Potential home buyers consider their options at the 6th Qingdao House Trade and Show. Ju Chuanjiang
Fully aware that capacity is falling short of demand - shipping container volume is far beyond its designed capacity - Qingdao Port is pressing forward with strategies to consolidate resources with neighboring ports and international shipping counterparts.
Part of the effort is a joint venture co-funded by Qingdao Port and Weihai Port that handled an aggregate 438,000 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of containers in the past two years, an annual increase of 49 percent.
To meet the additional demand, Weihai Port`s development area was expanded by 30 km to a radius of 150 kilometers. Collaboration has raised annual container throughput on feeder routes to 96,000 containers, a two-fold growth from when there was no cooperation.
Another joint venture between Qingdao Port and Rizhao Port totaled 430,000 TEUs within a half year after it began service in May 2007, an increase of 62 percent compared with the same period of 2006.
One-third of costs can be saved if containers from the cities of Heze and Jining are transported using routes opened by the Qingdao-Rizhao venture. Low costs have drawn brisk business from the west and south of Shandong province.
Shipping between ports in Qingdao and Rizhao has increased in frequency from one vessel every week to one every day, resulting in a 10-fold increase in container traffic every month.
"Cooperation among the three regional ports can achieve more than when they worked separately," Chang Dechuan, president of the Qingdao Port said.
Joint operations integrate resources and optimize the advantages of each port - Qingdao has advantages in routes linked to over 450 ports in more than 130 countries and regions, while Rizhao and Weihai are geographically well positioned and have available capacity.
Another venture, Qingdao New Qianwan Container Terminal Co Ltd, formed by Qingdao Qianwan Container Terminal Co Ltd and Pan Asia International Shipping Ltd (Hong Kong), is developing a 3,408-m container quay on the southern shore of Qianwan Bay, the longest of its kind in the world.
With quays totaling 6,800 m, Qingdao Port is expected to handle 14 million containers and take a leading position in northern China.
The cooperative efforts have accelerated the pace of building the port into an international shipping center for northeast Asia.