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          Clear The Air Ships Air Pollution Blog Rotating Header Image

          June, 2011:

          ECA Singapore

          From: Serene LIU (MPA) [mailto:Serene_LIU@mpa.gov.sg]
          Sent: Tuesday, June 28, 2011 17:28
          To: dynamco@netvigator.com
          Subject: [ MPA’s reply ] FW: ECA Singapore

          Hi James,

          Pls see MPA’s reply to your query below. Kindly attribute to MPA spokesperson. Thank you.

          As a responsible member of the international maritime community, Singapore has been working closely with IMO and other countries to address the environmental impact of shipping. We recognise that shipping is an international business and we strongly support international measures implemented through the IMO and enforce these rigorously in Singapore. However, we also recognise that some companies, on their own initiative, do more than that mandated by the IMO in terms of going green.

          To encourage companies who are ready or thinking about undertaking environmentally-friendly shipping practices which are above and beyond what is mandated by the IMO, MPA launched the Maritime Singapore Green Initiative.?It is a comprehensive initiative with three programmes –?the Green Ship Programme, the Green Port Programme and the Green Technology Programme.

          MPA is very glad to work in close partnership with the industry on addressing the environmental challenges facing shipping.?MPA received positive response on the participation in the Maritime Singapore Green Initiative.?A total of 12 key organisations from across Maritime Singapore also signed the inaugural Maritime Singapore Green Pledge to pledge their commitment to promote and support clean and green shipping in Singapore.

          The Green Port Programme, Green Ship Programme and Green Technology Programme will? be effective from 1 July 2011. Full details on the registration and procedures will be published on our MPA corporate website.

          Serene Liu ? Asst Manager (Corporate Comms) ? Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) ? DID: (65) 63751789 ? Fax: (65) 62768927 ? www.mpa.gov.sg

          Our Vision???? ? A leading maritime agency driving Singapore’s global maritime aspirations

          Our Mission? ? To develop and promote Singapore as a premier global hub port and an international maritime centre, and to advance and safeguard Singapore’s strategic maritime interests

          From: James Middleton [mailto:dynamco@netvigator.com]
          Sent: Wednesday, 22 June, 2011 4:05 PM
          To: Susan S C ONG (MPA)
          Subject: ECA Singapore

          Dear Madam

          Can you pls advise what is the current status of declaring an Emissions Control Area for shipping within Singapore waters ?

          Kind regards

          James Middleton

          Chairman

          www.cleartheair.org.hk

          Reply from Tony Lee

          From: tony_yt_lee@epd.gov.hk [mailto:tony_yt_lee@epd.gov.hk]

          Sent: Monday, June 27, 2011 17:54
          To: James Middleton
          Cc: christopher.dewolf@gmail.com;?enquiry@epd.gov.hk;?phoebelui@epd.gov.hk
          Subject: E(11/1515) : Port Strategy – A new dawn

          Dear Mr Middleton,

          Thank you for your messages of 23 and 26 June. ? The consolidated reply of EPD and the Marine Department (MD) is as follows.

          1. What is the actual fuel sulphur cap here?
          Ans. According to Regulation 29(1) of the Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Air Pollution) Regulation, the sulphur content of any fuel oil used on board ships in Hong Kong is not to exceed?4.5% m/m.

          2. ?How is this enforced for incoming vessels which refueled elsewhere?
          Ans. According to Regulations 33(4) and 34 of the Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Air Pollution) Regulation, all incoming ships of 400 gross tonnage or above and engaged in international voyage shall carry Bunker Delivery Notes (BDN) with the associated representative sample of the fuel on board. ?The BDN and the representative sample are?subject to inspection by Government Surveyors.

          3. ?What samples are taken to ensure the ships are conforming to “grey smoke emissions instead of black smoke”?
          Ans. MD is currently using Ringelmann Chart for the identification of black smoke. ?If a ship emits smoke of or darker than Shade 2 for continuous 3 minutes, the emission is regarded as black smoke.

