Ningbo-Zhoushan Port. [Photo/zjol.com.cn]
Ningbo-Zhoushan Port, which was created by merging ports in Ningbo and Zhoushan, is rapidly developing into one of the world's leading ports, the news website zjol.com.cn reported.
President Xi Jinping, then Party secretary of Zhejiang province, held high expectations for the development of a leading port in the province. He said in 2002 by integrating port resources and forming a complete port system, Zhejiang ports would be among the best in the world.
The dream is becoming a reality.
With throughput of over 900 million metric tons in 2016, Ningbo-Zhoushan Port has become the busiest in the world in terms of cargo tonnage. Container throughput exceeded 21 million last year.
In the first half of 2017, cargo loaded and unloaded at the port surpassed 515 million tons, a year-on-year increase of 11.3 percent, while container throughput was 12.38 million, up by 14.6 percent from the first half of 2016.
As world trade develops, the ports' competitiveness not only lies in traditional advantages such as proximity to international routes and deep-water coastlines, but also in the integration of port resources, according to Mao Jianhong, chairman of Ningbo-Zhoushan Port Group Co.
"The merger of ports leads to centralized management, which improves services and internationalization," Mao said.
Zhejiang Provincial Seaport Investment & Operation Group Co was established in August 2015 to better manage port resources in Zhejiang. Later that year, Ningbo Port Co and Zhoushan Port Co were merged as Ningbo-Zhoushan Port Group Co in a bid to put their ports under one management system.
In addition to developing the ports, Zhejiang is also linking different transport systems such as rail and shipping. So far, there have been 11 freight trains introduced to link Ningbo-Zhoushan Port and inland cities in several provinces such as Zhejiang, Jiangxi and Hubei.
The train from Yiwu carries containers to Ningbo's Beilun Port Station where the goods are unloaded and transported to other countries by ship. Meanwhile, goods from the outside world are loaded onto the train to Yiwu, the world's leading market for small commodities. The station is now an important transfer base for goods from home and abroad.
A train takes goods to the port area where they will be transported to other countries. [Photo/zjol.com.cn]
According to the development plan for Ningbo-Zhoushan Port, trains will eventually travel to Central Asia and Eastern Europe to better serve the Silk Road economic belt.
Not only the combination of different transport methods, but also the connection of sea and river is part of Zhejiang's plans for port development.
Work on building China's first 20,000-metric-ton ship capable of transporting goods by both sea and river began in April in the island city of Zhoushan. The ship will make transport more efficient as Zhoushan is located at the intersection of waterways of the Yangtze River and the East China Sea coast.
Ningbo-Zhoushan Port is involved in several of Zhejiang's major strategies, including the China (Zhejiang) Pilot Free Trade Zone and Zhoushan Archipelago New Area. The radiation effect from the port will directly influence the implementation of these strategies.
To better fulfill its role, Ningbo-Zhoushan Port will strive to improve its services for ships. "Modern ports should not only care about cargo tonnage, but also the services," said a Ningbo-Zhoushan Port official.（ezhejiang.gov.cn）