China had six of the world’s 10 largest container ports in 2018, stretching from its north to the south. This is the result of China’s 1 trillion yuans investment since 2012, aiming to enhance the facilities in the country’s ports.
On March, Shanghai’s deputy transport commissioner announced the reduction of handling fees and harbour dues for the second consecutive year, aiming to ease the financial burden on trading companies in the middle of the US-China trade war. Namely, up to 300 million yuan worth of service feeds would be cut during 2019, in addition to the 2 billion yuan (US$298 million) of reductions set out in 2018.
Shanghai was the world’s largest container port in 2018, reaching the number spot for the ninth year in a row, after surpassing Singapore in 2010. Shanghai also surpassed Hong Kong in throughput traffic in 2007.
The Port started the fourth phase of its Yangshan port at the end of 2017, after spending 12.8 billion yuan on seven berths, on a 2,350-meter shorefront. Featuring depths of up to 15 metres, the berths can accommodate the largest container carriers.
Moreover, Shanghai International Port, the operator of the harbour, is using a fully automated wharf in the fourth phase of the harbour, where automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and cranes operate autonomously on Huawei’s telecommunications backbone for loading and unloading cargo. The facility will eventually consist of 130 AGVs, 26 bridge cranes and 120 rail-mounted gantry cranes.
What is more, China’s external trade, including both imports and exports, increased to US$4.55 trillion last year, which marks a rise of around ten times since joining the WTO.
China has come a long way considering the fact that at the beginning of 2000, Hong Kong was the world’s largest container port, with Shanghai and Shenzhen being the only two mainland harbours among the top 10 list.
Today, Chinese port were deepened to at least 15 metres, in order to accommodate New Panamax vessels. Furthermore, the ports of Qingdao and Yangshan in Shanghai are both deepwater harbours, while Ningbo Zhoushan is partially able of deepwater berthing.