Cargo traffic jumps 7% at Korean ports

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Cargo traffic jumps 7% at Korean ports

The amount of container cargo processed at Korean seaports rose 7 percent from a year earlier to an all-time high for January as a growth in transshipments more than offset a drop in export-import cargo, the government said yesterday.

The amount of container cargo handled at the country’s seaports reached 1.81 million 20-foot-equivalent units (TEUs), compared with 1.69 million TEUs processed the same month last year, according to the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs.

The growth came solely from a rise in transshipment cargo, which is cargo that passes through the country while en route to its final destination.

The amount of transshipment cargo jumped 22.9 percent on-year last month to some 699,000 TEUs, the ministry said. The amount of export-import cargo slipped 1.1 percent to 1.06 million TEUs while the amount of domestic cargo remained unchanged from last year at 48,000 TEUs.

“Transshipment cargo recorded a large growth of a double-digit figure for the 11th consecutive month since March 2011 as the country’s seaports, especially its Busan port, increasingly replaced northern Chinese ports as a logistics hub,” the ministry said in a news release.

The country’s largest port in Busan, 450 kilometers (280 miles) southeast of Seoul, again strengthened its position as the world’s fifth-largest seaport with 1.36 million TEUs processed there last month, up 10.6 percent from the same period last year, according to the ministry. The amount of transshipment cargo handled by the port surged 23 percent on-year to 671,000 TEUs, with the amount of import-export cargo also gaining 0.3 percent to 684,000 TEUs. Yonhap

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