While the bankruptcy of Hanjin, the South Korean shipping line, has focused attention on the woes of the shipping industry, ports in China, which has seven of the world’s 10 busiest container terminals, have also been hit hard by the global slowdown. According to the Financial Times, in the first half of the year, Hong Kong handled 10% fewer containers than during the same period in 2015 and is on course for its fifth consecutive year of declines. China’s excess port capacity in 2013 – equivalent to 50m 20-foot containers – was bigger than the entire throughput of Japan, Russia, South Korea and Taiwan. And the unused port capacity will double by 2030, according to the International Transport Forum, as local governments compete to build larger and larger facilities.
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