The Korean Ministry of Ocean and Fisheries together with the Busan Port Authority has announced a long-term vision and strategy to develop Busan Port into a global transhipment hub in a bid to help it achieve 13 million TEU transhipment throughput by 2020 to rank it as number two in the world.
In recent years transhipment cargo at Busan has grown by an average of 10% year-on-year while local cargo has increased by 4.2%. In 2014, transhipment activities overtook local cargo operations for the first time in the port’s history with transhipment accounting for 50.5% (9.43 million TEU), up from 31.7% in 2000.
Taking a lead from this success, the Korean government and BPA are implementing concrete plans to consolidate and strengthen Busan’s position as a global transhipment hub.
The first step is to integrate container handling activities currently undertaken at North Port and New Port into a single New Port location.
This will include the creation of eight new berths at New Port by 2020, which will add a further 6.21 million TEU capacity.
Meeting the demands for ever-growing containerships, the current program of dredging to a depth of 17 metres will be completed ahead of schedule in March 2017.
For the efficient transfer of trans-shipment containers, the current multi-purpose terminal located between the north and south container terminals will be replaced by a yard tractor shuttle road and storage area.
To generate economies of scale and to facilitate these new arrangements, the four existing terminal operators at North Terminal will form a new unified joint venture company with BPA taking a shareholding.
Kim Li-Tack, President of Busan New Port, is due to write in the upcoming edition of PTI’s journal.