A senior official at China’s Ministry of Commerce recently suggested that nowadays, most people in the world own on average one pair of shoes and at least three items of clothing that have been manufactured in China. Not so long ago, such a claim would have seemed far-fetched, but today in all likelihood it’s probably not too far from the truth, as China rapidly transforms itself into the ‘World’s Factory’. This metamorphosis has had a subsequent impact upon the global logistics supply chain and in particular the port industry.
Tens of thousands of export enterprises in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) manufacture, on a daily basis, hundreds of thousands of products intended for consumption in many of the world’s markets. In keeping pace with these transitions, Yantian Port, situated in Shenzhen, is one of China’s major export cities who on average process 13 Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEU) per minute to fulfil the import and export requirements of this flourishing multi-billion dollar industry.
In an effort to further accentuate service levels, enhance the efficiency and productivity of the Port and respond to the ever increasing volume of goods being produced, an expansion project valued at over RMB 10 billion was launched in the last quarter of 2005, between the Hutchison Port Holdings Group (HPH) and the Shenzhen Yantian Port Group to further develop Yantian Port into the region’s centrifugal hub port. This project incorporates a 136 hectare greenfield site to realise a quay length of 3,297 metres, which allows for the construction of six new container berths, capable of accommodating the imminent arrival of the next generation of mega-vessels with hold capacities of 10,000-plus TEU. It is expected that the first berth will come on stream in the second half of 2006 with the entire project anticipated to be completed by 2010. Upon completion of the project, the HPH Group member port Yantian International Container Terminals (YICT) will have a total area of 344 hectares with 15 deep-water container berths.
The Yantian Expansion Project is a proactive response to industry changes, which is increasingly witnessing the move towards even greater containerised vessels. These leviathan vessels will provide economies of scale for shipping lines, enabling them to reduce the number of vessels on line-haul routes and focus on calling at a handful of regional hub ports around the world. With more than 150 of the first generation of mega-vessels with a hold capacity of 8,000-plus TEU due for deployment between 2006 and 2009, the Yantian Expansion Project ensures YICT is well prepared to face this new industry challenge. With HPH support, YICT has been equipped with the very latest technologies to facilitate this influx in container movement. 30 quay cranes will be in place with the latest tandem lifting technology capable of handling two forty-foot containers or four twenty-foot containers simultaneously, thus enhancing quayside productivity to ensure swifter turnaround times.
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