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    China Business
     Jan 7, 2006
Shanghai now the world's largest cargo port

SHANGHAI - Shanghai port has become the world's largest cargo port, with processed cargo topping 443 million tons in 2005, higher than that of Singapore's port, according to the latest statistics of the Shanghai Port Management Department.

The rapid development of the Chinese economy and the large industrial and trade base of the Yangtze River Delta region are the main reasons underlining Shanghai's achievement. It only took

Shanghai port five years to double cargo handling capacity from 200 million tons to 400 million tons.

However, there is still a big gap between Shanghai and Singapore in container handling capacity. The latest statistics show that Shanghai handled 18.09 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) of containers in 2005, rising 24.2% over the previous year and taking the third position in the world. In contrast, Singapore handled 21.2 million TEUs in the first 11 months of 2005, rising 8.4%. In terms of growth rate, the container handling capacity of Shanghai grew much faster than that of Singapore.

The economic development of Shanghai, the Yangtze River delta and Yangtze River valley has also fueled the development of Shanghai port. At present, Shanghai has opened shipping lines around the globe, extending to Europe, America, Australia, Japan and Southeast Asia. The number of voyages mounted from the port amounts to 1,967 monthly, including 942 to international ports.

Deep-water port starts operation
A deep-water port began operation at Yangshan Isles of Shanghai in mid-December. The Yangshan deep-water port, a mammoth facility 27.5 kilometers from Luchao port in Shanghai's Nanhui district, is expected to turn the east China metropolis into an international maritime shipping center.

The deep-water port is located in Shengsi county of Zhejiang province at the mouth of the Yangtze River, about 45 kilometers from Pudong international airport. The port is designed to have an annual handling capacity of 25 million TEUs when the entire project is completed in 2020.

The first phase of construction, completed in December, put into operation a 1.6-kilometer hydraulic dock with five berths. By 2010, the dock will be extended to 11 kilometers with around 30 berths, port authorities told Xinhua. The launching of the port was praised by Vice Prime Minister Huang Ju as a "major breakthrough" in Shanghai's building of an international maritime shipping center.

Huang visited the port in December and proclaimed a formal start to its operations. At the launching ceremony, he urged relevant departments, provinces and cities to speed up port construction in line with the plans approved by the State Council so as to ease the country's transportation bottleneck and boost the steady and fast growth of the national economy.

"We should speed up construction of new ports in line with the long and medium-term plans approved by the State Council, and further tap the potentials of existing facilities, too," he said, adding, "it's important to take full advantage of the Yangtze waterway and better serve the socioeconomic development of the Yangtze River Delta, the Yangtze drainage areas and the entire country."

Though Shanghai's name literally means "on the sea", the main part of the city sits inland on the banks of the Huangpu River, which runs into the Yangtze, China's longest waterway. Heavy silting in the Yangtze Delta region has long prevented it from serving as a deep-water port.

The idea to transform Shanghai port into an international shipping center was initially proposed by the government in 1996, but since the port is only seven meters deep, a new site had to be located. An eight-square-kilometer bonded area at the port and the Yangshan Port Customs were also launched in mid-December.

(Asia Pulse/XIC)

New joint venture for Yangshan harbor project (Jan 4, '06)

Maritime trade adds to tide of China's rise (Jul 23, '04)

Shipping giants eye Shanghai port (Nov 15, '03)


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