Mon, Feb 06, 2006 - Page 10 News List

Kaohsiung Port rapidly losing competitiveness


Kaohsiung Port -- Taiwan's largest port and once the world's third-busiest in terms of container traffic -- is increasingly losing its transshipment hub status in the Asia-Pacific region amid rising rivalry from ports in neighboring countries, an investigation has found.

The study led by Wu Jung-kui (吳榮貴), a professor at the Northern Taiwan Institute of Science and Technology, on the outlooks for the six leading ports in the region shows that the southern Taiwan port ranks bottom of the list, with Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Busan ahead of it, in that order.

The study warned that Kaohsiung Port will see its operations further affected if the government fails to work out effective countermeasures.

Last year, the handling volume at the port dropped for the first time, showing a 2.5 percent shrinkage for a year-on-year reduction, it pointed out.

Although the number of Asia-Europe and Asia-America large container shipping lanes has risen from 44 to 96 over the past 11 years, the report said that Kaohsiung Port dealt with the smallest portion -- 11 percent on average -- of the containers loaded and unloaded among the six ports.

According to the study, Hong Kong dealt with the most at 24 percent, followed by Singapore's 22 percent, Shanghai's 16 percent and Shenzhen's 15 percent.

If its sluggishness continues, Kaohsiung Port is estimated to be handling only 8 percent by 2010, the study forecast, predicting that Shenzhen and Shanghai will replace Hong Kong and Singapore to become the world's largest and second-largest container ports.

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