          4. ?Since these Charter member shipping lines have opted to switch to ULSD only at berth and not whilst sailing within Hong Kong waters what has Government done to seek their compliance whilst underway rather than just at berth?
          Ans. The Fair Winds Charter signatories have committed themselves to switching their vessels to?0.5% sulphur fuel?when at berth. ?While sailing underway within HK waters, these vessels must meet the sulphur limit requirement stipulated under MARPOL Annex VI. ?As mentioned, since China has not designated its waters (including that of Hong Kong) as an Emission Control Area, there is no vehicle for Hong Kong to “require” operators to use fuels of more stringent specifications.

          5. ?What is the sulphur content of bunker fuel supplied for refueling in Hong Kong?
          Ans. It must be below 4.5% and is?usually in the range of 3.5% – 4.0%.??You may contact the local suppliers in the attached document for details or access the MD’s website on the link provided for that document.

          http://www.mardep.gov.hk/en/msnote/pdf/oilsupreg.pdf

          6. ?Hong Kong is supposed to be an independent territory for 50 years from 1997 is it not? ?We make our own laws do we not ? ?The EPD intends to designate Low Emission Zones for traffic on Nathan Road, Causeway Bay and Central so that only Euro 5 diesels / hybrids will be allowed to enter those areas. ?I see no difference with doing the same for HK waters – either meet the relevant standards or do not enter our waters or be fined if you do.
          Using “China did not do it” is a lame duck reply more worthy of Donald Tsang than a body supposed to be looking after the air quality here , in this 50 year independent SAR.
          Ans. ?Under MARPOL Annex VI, there are general requirements on the sulphur content of any fuel oil used on board ships. ?There is also a mechanism for member states of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to apply for designating its waters as an Emission Control Area (ECA), within which the requirements are more stringent than the general requirements. ?This mechanism is not mandated for all member States to designate its waters, in whole or in part, as an ECA. ?As a matter of fact, Hong Kong is an associate member of IMO, not a full member (member state) and thus cannot file an application for ECA designation by Hong Kong itself.

          Best regards,
          Tony YT Lee

          Encl. PDF : oilsupreg

          Reply from EPD

          From: tony_yt_lee@epd.gov.hk [mailto:tony_yt_lee@epd.gov.hk]
          Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2011 17:26
          To: James Middleton
          Cc: enquiry@epd.gov.hk;?phoebelui@epd.gov.hk
          Subject: E(11/1515) : Port Strategy – A new dawn

          Dear Mr Middleton,

          Thank you for your message regarding the maritime air pollution in Hong Kong.

          To control emissions from marine vessels, Hong Kong has been diligently implementing the requirements of MARPOL Annex VI, which caps the fuel sulphur content of ships and controls their emissions when operating within Hong Kong waters. ?All marine vessels operating within the waters of Hong Kong are subject to the requirements, including the fuel sulphur cap.

          There are now two Emission Control Areas (ECAs) in operation, one in the Baltic Sea and the other in the North Sea. ?Another one covering the waters of 200 nm off the coasts of North America will come into force in August 2011. ?China has not yet designated its waters, including the waters of Hong Kong, as an ECA under the framework of MARPOL Annex VI. ?Therefore, the Mainland and Hong Kong cannot “enforce” any ECA requirement on vessels within our waters.

          As for the Fair Winds Charter, the Government welcomes the ship liners’ voluntary green move. ?The move provides an opportunity for us to collect data and assess the environmental benefits and implications (for cost and operation) arising from fuel switch at berth. ? The findings will help us chart the way forward.

          Thank you for pointing out the significance of reducing emissions from marine vessels. ?Hong Kong will keep closely watching worldwide development of maritime emission control policy, technology and measures and will explore the feasibility of introducing them into Hong Kong where opportune.

          Best regards,
          Tony Y T Lee
          Senior Environmental Protection Officer
          Air Policy Group
          Environmental Protection Department

          Port Strategy – A new dawn

          Dear EPD

          Shipping Emissions Control Area for Hong Kong and China

          How many vessels heading for these ports from the West / to and from Macau pass through Hong Kong’s waters burning high sulphur / high RSP bunker fuel ?

          What is China doing to enforce Emission Control Areas for shipping that currently affect Hong Kong pollution by passing within 50 miles of Hong Kong ?

          What is Hong Kong doing to enforce Emission Control Areas for shipping within its territorial waters ?

