A deeper Yangtze River－from Nanjing to its estuary－opened for large vessels on May 8, increasing the ability of the lower Yangtze to stimulate the economy, the Ministry of Transport said.
The 12.5-meter-deep waterway runs for 431 kilometers, and allows vessels of more than 50,000 metric tons to pass. Vessels with capacity up to 100,000 tons can also navigate the waterway. Before the dredging project, the waterway’s depth averaged only 10.5 meters, limiting vessels to 30,000 tons.
Larger vessels can now get to Nanjing to save the cost of redirecting goods at the estuary, such as by reloading cargo onto smaller vessels or choosing other transport modes.
Dredging started in 2012.
The lower reaches of the Yangtze is China’s busiest inland waterway, with annual cargo volume of more than 1.6 billion tons. More than half of that is carried by ship.
The cost of water transport is also expected to decline because of the capability to carry more large ships.