Tough times in 09

Singapore’s PSA International has seen a year-on-year increase of 7.3% in volumes, but has warned of tough times ahead.

PSA International said its global port network handled 63.2mteu in 2008, with its domestic terminals contributing 29mteu.

“2008 started strongly amidst the gathering storm clouds over the financial industry and the major economies,” said PSA International chief executive Eddie The.

“By the end of the year, though, any lingering confidence that the major economic powerhouses would be able to stay out of recession had been dashed – global trade worldwide and slowed to a crawl.”

“Unless global economies are able to recover in the course of 2009...our industry will likely experience an extremely difficult year.”

The said PSA had been “bracing and preparing itself” for the leans months ahead, but gave no further details.

PSA International participates in 28 port projects in 16 countries across Asia, Europe and the Americas with a global capacity of 111mteu.

Meanwhile, Singapore’s Jurong Port said December’s throughput was largely unchanged from 2007 down only 1,000-teu to 70,000-teu.

However, container throughput for 2008 was 973,000-teu, up 16.9% on the 832,000-teu seen in the previous year.