The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) today reported that total cargo volume handled through its Conley Container Terminal in South Boston increased 8.6 percent in 2003. A total of 158,020 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) passed through Massport's busy port facility -- an increase of 12,459 TEUs over 2002.
Export growth was exceptionally strong in 2003 accounting for an 18.3% increase in export TEUs and an 18.6% increase in export tonnage over 2002. Export TEUs jumped to 45,987 in 2003 from 38,879 in 2002, while export tons increased to 411,639 from 346,654 over the same period. Imports also grew, climbing to 74,643 TEUs in 2003 from 70,128 TEUs in 2002, marking a 6.4% increase. "By reestablishing direct shipping from China and expanded service from Europe, Massport has helped boost New England businesses as they compete in the world marketplace," said Massport CEO Craig P. Coy. "Direct trade with Asia as well as Northern Europe and the Mediterranean has made all the difference," said Mike Leone, Massport's port director. "With a direct ship calling Boston from China every week, as well as weekly ships direct from Europe and from the Mediterranean, port activity is showing steady growth." China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO) and its partners, "K"-Line, Yang Ming, and Hanjin Shipping Lines, began calling the Port of Boston from Asia with direct, inbound service in March 2002. Cargo volumes on the Far East service alone have grown 73%, from 17,488 TEUs in 2002 to 30,304 TEUs in 2003. Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), one of the worlds largest steamship lines, experienced a 20% growth in cargo volume in Boston in 2003. Last year, MSC added a second weekly vessel to Boston, calling direct from ports in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe. MSC containers handled in Boston rose to 56,373 TEUs in 2003 from 46,793 TEUs in 2002. Within the last ten years, Massport has invested heavily in upgrading Conley Container Terminal installing a modern gate facility and new electronic cargo tracking system. The Port of Boston is the largest port serving the New England region. Top imports include: alcoholic beverages, frozen fish, footwear and furniture. Top exports include: hides, logs and lumber, paper and paper ware including waste paper and metal ware.