          The voluntary Fair Winds Charter is totally insufficient – we need Laws mandating the burning of ULSD in all ocean going and river trade vessels within Hong Kong waters.

          We look forward to EPD’s reply.

          With regards,

          James Middleton

          Chairman

          Clear the Air

          www.cleartheair.org.hk

          World Container throughput http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_world’s_busiest_container_ports The World’s busiest ports

          1 Singapore

          2 Shanghai

          3 Hong Kong

          4 Shenzhen

          6 Guangzhou

          8 Ningbo

          9 Qingdao

          11 Tianjin

          19 Xiamen

          22 Dalian

          35 Liangyungang

          40 Yingkou

          http://sggreendrinks.wordpress.com/2011/04/21/shipping-going-clean-and-green/

          ‘The Green Port Programme is aimed at encouraging ocean-going ships calling at the Port of Singapore to reduce the emission of pollutants like sulphur oxides and nitrogen oxides. Ships that use type-approved abatement/scrubber technology or burn clean fuels with low sulphur content beyond MARPOL requirements within the port can enjoy a 15 per cent reduction on port dues payable.’

          http://www.mpa.gov.sg/sites/circulars_and_notices/pdfs/shipping_circulars/shipping_circular_25_of_2009_north_american_eca_final.pdf

          http://wildshores.blogspot.com/2008/10/singapore-to-be-sulphur-emission.html

          http://www.dieselnet.com/standards/inter/imo.php

          http://www.portstrategy.com/features101/area-survey/port-profile/hong-kong/a-new-dawn

          A new dawn

          21 Jun 2011

          Maersk’s scaled back Hong Kong business was a blow to Modern Terminals

          Hong Kong’s status as one of the world’s leading maritime centres is not under threat, but change is coming as Michael King reports

          At the start of April this year container giant Maersk cut its calls at the port of Hong Kong by a quarter, from around 30 per week to 22-23. The reason? The carrier said it would be transferring most of the calls to a terminal at the port of Nansha near Guangzhou in southern Mainland China which is partly owned by sister company APM Terminals.

          The transfer was a huge blow both to Modern Terminals, which handles most of Maersk’s calls at Hong Kong, and to Hong Kong’s status as the region’s leading container hub. More blows could follow.

          The port lost its status as the world’s largest container port back in 2004 and?was ranked third according to 2009 throughput totals, some distance behind Singapore and Shanghai.?The ports of Shenzhen and Guangzhou, located over the border in Mainland China, were fourth and sixth in the rankings.

          Last year the port of Hong Kong handled 23.7m teu, again putting it in third place although the figure was still below the record set in 2008 pre-global financial crisis.

          The critical ingredients for supply chain operators when it comes to choice of port cover a range of factors including liner service availability, consolidation options, speed and cost.

          For forwarders adept at finding the path of least resistance and lowest cost, Hong Kong’s traditional appeal compared with using ports in southern China – and this also explains the dominance on export lanes of Hong Kong International Airport compared with airports Guangzhou and Shenzhen – has been its embrace of modern business practices which extends across government bodies and its trading bureaucracy.

          Even though it has often been one of the most expensive ports in the world to load it has remained the first choice for most shippers and lines because of its excellent connectivity and service levels.

          Its location to the ‘world’s factory’ region of southern Mainland China has also, clearly, been a major factor in its success. Yet China’s import and export patterns are changing. As Maersk acknowledged when it signalled its change in strategy, China is becoming a growing importer and its ‘Go West’ strategy and other policies designed to spread the benefits of economic development ever inland are changing the trading landscape. Lengthening supply chains are giving carriers and shippers food for thought.

          Ports in southern China such as Shenzhen and Guangzhou are considerably closer to factories in southern China, and not only do they offer cheaper handling rates but customs offices are attempting to modernise systems with some success. Increasingly, they offer a range of direct, regular mainline connections to the rest of the world, removing the need to tranship using trucks and barge to access Hong Kong’s multitude of international connections.

          And, as Paul?Tsui, Chairman of the Hong Kong Association of Freight Forwarding and Logistics (Haffa), admits, Hong Kong’s connectivity to western provinces of China is limited, while rival ports in Shenzhen and Guangzhou are increasingly well served by road and rail services.

