Intra-Asia container volume down 13.8% on-year
THE consolidated volume of containerized shipments that major shipping lines moved in January between Japan and 13 countries and regions in Asia plunged 13.8 percent from a year earlier, but the Philippines was among the few markets that saw growth, the Japan International Freight Forwarders Association (Jiffa) said on Thursday.
Overall container volume on intra-Asia routes dropped to 1.025 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) in January, a 13.8 percent decline from 1.17 million TEUs a year earlier, the first contraction in two months, Jiffa said.
Container volume from Japan to the Philippines, on the other hand, was “robust,” rising by 1.9 percent during the month to 3,100 TEUs from 3,041 TEUs in January 2016.
Taiwan, Cambodia, and Vietnam also saw increases in container traffic to and from Japan in January, while shipments between Japan and Central China, North China, Fujian Province, and Hong Kong saw sharp decreases of 31.7 percent, 18.6 percent, 10.1 percent, and 15 percent respectively.
Jiffa also noted that apart from the Philippines, Vietnam, and Cambodia, container volume between Japan and the rest of Southeast Asia significantly dropped, with the biggest decreases being in Indonesia, 22.6 percent down year-on-year, and Malaysia, down 21.1 percent.
The freight forwarders’ group said container exports from Japan decreased by 16.3 percent overall, while imports retracted by 9.4 percent year-on-year in January.
“Last-minute cargo demand did not grow as powerfully as expected before the Lunar New Year holidays, significantly decreasing both imports to and exports to major economies in the region,” Jiffa said in a statement. “In breakdown, dry and reefer containers both incurred double-digit decreases, going down 13.9 percent to 961,600 TEUs and down 11.8 percent to 63,700 TEUs, respectively.”