Kaohsiung Harbor has lost its position among the world’s top 10 busiest container ports due to strong competition from Chinese ports, the Chinese-language United Daily News reported yesterday.
The newspaper said data from China’s China Shipping Gazette weekly showed that last year, the world’s top-10 busiest container ports were Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Pusan, Dubai, Guangzhou, Ningbo, Zhoushan and Qingdao.
Seven are Chinese ports, while the others were Singapore, Pusan (South Korea) and Dubai (United Arab Emirates).
Kaohsiung has fallen from its No. 7 place in 2007, but the Gazette did not reveal details below the top 10, so it was not clear exactly where the port stood in the world rankings.
Despite the global financial crisis which has hit the shipping industry, the top 10 ports achieved single-digit growth in container volume, while Kaohsiung’s container volume fell 5.66 percent from 2007, becoming the only Asian port to register shrinking container volume.
Kaohsiung Harbor director Hsieh Ming-hui (謝明輝) said he was was concerned over the report, but he would wait for another report on port rankings last year to be released by the British journal Containerization International next month.
Hsieh said that Kaohsiung Harbor was expanding and will try to regain its place among the world’s top 10 container ports.
“To jump, you have to squat first,” he told the United Daily News, meaning Kaohsiung is ready to make a fresh start.
The harbor was the world’s No. 3 container port during the 1980s, but its ranking has been slipping rapidly in recent years as neighboring countries, especially China, have expanded their ports or built new ports.
Taiwan lifted the six-decade ban on shipping links with China last December, which is expected to boost container volume.
Kaohsiung Harbor is also building a deep-water container terminal to accommodate larger vessels. Its five container terminals include one at 14.5m deep. The new terminal will have four 16m berths that will be operational by 2013.