          Maersk Line says it will now serve South China through three gateways at?Yantian, Nansha as well as Hong Kong, with Nansha primarily used for traffic to and from the West Pearl River Delta for whom it offers lower trucking and barge costs and less operational risk on hinterland transport because of its direct liner services.

          “Nansha also does not have the barge congestion as seen in many other ports in the region during peak season,” a spokesman for the line tells?Port Strategy. “Instead of numerous barge sailings with uncertain onwards connections, we will offer fixed connecting windows and thus a reliable end-to-end service.”

          Elsewhere in Asia, new deep draft ports are also springing up, most notably at Cai Mep in Vietnam. In a low freight rate environment characterised by slow steaming strategies and excess capacity, direct calls with the largest ships possible are an attractive option for many lines when compared with hub and spoke options. Transit times are also becoming less important for many shippers who have now adapted supply chains and inventory management systems to slow deliveries.

          Truong Bui, a senior consultant at Drewry’s Singapore office, says the impact of more direct calls by lines operating on main line trades will have far reaching implications, not just for Hong Kong, but also for Asia’s other transhipment hubs.

          In March, for example, the?newly opened Cai Mep International Terminal (CMIT), a joint venture between APM Terminals, Vietnam National Shipping Lines and Saigon?Port, received a?11,500 teu capacity vessel operated by CMA CGM. The?CMA CGM Columba is the largest container vessel ever to call in Vietnam and was en route to North Europe as part of the line’s FAL3 service.

          Mr Truong says more deep draft terminals are planned in northern Vietnam which will be able to receive the largest vessels deployed on Asia-Europe and Transpacific trades.

          “Now there are more ports available that can take main line calls, lines can call at Vietnam and then head for the US and Europe directly without transhipping.”

          The upshot of this trend, he says, is that cargo previously transhipped from Vietnam via Singapore, Kaohsiung and Hong Kong will in future be shipped direct to destination from Vietnam’s own terminals. “Hong Kong will lose market share,” he predicts.

          Although unlikely at present, another factor in the future could be the liberalisation of China’s cabotage rules. Singapore-based carrier APL, for example, currently offers 29 vessel calls in Hong Kong each week offering worldwide connections. But a spokesperson says that if cabotage reform was undertaken the carrier would establish hubs in China. “We are in regular dialogue with the relevant parties in China,” she says.

          The advantage of a hub is the many and frequent daily onward shipments available and the economies of scale that are generated by volume. Any decline in a hub’s network of services can be damaging. Mr Truong says that if China did change its cabotage rules, Hong Kong could lose a sizeable chunk of its transhipment business.

          Although the loss of the Maersk calls could turn out to be part of the carrier’s strategy to win a reduction in port costs, or to support its equity stake at Nansha, if other carriers followed suit then Hong Kong’s unique selling point for customers – its global connectivity – would be impaired.

          “I think Shenzhen will overtake Hong Kong this year as the world’s third largest container port,” says Mr Tsui. “Hong Kong has limited opportunity to expand, so it must rely on increasing efficiency. Other ports can expand more easily to take additional services.”

          Laws needed on ship pollution

          South China Morning Post

          Updated on?Jun 19, 2011

          Society has zero tolerance when one person threatens or takes the life of another, yet nothing is being done to prevent air pollution from visiting ocean-going ships. Unlike power stations and vehicles, the vessels are allowed to burn the dirtiest, cheapest, high-sulphur fuel – of a standard several times worse than is acceptable in most European or North American ports. Studies suggest that hundreds of people are probably dying each year as a result. For authorities to continue to turn a blind eye is to make a mockery of their pledge to make our air less toxic.

          The oil, commonly known as bunker fuel, is the thick residue left in refineries after the lighter liquids have been removed. There is no cheaper or more highly polluting petroleum product. It is in clear evidence – pouring blackly from the funnels of container ships, ferries and tug boats. When it is burned, potentially dangerous chemicals are emitted that can cause breathing and skin disorders, heart disease and cancers.

          It is an oddity of the government’s environmental policy that, while it has legislated for cleaner fuel for private cars, taxis and minibuses and has in place voluntary schemes for larger polluters, it is ignoring a source that may pose the biggest single threat to health.

