Zhanjiang's sea lane to be expanded to catch up with megaship trend
Zhanjiang Port at near full capacity. [Photo by Zhou Fu/Zhanjiang Daily]
The State Oceanic Administration has recently approved the expansion of Zhanjiang port's 300,000-ton shipping lane. Construction is expected to begin this year after final authorization from the National Development and Reform Commission.
Costing 3.7 billion yuan ($586.9 million), work is estimated to be completed within a year's time. Upon completion, the shipping lane will allow the navigation of 400,000-ton vessels, or two-way navigation of 150,000-ton vessels, according to an official from the Zhanjiang Transport Bureau.
Zhanjiang Port is the first modernized port that is domestically designed and constructed. Currently, it has 124 berths and offers a comprehensive set of services, including stevedoring, warehousing, processing, transit shipment, distribution and delivery.
When the 300,000-ton shipping lane came into service in 2008, the port's cargo handling capability exceeded 100 million tons that very year and has sustained the momentum with an annualized growth rate of over 10 million tons ever since.
Back then, the shipping lane not only adapted to the international trend of using larger-sized vessels, but also cut logistic spending for iron and steel, plus refining and chemical companies. This in turn greatly enhanced the port's competitiveness.
However, the sea lane can no longer meet the demands of the soaring number of ships and the emergence of 400,000-ton mega vessels. This has made the route's expansion a top priority and has already been listed in the city's comprehensive transport development plan during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-20).
A freighter docks at Zhanjiang Port for stevedoring. [Photo by Lang Shuchen/Zhanjiang Daily]