'Overall Shipping Contracts Down 10 Per Cent'
Overall shipping into the country’s major ports has seen a reduction of around 10 per cent over the last six months.
This is according to PNG Ports Corporation when commenting on shipping performance throughout the Covid-19 period.
“Traditionally, our container throughput has been around 350-400,000 (twenty-foot equivalent units) per year which is the main driver or indicator of volumes going through ports.
“For the first six months we have seen on average around 10 per cent decline,” said managing director of PNG Ports, Fego Kiniafa.
He pointed out that the first quarter of 2020 was slightly okay for the ports operator because of the lead times used to plan shipments for both importers and exporters.
“Most of our importers and exporters make decisions two months to three ahead of time planning their cargo import and export decisions.
“So first quarter was a little bit okay, but after first quarter the second quarter has been really down for us.
“Initially early on in the year before Covid, we thought we would have 2 per cent growth, and 2 per cent is very flat, but now that we have seen 10 per cent we don’t know what the balance of the year will hold,” he said.
He did not rule out the possibility of the percentage worsening.
“Ten per cent in itself is a big decline in volume. If you look at the spillover implications on the supply chain on importers and exporters, that is quite extensive as a reduction in trade going through the country.
“Much of it is beyond our control; it is what is happening globally that is,” he added.
A case of importance that Internal Revenue Commissioner General, Sam Koim, reiterated to revenue generation.
“We also collect GST and Customs collects it on our behalf, and then Customs levies and fees as well. So if you see that (shipping) is a major revenue earner for the government.
“If you shut down the ports then revenue declines and revenue declines, let alone the flow on effect on the supply chain,” Mr Koim said.