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Mingpao: Hong Kong’s Container Throughput Fell 16 Percent, Far Behind Shenzhen

Mingpao, one of Hong Kong’s primary newspapers, recently reported that business has decreased at Hong Kong’s container terminals. This decrease contrasts with prior expectations that demand would increase following the easing of Covid-related commerce restrictions between Mainland China and Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s ports have taken a greater hit than the nearby Mainland Shenzhen Port in the Pearl River Delta.

Hong Kong’s container throughput during the first seven months of this year fell by 15.8 percent year-over-year, totaling 8.32 million TEU (standard containers). Container throughput for the month of July was 1.2 million TEU, down 17.9 percent compared with July of 2022. Meanwhile, the nearby Shenzhen port saw only a 4 percent decrease in year-over-year throughput during the first seven months (16.35 million TEU) and had a 7.6 percent increase in year-over-year throughput for the month of July (2.82 million TEU).

There has been basically no expansion of Hong Kong’s terminals in the past decade. Meanwhile, the layouts of the ports in Guangzhou and Shenzhen have become increasingly complete. Thus, some goods are no longer shipped through Hong Kong.

According to the Hong Kong Marine Department’s April 2023 ranking of the world’s top ten container ports, Hong Kong ranked ninth from 2020 to 2022, surpassed by Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and other Greater Bay Area ports. Hong Kong was still ranked among the top three ports in the world between 2008 and 2012. It ranked fourth from 2013 to 2014 and fifth from 2015 to 2017.

Source: Mingpao, September 18, 2023