Coronavirus crisis hits Melbourne container traffic


All volume measures are down on same period last year

Coronavirus crisis hits Melbourne container traffic
A view from the port

 

In a trend likely to look similar in other major Australian container ports, the Port of Melbourne has released statistics on the Covid-19 traffic impact showing a significant hit.

In Update 6 of its Response to Covid-19 series, the port operating company reports that, despite the trend being generally downward, and the national economic effects were "significant",  the "port supply chain continues to operate efficiently.

"There has been a marked slowdown in trade in April 2020 compared with April 2019, with total monthly container volumes (full and empty) down by 11.3 per cent."

Within that:

  • full overseas container imports are down 9.2 per cent
  • full overseas container exports are down 8.1 per cent
  • empty container throughput is down 21.1 per cent.

In a financial year-to-date comparison, as of April:

  • total container throughput (full and empty) is down 5.3 per cent
  • full overseas container imports are down 4.8 per cent
  • full overseas container exports are down 3.2 per cent
  • empty container throughput is down 6.3 per cent. 

Read about the Port of Melbourne’s 30-year strategic plan, here


"Of the 30 ship cancellations (vessel blankings) between January and April 2020, over two-thirds relate to shipping lines managing the Covid-19 volume impacts and a third to the annual Lunar New Year reductions," the port says.

"The result is significantly more than the 15 cancellations for the same period in 2019.

"Trade data for the first two weeks of May suggests a continuation of the April trend.

"The outlook for the next few months is expected to be soft, with the extent dependent on industry response to forecasts of a slowing economy, noting that June and July are typically low season months for trade."

 

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