Earthquake in Taiwan


  • A 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck the eastern coast of Taiwan on April 3, 2024.
  • There are very few vessels near the epicenter of the earthquake, with only one RoRo vessel moored at the nearby port.
  • Major disruptions to ocean transportation is not expected as a result of the earthquake, but over-the-road and rail delays are expected while the full scope of damage is being assessed and repaired.
  • A ferry service has been implemented from the Port of Hualien to the Port of Suao for passengers and their cars to evacuate the area.

Earthquake Strikes the East Coast of Taiwan

Early morning on April 3rd, 2024, Taiwan was struck by a 7.4 magnitude earthquake, the largest Taiwan has seen in 25 years. The earthquake struck on the East Coast of Taiwan in Hualien County, which has a population of roughly 300,000 people. Rescue and recovery efforts are ongoing. So far, 9 people have been killed with nearly 1000 people injured. Search parties are underway to find survivors among the rubble.

Impacted Vessels

Taiwan serves as a major manufacturer across multiple industries including electronics, communication, & audio-video products. Taiwan is home to the world’s largest contract chip manufacturer, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., which boasts companies like Apple and Nvidia as customers.

The Port of Hualien is the nearest to the epicenter of the earthquake. This is a smaller port that is primarily leveraged for local gravel, cement, and marble, while also serving as a hub for cruise ships and whale watching boats. This is not a major container vessel port, unlike the ports of Kao-Hsiung, Keelung, and Taipei. Because of this, we anticipate most supply chain impacts will be locally contained and more driven by road, tunnel, and bridge damage in the area.

Port operations remain suspended due to damage from the earthquake. However, port authorities have set up a shuttle service using the Taipei Express and Taima Star, two RoRo vessels, to help ferry cars and their passengers north to the Port of Suao.

The map above shows only one RoRo vessel in close proximity to the epicenter, with a few vessels near the shore. Most vessels near Taiwan are either on the West Coast near China or in the North.

Taiwanese Ports

As mentioned, Taiwan has become a large global manufacturing hub. It also serves as a common location for transshipping of containers, meaning that a container is unloaded from one vessel and reloaded on another to get to its final port of discharge more efficiently. Monthly, Taiwan sees millions in TEU capacity exiting its ports, particularly the Port of Kao-Hsiung.

The graphic above illustrates the millions of TEU capacity of export volume out of Taiwan. The Port of Hualien, closest to the epicenter, does not contribute to the export of container shipments out of Taiwan. This does not mean that there will be no ripple effects on supply chains due to the earthquake, but ocean transit is predicted to remain stable. Delays are more likely to spike in over-the-road transportation as the region recovers from infrastructure damage to roads, bridges, and tunnels. There is also the possibility of rail delays while damage is being assessed.

Concern for Safety

While project44 has made it a priority to provide frequent updates on the earthquake in Taiwan, the safety of the impacted people remains top priority in these challenging times. They and their families are in our thoughts.

For project44 customers

project44 has created a custom view available on our platform, Movement, to help customers navigate the crisis. All project44 customers can now view all shipments and orders that may be impacted by the recent earthquake.

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Disclaimer: The information conveyed herein, shared solely for summary and not contractual purposes, comes from both project44 and third-party reporting. The project44 data does not include all available market information, and project44 has not undertaken to independently verify the third-party reporting. Similarly, this type of data changes from day-to-day. Accordingly, the reader should not rely on this reporting to make any business decisions, and project44 expressly disavows any liability arising from any such reliance.