China's Ningbo Zhoushan Port had handled 900 million tons of cargo by Dec. 19, making it the world's first port with an annual cargo throughput exceeding 900 million tons, Thepaper.cn reported.
Ningbo Zhoushan port [Zhang Yongtao / zj.people.cn]
Located in Ningbo and Zhoushan, on the coast of the East China Sea in Zhejiang province, Ningbo Zhoushan Port has been the busiest port in the world for eight years in terms of cargo tonnage.
Container cargo transport is the main business of Ningbo Zhoushan Port. The port has strengthened its cooperation with Maersk, the Mediterranean, COSCO and other shipping giants to deal with the sluggish foreign trade environment. Meanwhile, it has expanded its domestic trade business with Zhapu Port and Fuzhou Port.
According to Jiang Tao, general manager of the business department at Ningbo Zhoushan Port Group, the company plans to seek routes in Japan, South Korea, South America and the west coast of the U.S., turning the port into a shipping hub. Container transport from Ningbo Zhoushan Port has increased more than 30 percent this year, providing many favorable benefits for surrounding enterprises.
Ningbo Zhoushan Port opened eight new routes to Southeast Asia in 2016, and the foreign trade cargo along the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road accounts for about 60 percent of the total volume. In addition, the operation of three new sea-rail transportation lines and Shulanghu ore transit dock are also conducive to the transformation and improvement of the port.
Zhejiang province has completed the integration of five major coastal ports: Ningbo, Zhoushan, Jiaxing, Wenzhou and Taizhou, plus the Yiwu land port. Zhejiang ports offer a new development pattern based on Ningbo Zhoushan Port. Experts pointed out that future port operations should focus on quality rather than quantity.
Liu Guiyun, a professor at the School of Maritime and Transportation of Ningbo University, noted that "we should develop the high value-added maritime services sector to spur the transformation and upgrading of the ports."