          Prefacing the risks with an element of uncertainty is necessary because of a lack of targeted research. An index developed by University of Hong Kong public health professor Anthony Hedley indicates air pollution kills between 1,000 and 1,200 people a year. Studies conducted after the government mandated low-sulphur petrol be used in road vehicles attributed about one-third of deaths from air pollution to shipping. To be aware of such risks, yet not take precautions through rules or legislation, is illogical.

          Authorities elsewhere have not been so negligent. With bunker fuel having a sulphur content of between 3 and 4.5 per cent – thousands of times what Hong Kong insists on for vehicle diesel – ports have mandated that ships cannot dock unless they are burning higher-grade fuel. The International Maritime Organisation, the UN body that polices the world’s shipping, has ordered tighter standards for large ships using European and North American waters. Generally, that means 1 per cent or 1.5 per cent sulphur and, when in port, less than that – in the case of Europe, 0.1 per cent sulphur.

          Some companies using Hong Kong’s container port at Kwai Chung are already being responsible. The Danish shipping firm Maersk Line has decided all its vessels will use low-sulphur fuel when at anchor and berthed. But volunteerism is not an option for the government with air pollution – the schemes under way, and the high sulphur levels beside roads and in Kwai Chung, prove that. Laws are the only way to deal with what has for too long been a neglected problem.

          Shippers urge regulations to curb dockside pollution

          South China Morning Post — 12 June 2011

          Shipping firms are increasingly joining forces with environmentalists in lobbying governments to impose tighter restrictions on emissions.

          In November, 15 shipping lines signed the Fair Winds Charter, a voluntary agreement to switch from dirty bunker fuel to low-sulphur fuel when berthed in Hong Kong.

          Among the signatories is Maersk, the world’s largest container shipping company, which says the switch to low-sulphur fuel could cut its local emissions by 80 per cent or more.

          “One of the reasons the shipping companies are doing this is because they don’t feel this hurts their competitive advantage,” said Veronica Booth, a senior project manager at Civic Exchange, which first proposed the charter.

          “The shipping lines are by nature transcontinental, so when they go to places like California they have to switch fuel anyway. They see that the global trend is to clean up.”

          Ultimately, though, the charter is a gesture of goodwill, with no regulatory teeth to ensure compliance among its signatories. It expires in January, and if the government does not pass new legislation restricting marine emissions by then, shipping companies will go back to burning bunker fuel in Hong Kong.

          “The Fair Winds Charter is a start but it’s mainly hype,” said James Middleton, chairman of air-pollution concern group Clear the Air. “The lame-duck government of Hong Kong has done nothing to create an emission-control area, so all shipping passing through here is burning bunker fuel at will and only the charter members switch to ultra-low-sulphur diesel while at dockside.”

          Arthur Bowring, managing director of the Hong Kong Ship Owners’ Association, which helped lobby for the Fair Winds Charter, said: “We need regulation. We’re frustrated by the lack of action by government.”

          Bowring says the government should require all vessels berthed in Hong Kong to switch to low-sulphur fuel. Eventually, he says, the only way to tackle shipping pollution is to impose an emission-control area for the entire Pearl River Delta region, which would require lengthy negotiations with mainland governments.

          Container ship health risk ‘ignored’

          South China Morning Post — 12 June 2011

          Inaction over sulphur dioxide levels near ports is endangering the lives of thousands, scientist says

          Hongkongers living near container ports are being subjected to levels of sulphur dioxide much higher than should be allowed, says the author of a government report on marine pollution.

          Scientists, environmentalists and even the shipping industry have accused the government of dragging its feet in regulating pollution from container ships and other ocean vessels, putting at risk the health of thousands of people living in areas like Kwai Chung and Tsing Yi.

          “It’s a very big health threat,” said Hong Kong University of Science and Technology visiting scholar Simon Ng Ka-wing, who is working on a report on marine emissions for the Environmental Protection Department (EPD). “At the moment, many people living in Kwai Chung don’t even know that shipping emissions are harming their health.”

          According to an index developed by University of Hong Kong public health professor Anthony Hedley, air pollution in the city kills between 1,000 and 2,000 people a year. About a third of those deaths can be directly attributed to shipping emissions, based on studies held after the government legislated low-sulphur fuel for road vehicles in the 1990s.

