Posted October. 13, 2005 07:06,
Chinas Yangshan Port will be expanded to three times the size of Busan Port by 2020. When the construction of a 52-container berth complex is finished, the port will be able to handle over 50 million TEUs (one TEU equals a six-meter long container) a year.
Gigantic Harbor Makes Appearance
When China first announced its plans to build Yangshan Port 10 years ago, shipping industry experts scoffed at the idea. But now people are saying that it is just a matter of time before it becomes the number one harbor in the world.
Some are worried that the usage rate may fall during the summer season due to the frequent typhoons, but shippers have different thoughts.
One of the most attracting parts of this port is that fuel and time can be saved, since the ships do not have to go right up to the shore.
A domestic shipping company official forecasted that many Chinese ships will transfer their trans-shipment points from Busan and Gwangyang ports to Yangshan.
Yangshan Port has succeeded in docking two large container ships as of last month, showing its deep-water port capability.
Is a Distribution War in Asia About to Begin?
The coasts of East Asia are starting to sway with the construction of Yangshan Port. Asian ports, which rank one to six in the world, are about to expand even further.
Chinas Tianjin and Shenzhen ports plan to add 10 container berths by 2010, and Taiwan will add eight more by 2007.
Hong Kong will construct an over-the-sea road linking Hong Kong, Macao, and Zhu Hai, and Tokyo plans to focus on improving the productivity and efficiency of its port facilities.
Each country is out to expand their ports as ships get bigger.
Ports with shallow water cannot handle large ships, which lowers their competitiveness. This is why China constructed Yangshan Port since the water at Shanghai Port is only seven meters deep.
Shipping companies have started operating large ships with decks at least twice the size of a soccer field to ship more goods for less. A super-large 10,000 TEU sized ship is expected to be built next year.
Busan Upgrade Cannot Follow Yangshan Model
Busan Port handled 11.43 million TEUs last year, a 9.8 percent increase from 2003, but still quite low compared to Shanghai (29 percent), Shenzhen (28.6 percent) and Dubai (24.8 percent).
The government is planning to develop a new Busan Port and make it a gateway port to the East Asian economic zone.
This new port is to be approximately twice the size of Yeouido in Seoul, and some 30 container berths are to be built by 2013, with the port lot to be 1.41 million pyeong.
However, this cannot even compete with Yangshan Port, which is why some are pointing out that a more positive measure should be made.
Jin Hyeong-in, senior researcher at the Korea Maritime Institute, said, The alternative plan is to create added-value to the port instead of competing on quantity. We must approach the port business as a service, just like a companys production and distribution lines, and not just simply shipping.