The decline was led by a sharp drop among the mid-stream operators with the non-Kwai Tsing throughput falling 16.7% to 350,000 teu.
The main Kwai Tsing terminals saw a 7% drop in volumes to 1.3m teu, compared to 1.4m teu moved in April 2017.
On a year-to-date basis the growth numbers have now all flipped to negative, perhaps a precursor to the slow, apparently inexorable decline of volumes at the major southern China transhipment hub for the year.
Overall cumulative throughput as at April fell 2.8% to 6.5m teu compared to 6.7m teu in the corresponding four-month period in 2017. Overall year-to-date growth had started to flatten out at the end of the first quarter and the corresponding figure for the Kwai Tsing terminals was a 1.6% drop, while the non-Kwai Tsing terminals maintained some growth. However even these terminals have now started to see their throughput drop off, with volumes moving through the mid-stream operators falling 1.6% to 1.4m teu in the first four months of the year.