          “If you have grown up in highly polluted air, you will likely have lower levels of lung function, which will expose you to a higher risk of heart and lung disease and premature death,” Hedley said. “We are stacking up a great deal of problems for many children growing up in Hong Kong’s environment because the pollution levels are so very high.”

          A study last year by Chak Chan, head of the University of Science and Technology’s Institute for the Environment, suggested that levels of roadside sulphur dioxide in Hong Kong were significantly higher than those reported by the government.

          Chan said that because the EPD had only three roadside pollution monitoring stations, in Mong Kok, Causeway Bay and Central, most roadside pollution went unmeasured. His study used a mobile monitoring station that drove around the city collecting data in 2009 and 2010.

          “We measured a high level of sulphur dioxide in [Kwai Chung],” Chan said. “It also depends on the wind direction. When it blows towards the north, it affects the Kwai Chung area, but if it’s the other way it hits the [Hong Kong] island side.”

          Hedley warned that “anyone living downwind from the East Lamma Channel” could see their health seriously affected by marine pollution.

          The high levels of sulphur dioxide come from bunker fuel, an inexpensive form of low-grade oil that is used to power ocean-going vessels.

          It has a sulphur content of about 3 per cent, compared to 0.001 per cent in the cleanest diesel fuel. When bunker fuel is burned, it is converted into small particulates that reduce visibility and cause lung damage, leading to a higher risk of stroke, heart attack and respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia.

          Many ports in Europe and North America prevent ships from burning bunker fuel while berthed, but Hong Kong does not.

          “The government has regulations on road vehicles, but when it comes to marine vessels there is no restriction on what kind of fuel can be used, even though sulphur dioxide’s impact on human health is much more severe compared to other pollutants,” Chan said.

          Next year, the use of high-sulphur fuels will be banned up to 200 nautical miles off the coasts of Canada and the United States. Their environmental agencies estimate these measures will save 8,300 lives a year.

          In a written response to questions, an EPD spokeswoman said Hong Kong had been “diligently implementing” measures required by international conventions to restrict marine pollution.

          “We have been watching closely the development of worldwide policies, measures and new technologies in controlling the emissions of oceangoing vessels and will explore the feasibility of introducing them to Hong Kong,” she said.

          But observers were sceptical that any new legislation would be passed before the end of the current administration’s term.

          Earlier this year, Environment Secretary Edward Yau Tang-wah expressed support for the Fair Wind Charter, a voluntary agreement signed by 15 shipping lines to switch from bunker fuel to low-sulphur fuel when berthed in Hong Kong. Yau, however, made no commitment to impose new regulatory controls.

          Arthur Bowring, managing director of the Hong Kong Ship Owners’ Association, said: “The middle ranks of the EPD are very involved, but higher up in government there’s a general reluctance and I’m not sure where it’s coming from.”

          Hong Kong still fails to impose an Emissions Control Area mandated for shipping

          9 June 2011

          Statistics on vessels, port cargo and containers for first quarter of 2011
          ***********************************************************

          The Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) today (June 9) released statistics on vessels, port cargo and containers for the first quarter of 2011.

          In the first quarter of 2011, total port cargo throughput recorded virtually no change over a year earlier at 62.7 million tonnes.??Within this total, both inward and outward port cargo recorded virtually no change at 35.9 million tonnes and 26.8 million tonnes respectively.

          On a seasonally adjusted quarter-to-quarter comparison, total port cargo throughput decreased by 4% in the first quarter of 2011.??Within this total, inward and outward port cargo decreased by 5% and 2% respectively.??The seasonally adjusted series enables more meaningful shorter-term comparison to be made for discerning possible variations in trends.

          Port cargo

          Within port cargo, seaborne cargo increased by 3% over a year earlier to 43.2 million tonnes, while river cargo decreased by 6% to 19.5 million tonnes in the first quarter of 2011.

          Within inward port cargo, imports decreased by 2% in the first quarter of 2011 over a year earlier to 18.3 million tonnes, while inward transhipment increased by 1% to 17.6 million tonnes.??For outward port cargo, exports (including domestic exports and re-exports) decreased by 3% over a year earlier to 9.2 million tonnes, while outward transhipment increased by 2% to 17.6 million tonnes.

