 the world's economy displayed
clearer recovery signals, while manufacturing, consumption and
investment continued to gain steam.

Container throughput at the key world ports rose by six per cent year
on year to 77.2 million TEU, and global terminal operators - overall
operation stayed stable, with increasingly diversified investment.

SISI revealed that the major Chinese ports handled 3.1 billion tonnes
of cargo in the first quarter, but the growth rate declined by 4.1
percentage points - the lowest since the fourth quarter of 2016.

The growth rate of China's cargo throughput for domestic trade
gradually slowed down, falling by 5.8 percentage points in the first
quarter of this year, but Chinese ports above a designated size
handled one billion tonnes of cargo of foreign trade, representing an
increase of five per cent year on year.

According to SISI, Cosco Shipping Ports in the first quarter handled a
total of 22.7 million TEU, an increase of 14.7 per cent year on year.

Ningbo-Zhoushan, Shanghai and Singapore, in that order, were the top
three ports in the world for cargo throughput in the first quarter.

As for the major Australian ports, cargo volume rose by 7.6 per cent
in the first quarter, while container throughput of major container
ports in the Americas rose by 4.8 per cent to 8.3 million TEU.