The twin ports of Pakistan seem to have performed slightly better compared to the regional peers during the last one and half a year in the midst of a global Covid-19 lockdown and disruption of business activities from February-March 2020 in various countries.
A Karachi Port Trust (KPT) official said the cargo handling (import and export) crawled up to 45.721 million tonnes during 2020 from 44.480m tonnes during 2019. The total volume stood at 30.760m tonnes in 2020 as compared to 29.646m tonnes a year ago in the import category. The Liquid bulk cargo however, fell to 9.895m tonnes last year from 11.580m tonnes in 2019.
In exports, the total cargo volume at KPT improved to 14.961m tonnes comprising of 8.929m tonnes. He said the number of containers are twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) at KPT. The official said KPT holds around 60 per cent market share in cargo handling of both import and export out of the total country’s foreign trade.
Compared to KPT, cargo handling activities at the Port Qasim Authority (PQA) also float up to 51m tonnes of cargo in 2019-20 versus 49m tonnes in 2018-19. Arrival of ships at the PQA also stood slightly higher at 1,520 as compared to 1,492. During July-December 2020-21.
A senior official at Hutchison Port Pakistan (HPP) said Pakistan is among the countries which are lucky enough to experience relatively low cases of Covid-19. This was effective because of the smart lockdowns instead of continuous full lockdown put by the government however, which would have affected all trade across the country.