          The detailed port cargo statistics are summarised in Table 1.

          The main countries/territories of loading for inward port cargo and countries/territories of discharge for outward port cargo are shown in Table 2 and Table 3 respectively.

          Comparing the first quarter of 2011 with the first quarter of 2010, double-digit increases were recorded in the tonnage of inward port cargo loaded in Indonesia (+17%), Korea (+15%), Vietnam (+15%) and Malaysia (+12%).??On the other hand, double-digit decreases were recorded in the tonnage of inward port cargo loaded in the United States of America (-16%) and Singapore (-15%).??Over the same period, double-digit increases were recorded in the tonnage of outward port cargo discharged in Indonesia (+62%), the Philippines (+16%), Malaysia (+15%) and Vietnam (+11%).??On the other hand, a double-digit decrease was recorded in the tonnage of outward port cargo discharged in the United States of America (-17%).

          The principal commodities for inward and outward port cargo are shown in Table 4 and Table 5.

          Comparing the first quarter of 2011 with the first quarter of 2010, a double-digit decrease was recorded in inward port cargo of “stone, sand and gravel; metalliferous ores and metal scrap; and pulp and waste paper” (-11%).??As for outward port cargo, a double-digit increase was recorded for “live animals chiefly for food and edible animal products” (+54%).

          Containers

          In the first quarter of 2011, the port of Hong Kong handled 5.5 million TEUs of containers, representing an increase of 1% over a year earlier.??Within this total, laden containers recorded virtually no change at 4.6 million TEUs, while empty containers rose by 5% to 0.9 million TEUs.??Among laden containers, both inward and outward containers recorded virtually no change at 2.3 million TEUs.

          On a seasonally adjusted quarter-to-quarter comparison, laden container throughput decreased by 2% in the first quarter of 2011.??Within this total, inward and outward laden containers decreased by 4% and 1% respectively.

          Seaborne laden containers recorded virtually no change at 3.3 million TEUs in the first quarter of 2011 over a year earlier, while river laden containers decreased by 1% to 1.2 million TEUs.

          Within inward laden containers, imports decreased by 6% to 0.7 million TEUs in the first quarter of 2011 over a year earlier, while inward transhipment increased by 3% to 1.6 million TEUs.??For outward laden containers, exports decreased by 4% to 0.7 million TEUs, while outward transhipment increased by 2% to 1.5 million TEUs.

          The detailed container statistics are summarised in Table 6.

          Port cargo and laden container statistics are compiled from a sample of consignments listed in the cargo manifests supplied by shipping companies and agents to the C&SD.

          Vessel arrivals

          In the first quarter of 2011, the number of ocean vessel arrivals recorded virtually no change over a year earlier at 8 030, with the total capacity increasing by 10% to 102.2 million net registered tons.??Over the same period, the number of river vessel arrivals also recorded virtually no change at 43 170, with the total capacity increasing by 2% to 26.0 million net registered tons.

          The statistics on vessel arrivals in Hong Kong are given in Table 7.

          Vessel statistics are compiled by the Marine Department primarily from general declarations submitted by ship masters and authorised shipping agents.??Pleasure vessels and fishing vessels plying exclusively within the river trade limits are excluded.

          Further information

          More detailed statistics on port cargo, containers and vessels are contained in the quarterly report “Hong Kong Shipping Statistics”.

          The January – March 2011 issue of the report will be available by the end of June.??The C&SD has recently conducted a review on the printing of statistical publications and has decided that the print version of “Hong Kong Shipping Statistics” will no longer be produced starting from this edition.??Nevertheless, the publication is still available for downloading free of charge from the website of the C&SD at?www.censtatd.gov.hk/products_and_services/products/publications/statistical_report/external_trade/index_cd_B1020008_dt_detail.jsp .

          Enquiries on port cargo and container statistics may be directed to the Shipping and Cargo Statistics Section of the C&SD (Tel: 2582 4889 or email:?shipping@censtatd.gov.hk).??For enquiries about vessel statistics, readers may contact the Statistics Section under the Planning, Development and Port Security Branch of the Marine Department (Tel: 2852 3661 or email:?st-sec@mardep.gov.hk).

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