Singapore’s box traffic dips sharply


Singapore, the world’s busiest container port, posted the biggest drop in cargo-box traffic in at least 11 years as the global recession cut demand.

Terminals in the city-state handled 1.85 million twenty-foot equivalent boxes in February, 19.8 percent lower than a year earlier, according to preliminary data on the Maritime & Port Authority’s Web site. It’s the biggest plunge since at least December 1997, overtaking last month’s 19.6 percent drop.

Traffic dropped to the lowest level in three years as Neptune Orient Lines Ltd., the city’s largest container line, and other companies curbed capacity because of waning demand. Cargo volumes at Asian ports are declining as U.S. and European consumers cut back on spending on Asian-made goods.〈=eng_news