Naha Port records its highest container load handling volume

March 27, 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo

In the 2011 fiscal year Naha Port recorded its highest ever container load handling volume, a total of 213919 TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit – a 20 foot long container), an increase of 3.3% over the previous year. This is a preliminary calculation carried out by the Naha Port Authority on March 26 from the total volume of containers (exports and imports), and domestic shipments. At the same time, the percentage of the total load handling made up of container load handling increased in fiscal 2011, accounting for 204382 TEU, including export and domestic shipments, an increase of 5.4% over the previous year. These figures suggest that cargo for exports from Okinawa has become somewhat sluggish.

The volume of overseas container cargo for export from Okinawa was 18302 TEU, an increase of 4.2% over the previous year. The volume of container load handling for export has increased steadily. The total amount of import and export was 63249 TEU, an increase of 6% over the previous year. However, the volume for export accounted for less than 30% of the total container load handling.

At the same time, the volume of empty containers for export was 24600 TEU, 1.1% up on the previous year, but less that the 25223 TEU of fiscal 2002. The volume of empty containers for export decreased to 10862 TEU in fiscal 2007, and since that year there has been an upward trend.

The volume of containers loading goods for the domestic market has increased slightly at 18063 TEU, an increase of 24.3% compared to the figure in fiscal 2002, while the amount of empty containers has risen to 179782 TEU, an increase of 52.6% over fiscal 2002, indicating that the rate of increase is high.

A representative of the Naha Port Authority pointed out the need to reduce logistics costs by eliminating the volume of empty containers for export to both overseas and domestic markets, because the unbalance between the volume of containers loading goods and empty containers in the delivery and transport system results in high transportation costs. The association is now working on a social experiment to cope with this problem, and is striving to achieve a less than a container load or LCL for export to Asia. On March 26, the association reported the preliminary figures of container load handling in fiscal 2011 at the meeting for the Okinawa International Logistics Operation Team held at the Naha Office of Cabinet Office, Government of Japan.

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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