Status of Japanese ports

According to Reuters, some of the Japanese ports that sustained major damage in last week’s earthquake and the subsequent tsunami may be out of action for months.

Japanese ports handling as much as 7% of the country’s industrial output sustained major damage from last week’s earthquake and tsunami, disrupting global supply chains and causing billions of dollars in losses.

The box shipping industry was seen as the worst affected, since the destroyed ports handled containerised cargo for dozens of major manufacturing companies.

Tokyo and all ports south of Japan’s capital were operating normally after briefly shutting down operations, while the rest of the country’s ports were being assessed for damage.

The brief closure of all Japan’s ports was expected to cost the country more than $3.4 billion in lost seaborne trade, according to Lloyd’s List Intelligence.

The northeast coast ports of Hachinohe, Sendai, Ishinomaki and Onahama were so severely damaged that they are not expected to return to operation for months, if not years. Hachinohe supplies fuel products to the local fishing fleet and US military installations in Japan and South Korea, while Sendai handles a range of goods from rubber products to paper and machinery.

Japan’s top crude oil and LNG port, Chiba, as well as the country’s ninth-largest container port, Kashima, were also affected, but to a lesser extent.

Other damaged ports include Hitachinaka, Hitachi, Soma, Shiogama, Kesennuma, Ofunato, Kamashi and Miyako. These ports handle a range of products from sugar and non-ferrous metals to cars and wood products.

Japan’s Sendai Gas said that it was unable to reach the tsunami-hit Shinminato LNG terminal near the port of Sendai in the country’s northeast, but the terminal appeared undamaged from a distance. All the remaining LNG terminals in Japan were in operation.

Three 80,000-tonne panamax vessels owned by Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha and one operated by Mitsui OSK Lines were damaged or grounded by the earthquake.

Japan is assessing the damage to port infrastructure, which is vital to receiving aid, commodities and goods for rebuilding areas.

The situation is expected to delay oil shipments and cause major port congestion. According to Michael Webber, an analyst at Wells Fargo Securities, crude currently en route to Japan will likely be discharged in India or elsewhere in Asia, with the refined products forwarded to Japan once the ports re-open.

[Source: Reuters]

Quelle: eyefortransport

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