Premier port offers gateway to global trade

Ningbo Zhoushan Port, the world's busiest harbor in terms of cargo tonnage, is boosting its business with a global layout based on the Belt and Road Initiative

Nignbo Zhoushan Port, the world’s busiest harbor in terms of cargo tonnage, is boosting its business with a global layout based on the Belt and Road Initiative, and developing itself into a world-leading port featuring both smart facilities and environmentally friendly infrastructures.

The port, which officially merged terminals in Ningbo and Zhoushan together in 2015, became the first one in the world to reach 1 billion tons in terms of throughput in 2017, beating the previous year’s best of 900 million tons.

“One billion tons marked a milestone for Ningbo Zhoushan Port, confirming its great infrastructures and extraordinary handling capacity,” said Sun Daqing, vice general manager of Ningbo Zhoushan Port Group Co Ltd. “In the future, we will improve our integrated service to develop it into the world’s center for global logistics and bulk commodities’ trade, storage and process.”

Ningbo port is taking a lead in line with the Belt and Road Initiative. It is coordinating resources available to accelerate its opening to the world, improve working efficiency with the support of intelligent equipment and applying new energy for sustainable development.

Hu Yanmin

The sea-railway transportation operated in Beilun Port

Prosperous port

Ningbo Zhuoshan Port aims to be a global hub through actively participating in the Belt and Road Initiative, developing sea-railway transportation and boosting bulk commodities’ trade and transportation.

“The port is at a key joint covered by both the Belt and Road Initiative and Yangtze River Economic Zone. And it has deep water to berth vessels carrying even 400,000 tons of cargos,” said Jiang Wei, secretary of the board of directors in Ningbo Zhoushan Port Co Ltd.

There are 242 shipping routes from the port to link to over 600 other harbors in 100 countries and regions. Among them, 86 shipping routes connect countries covered by the Belt and Road Initiative with over 5,000 voyages in a year.

“The container volume transported between the port and countries involving the Belt and Road Initiative increased by 16 percent year-on-year to reach 10 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent unit) in 2017, accounting for around 40 percent of the whole container volume transported by the port,” said Jiang.

The port has also expanded its business into inland areas through sea-railway transportation, sharing the economic boost with inland cities.

The weekly train service operated by the world’s largest container shipping company, Maersk Line, was launched in September 2017, to connect Yiwu, famous for vibrant small commodities’ trade in central Zhejiang Province, and Ningbo Zhoushan Port.

Yiwu can generate over 1 million TEUs in a year and around 80 percent of them are now shipped out at Ningbo Zhoushan Port thanks to the sea-railway transportation.

“In the next phase, we will promote convenient cargo transportation between Yiwu and Dubai,” said Hong Qihu, business division director of Ningbo Zhoushan Port Co Ltd.

Maersk Line’s weekly train service also marked the first cooperation between the port and shipping companies to co-run sea-railway transportation business.

There are 11 regular block trains operating in the port to link 36 cities in China and outbound areas, including Russia, Central Asia and Eastern Europe.

“A total of 400,000 TEUs will have been transported through sea-railway transportation by the end of 2017, up 60 percent from a year earlier,” said Jiang.

Zhou Jiewei

The terminal in Shulanghu Island of Qushan Port Area is one of the biggest iron ore transmit bases in China.

Relying on its convenient transportation and multifunctional infrastructures, the port is also dedicated to developing itself to be a world leader in the trade and transportation of bulk commodities including crude oil and iron ores.

Among its 19 shipping areas, both in Ningbo and Zhoushan, the area in Daxie Island is the biggest crude oil terminal in China, which can store 450,000 tons.

The terminal in Shulanghu Island of Qushan Port Area is one of the biggest iron ore transmit bases in China, which berthed 20 vessels, each carrying 400,000 tons of iron ore, in the first 11 months of 2017.

“From January to November in 2017, the port transported total 118 million tons of iron ores, up 11.5 percent from a year earlier, and 67.57 million tons of crude oil, up 5 percent from a year earlier,” said Jiang.

Smart port

The increasing business requires high-level working efficiency and the port is installing intelligent equipment to replace manpower with automatic machines and facilitate overall management with digital information.

A total of 116 intelligent quay cranes were installed at the port by the end of 2017, to tally containers fast and precisely.

“With such smart tallying, one worker now can do the job of four workers in the past and the general efficiency can be increased by over a half,” said Jiang.

A smart control center is on the 45th floor of the port’s building, where information of both inside and outside the port can be monitored and presented in a 28-meter-long screen. It is also a real-time monitoring room with the support of systems including GPS, AIS and GIS.

“We can know dynamic moments of a ship, including when it departs, how it sails and when it arrives,” said Jiang.

Jiang said they also have a system to monitor weather and there are about 4,000 cameras installed in the port.

A smart control center monitoring dynamic moments of a ship

Green port

Apart from installing new equipment, the port is also applying new energy to power daily operations, which are more environmentally friendly, such as electricity and natural gas, guaranteeing a sustainable development.

There are over 300 electric gantry cranes, which no longer use oil and reduce emission of greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide.

Pollutants generated by ships are also reduced by promoting the usage of electricity while docking the ships.

The port has over 70 sites that using electricity to pull ships into the shore, annually powering 3,500 ships in their last period of journey.

In addition, the port is also a pioneer to promote LNG (liquefied natural gas) trucks for transporting containers and there are over 600 LNG trucks, accounting for over a half of the port. Eight LNG filling stations were also built in the port to fuel those trucks running around.

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