• 21. April 2020
  • 15:33
  • Economy

Current information on the situation in Taiwan, South Korea and Japan

Our colleague Michael Wunderlich, deputy representative of the Port of Hamburg in the Hamburg Liaison Office China (HLO), reports on the effects of the Corona epidemic on the markets in Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan.

The information we receive on the economic situation from Taiwan clarifies that despite the Corona epidemic, the economy in Taiwan apparently got through quite stable in the first quarter of 2020. This is partly due to the fact that many Taiwanese manufacturers are active in the technology sector and are particularly involved in the 5G supply chains. These businesses are running and no major disruption to production is expected in the short term. As many electronics manufacturers are affected by the global decline in demand in the mobility sector, a decline in production in this sector is expected in the second quarter if the global situation does not improve in the short term. The electronics manufacturers in the automotive sector were already affected by the shutdown in Wuhan, China. Wuhan is an important location for the automotive industry in China.

In South Korea we are receiving information about the Port of Busan, which had to cope with increasing handling volumes in the short term. These goods were actually destined for Chinese ports, which were temporarily transhipped via Busan to relieve the Chinese ports. These additional handling volumes in Busan caused delays by liner services in dispatching.

"Container handling in Busan in January rose by around 6 percent compared to 2019, to more than 1 million TEU because, among other things, international logistics companies called the Port of Busan as an alternative to calling at Chinese ports or due to blank sailings," commented Kim Gwang-Min, Deputy Head of Marketing and International Affairs at the Busan Port Authority. While the volume of transhipments, the majority of which were destined for the Chinese market, has increased, Busan experienced a decrease in overall throughput due to declining global economy. Total container throughput in Busan declined by approx. 8 percent compared to the last year. This year, the South Korean port expects the port's overall container volume to decrease in the short to medium term as global trade demand shrinks.

In Japan, the congestion of ports due to the high volume of containers and the bottlenecks in onshore container handling led to import delays for freight forwarders and carriers in Tokyo, Japan's largest container gateway.

The congestion, reinforced by bad weather conditions for shipping, disrupted the timetables of scheduled services and the port rotation on both the Transpacific and the Inner Asian routes and lead to delays. Ocean Network Express (ONE) reported in several customer reports that the overloading of the berths had disrupted the scheduled departure of ships.

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