The Ministry of Transport of China and the Zhejiang provincial government have approved a new overall plan to make Ningbo-Zhoushan Port, the world's busiest port in cargo tonnage terms, even busier.
Ningbo-Zhoushan, a super-port formed in 2015 after the merger of two major facilities in Ningbo and neighboring Zhoushan, is currently the largest in the world in terms of cargo tonnage with a total throughput of over 900 million metric tons in 2016.
But the plan calls for the port to expand further in the coming decades. By 2020, throughput at the port should reach 1.17 billion tons, and this should increase further to 1.44 billion tons by 2030, according to the plan. This would require annual growth of 5 percent and 2.1 percent respectively.
Ningbo-Zhoushan will also aim to become a "comprehensive modern port" by increasing its range of functions. Its focus will remain on transferring bulk commodities and containers, but it will also seek to develop into a hub for modern logistics, shipping services, port tourism and bonded trade.
The plan also divides the port into four core development zones and 19 harbor areas, and clarifies the main functions of each harbor area.
Some harbors, including Beilun, Yangshan and Meishan, will further improve their transport function, while others, such as Zhenhai and Shengsi, are required to concentrate on serving the ocean industry.
Regional economic development is also covered in the plan. A few of the harbors will focus on promoting local development, especially tourism and ocean-related industries.
With the loading of these 2,500 standard containers onto a China COSCO Shipping Corporation Ltd vessel on Dec 19, 2016, Ningbo-Zhoushan Port becomes the world's first port to surpass 900 million tons of cargo tonnage in a year. [Photo provided to ezhejiang.gov.cn]