SEJONG, Sept. 29 (Yonhap) — Cargo processed at South Korean seaports rose from a year earlier in August, helped by an increase in both export-import and domestic cargo, the government said Tuesday.
The country’s seaports handled 117.686 million tons of cargo last month, up 1.6 percent from the same month last year, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
Export-import cargo, which accounts for 83.7 percent of the total, edged up 0.9 percent on-year to 98.501 million tons, while domestic cargo jumped 5.4 percent to 19.185 million tons.
Compared to July, total cargo handled by seaports was down. In July, ports processed 118.957 million tons of cargo, with export-imports reaching 99.143 million tons and domestic cargo hitting 19.814 million tons.
The ministry said despite the drop in global trade, container cargo, propped up by transshipments, moved up 2.2 percent on-year to 2.127 million twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEUs).
Transshipment cargo, or cargo processed at a local port while en route to a different final destination, rose 6.8 percent vis-a-vis the year before to 897,000 TEUs, with pure export-import cargo moving down 1.1 percent to 1.213 million TEUs. Domestic container cargo spiked 17.9 percent to 17,000 TEUs
In regards to non-container cargo, data showed a 2.1 percent on-year increase to 82.53 million tons. Shipments of sand, cement and chemical products rose, while numbers for minerals and machinery fell.
By port, container cargo processed at the country’s largest seaport in Busan, 453 kilometers southeast of Seoul, rose 4.4 percent compared to the year before to 1.634 million TEUs. Cargo handled at the country’s second-largest port in Incheon west of the capital city dipped 1.9 percent to about 200,000 TEUs.
Busan, meanwhile, ranked No. 6 among the world’s busiest container ports in freight handled in the first eight months of this year. The ranking is unchanged from 2014. The port handled 12.995 million TEUs, compared to 13.718 million TEUs for fifth place Hong Kong. Shanghai remained at the top list, followed by Singapore, Shenzhen and Ningbo-Zhoushan, the ministry’s data showed.
South Korea’s largest port of Busan. (Yonhap file photo)