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Despite an overall decline of 64,651teu, Sydney climbed two places in the Top 100 table and saw a 4.7% increase in volumes through Patrick’s terminal, although the DP World facility saw a 13% fall. Favourable growing conditions in the northwest and


central-west regions of New South Wales led to a 6.2% increase in full container exports year-on-year. However, full container imports were down 4.8% due to lower business confidence and a reduction in private investment. The port hopes to see volume growth of 3.3% in 2010,


and volumes for the year to May were up 5.6%, signalling eight consecutive months of record container throughput. But while full imports for May were up 11.4% year-on- year, buoyed by growth in machinery and transport equipment, full exports were down 11.3%. Transhipment traffic in 2009 represented 13% of the total. Trade with China makes up more than 60% of volumes


62 Sydney Throughput: 1,792,320teu


(-3.5%)


63 Virginia Throughput: 1,745,228teu


(-16.2%)


Throughput declined by 338,050teu at the Hampton Roads facilities in 2009, representing a 16.2% fall. However, Virginia Port Authority (VPA) “conservatively” forecasts growth of 2.5-3% in 2010. With economic decline impacting throughput, VPA says


it implemented many cost-cutting measures and savings. Bonuses, pay rises and overtime were eliminated, operational hours reduced, 90 staff were laid off, vacant positions have been held empty and qualified employees were offered early retirement. Equipment idling was also addressed and some capital improvement projects postponed. Nonetheless, the port recently finished the first phase of


renovation of its on-dock rail operation at Norfolk International Terminal. The second phase on the Central Rail Yard started in late April this year. Less than three years after it opened, APM Terminals


had decided to lease its automated container terminal in Virginia to the port authority. Demand for capacity at the 1m teu facility has failed to meet expectations since operations began in July 2007. The privately-owned terminal will be leased VPA for 20


August 2010


in and out of the port, and both Cosco and Yang Ming have added services, as has PO Shipping, which has started a weekly schedule called the China Australia Express. The port is continuing with the A$1bn (US$875m)


Port Botany T3 expansion and the development of the Enfield Intermodal terminal.


years, with APMT continuing to own the terminal and major assets. All operations will be taken over by VPA’s operating arm, Virginia International Terminals (VIT). In March 2009, CenterPoint, a Chicago-based real


estate developer – majority owned by the California Public Employees’ Retirement System – made an unsolicited offer to purchase the operating rights of Virginia’s cargo terminals. However, privatisation of the port-authority controlled terminals remains a politically contentious issue which may take some time to resolve.


www.cargosystems.net 57


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