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Container shipments buzzing as upgrading targeted

Updated: Jul 11,2018 8:47 AM     China Daily

Last year, containers transported at all ports in China could have spanned the equator 35 times.

According to a report released by the Ministry of Transport, Chinese ports last year saw 185 million passengers, 14 billion metric tons of cargo and 238 million TEUs (Twenty-foot equivalent units).

The report, “Development Statistics of the Transport Industry in 2017” also said China has seven of the world’s top 10 ports based on cargo and container throughput. They are in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Ningbo, Guangzhou, Qingdao and Tianjin.

The Port of Shanghai is also the world’s largest in terms of container volume. Located at the intersection of the east-west transportation channel of the Yangtze River and north-south channel of the East Sea, it is a hub port on the coast.

Last year, the port’s annual handling capacity surpassed 40 million TEUs to reach 10 percent of the annual throughput of the world’s seaports, setting a record.

While throughput volume is rising, Chinese ports are also striving to upgrade. Operations have gradually expanded from traditional loading, unloading and storage to professional logistics and commodity transactions.

The Port of Shenzhen, for example, has developed the concept of a “green port”, incorporating an entire system of intelligent yards and maritime planning, intelligent container identification technology, and emissions reduction technology to enhance its transportation infrastructure and capacity.

The world’s leading artificial port is in Tianjin, which can handle the largest vessels in the Bohai Sea, with a clearance level of 21 meters in its main navigation channel. The Tianjin International Cruise Home Port is also Asia’s largest.

The Port of Guangzhou, the fifth-largest in China, has the longest history. Its international maritime trading activities can be traced back over 2,000 years, and it is the only Chinese port that has never been closed to international trade.

The port is also a hub for domestic and international transportation and maritime logistics as part of the Belt and Road Initiative. It has formed sister-port friendships with nearly 50 cities globally, as it aims to propose an “international harbor city alliance”, targeting greater cooperation with other international ports.