Taipei Port has witnessed strong growth in both imports and exports of automobiles, with the total reaching about 80,000 last year, the Keelung Harbor Bureau said yesterday.
Teng Shih-chang (鄧世昌), chief secretary of the Keelung Harbor Bureau, said 45,000 were vehicles imported from abroad, accounting for 65 percent of the total imported to the nation. The rest were vehicles for export, accounting for 90 percent of the nation’s car exports.
Statistics from Taipei Port also showed that traffic through the port had increased 94 percent compared with 2009.
“This is a clear indication of economic rebound,” Teng said. “It also showed that an automobile industry cluster has gradually emerged at Taipei Port.”
The bureau further credited growth in the automobile industry at Taipei Port to Tonglit Logistics, which was the first company to establish an operational base in the port’s free-trade zone.
The company specializes in the import and export of whole vehicles, as well as auto parts.
Through the service provided by Tonglit, major global vehicle manufacturers, including HINO, Toyota and Ford, could assemble the vehicles at the port’s free-trade zone and export them again to Australia, Japan or the Middle East, the bureau said.
The bureau said Tonglit had decided to set up a base at Taipei Port because it is only 122 nautical miles from the Fuzhou Free Trade Port Zone in China. With supply chains from both China and Taiwan, the company aims to make Taipei Port its port installation options unit for automobiles in the Asia-Pacific region, the bureau said.
The bureau estimated imports and exports of automobiles could reach 100,000 this year, because demand would remain high.
Located in Bali District (八里) in New Taipei City (新北市), the port officially opened in 2009. The container terminal is used by Evergreen Marine, Yang Ming Marine Transport and Wang Hai Lines, which signed a 50-year build--operate-transfer contract with the government.
Meanwhile, similar growth in the automobile sector was also reported at Taichung Port.
Taichung Port Harbor master Wang Ko-chin (王克勤) said that a total of 18,570 motor vehicles were imported through the port last year, nearly twice the number recorded in 2009.