THE region’s shipping industry recorded increased activities in the first quarter of this year from its performance in the last quarter of 2020.
The National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) 7 said unlike the aviation industry, which has been badly affected by the global halt in travel movements due to the pandemic, the shipping industry has continued to recover in terms of shipcalls, and passenger, cargo and container traffic.
The number of shipcalls recorded in the first quarter of 2021 stood at 26,236, an improvement from the fourth quarter’s 23,848. This figure, though, is a reduction of 50.2 percent from 52,706 recorded in the first quarter of 2020 pre-pandemic period.
Passenger traffic, on the other hand, in the first quarter reached 1,138,000, an improvement from the 793,000 recorded in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Passenger traffic in the first quarter of 2020 stood at 7,495,000.
In the case of the cargo subsector, the volume of cargo in the first quarter of 2021 was slightly lower than that in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Cargo volume slid to 253,000,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) from 257,000,000 TEU in the fourth quarter of 2020.
The Neda 7 said the shortage of space in cargo vessels hampered the growth.
The agency also said there are indications of shipping rates likely to go up within the year, which could weigh on the subsector’s performance.