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18 Long Beach Throughput: 5,067,597teu


(-21.9%)


In light of the prevailing economic trend, it is perhaps no surprise that throughput declined by over 1.4m teu at the second largest US port. The early months of 2009 saw a dramatic collapse in


throughput which began to show signs of recovery by the final quarter of the year. Together with Los Angeles, the port introduced an


intermodal discount in February 2009 to offer lower rates on containers moved by rail. However, Long Beach did not follow its neighbour’s lead in offering rent discounts to port tenants. Nonetheless, the port adjusted the timing of some


portions of its long-term master plan to accommodate the overall slowdown. This year has seen steady recovery with volumes from


January to the end of April up 16.6% to 1.8m teu over the same period in 2009. Although laden import and export containers saw significant increases, a healthy rise in empties – for


possible refilling in Asia on a conveyor belt back to the US – may signal economic recovery in the transpacific trades. Despite the positive signs, industrial action by office


clerical workers has raised the spectre of major disruption at Long Beach and LA in the days leading up to the traditional peak season for containerised imports.


19 Xiamen Throughput: 4,680,300teu


(-7.0%)


Despite a 354,300teu fall in box throughput in 2009, expansion goes on at Xiamen. The eastern Chinese port is investing Rmb456m


(US$67.3m) to enlarge its sea channel to accommodate 100,000dwt containerships and other types of 150,000dwt vessels. The 34.8km sea channel will be dredged to 20 metres deep and 450 metres wide by 2011. The present sea channel at Xiamen allows the passing of 100,000dwt vessels but is limited by tidal windows. The channel enhancement is partly to prepare for the


deep-water box terminals to be built in the Zhaoyin port district and the 250,000-tonne bulk terminal to be built in the Houshi port district, both located in Zhangzhou. A transport network including railway, highway and a


Rmb5.2bn bridge is being constructed to link Zhangzhou with Xiamen and other cargo sources in the region. When the bridge is operational, it will take 25 minutes to drive from Xiamen to Zhangzhou. Xiamen has benefited from the resumption of the direct sea links between China and Taiwan since


August 2010


December 2008. It handled 297,500teu of direct cargo across the Taiwan Strait in 2009. Cargo volume on the trade rose 22.5% in the first four months in 2010 to 3.39m tonnes. This May, the port has signed a co- operation agreement with Kaohsiung port to enhance information exchange. In the first half of 2010, Xiamen handled 2.74m teu, a 28.22% surge from a year ago.


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