South Korea’s Container Trade Booms With Southeast Asia


  • South Korea’s container trade with Southeast Asia is experiencing a significant surge, with a 15% year-on-year increase in April 2024 compared to the same month last year.
  • This growth trend has been ongoing for nine consecutive months, indicating a strong shift in trade patterns.

Key Points:

  • Overall Growth: South Korea’s container trade with eight Asian economies reached 364,900 TEUs in April 2024, a 15% increase from April 2023.
  • Strong Export and Import Performance: Both exports (up 12%) and imports (up 19%) from South Korea witnessed growth.
  • Vietnam Leads the Way: Vietnam emerged as South Korea’s largest trading partner in Southeast Asia, with container traffic rising by 26%.
  • Double-Digit Growth in Other Markets: Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia also saw significant growth in container trade with South Korea, all exceeding 10%.
  • East Asia Trade Declines: Trade with Taiwan and Singapore dipped, while trade with Hong Kong fell by a substantial 14%.
  • Rising Freight Rates: Freight rates from South Korea to Southeast Asia are surging, reflecting the increased demand for container shipping.

This surge in container trade with Southeast Asia suggests a potential shift in South Korea’s trade focus. The decline in trade with some East Asian economies might be a contributing factor. The rising freight rates further indicate a busy shipping environment fueled by this growing trade activity.

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Source: Container News


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