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China’s Nansha container port to continue expansion with new berths by year-end

The container port of Nansha in South China’s Guangdong province is looking to build on the volume gains it absorbed following Yantian port’s COVID-19 outbreak by opening the first two of four new deepwater berths in mid-late November.

The new berths will be the fourth phase of capacity expansion at Nansha, China’s fourth busiest container port and fifth busiest in the world with a throughput of 13.82 million twenty-foot equivalent units in January-July 2021, according to China’s Ministry of Transport.

An additional two berths will be completed by mid-2022, said John Painter, the New Jersey-based CEO of Guangzhou Ports America and chief representative of the port in North America.

A COVID-19 outbreak among workers at Shenzhen’s Yantian container port in May sharply curtailed its export operations by about half through the following month.

That resulted in shipping lines adding around 40 port calls and 220,000 TEUs of volume through Guangzhou’s Nansha port, which had the added benefit of boosting awareness about Nansha’s strategic location among shippers, Painter said.

“Shippers are learning the advantage of port diversification. Just like you would recently want to have some cargo going through Oakland as well as Los Angeles-Long Beach when there is congestion, you will also want to diversify your ports on the origin side,” Painter said.

Nansha has gained importance as manufacturing growth in the Pearl River Delta has steadily shifted toward the western side of Guangzhou as the Shenzhen-Hong Kong area is fully built out.

In 2014, there was only one regular service from Nansha to North America, but the port will soon have eight with the addition of Chinese shipping company Cosco’s new service, Painter said.

The Nansha International Logistics Center was opened in June to support further expansion. The facility will include a three-building dry cargo warehouse, the largest cold-chain warehouse in South China at 305,000 sq m, and on-dock rail connections.

When the fourth phase of Nansha’s container expansion is completed in 2022, Nansha will have increased its throughput capacity by around 25% to 25 million TEUs.

Guangzhou handled 23.51 million TEUs in 2020, of which around 75% was processed through Nansha.
Source: Platts

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