At noon on April 10, the world’s largest container ship, MSC IRINA (with a maximum packing capacity of 24,346 TEUs), surrounded by tugboats at the port, slowly docked at the terminal of Nansha Phase II of Guangzhou Port, setting a new record of the largest container ship docked in the new area of Nansha Port after its previous docking 17 days ago.
MSC IRINA, the largest container ship independently developed by China, was launched in March this year. It was built by Yangzijiang, a ship-building company in Jiangsu, with a length of 399.99m and a width of 61.3m; the tallest single-shell container layer is up to 25 layers, which equals to the hight of a 22-storey building; the container capacity is 24,346 TEUs, all of which. If put in line, they can connect Guangzhou with Hong Kong. The ship is truly a “jumbo on the sea”.
Efforts of Building the Bridge between China and Europe on Economy and Trade
This time, MSC IRINA will carry smart appliances, photovoltaic products, textiles, furniture and other items produced in the Guangdong - Hong Kong - Macao Greater Bay area to the Mediterranean and a number of countries and regions along the way. As MSC IRINA joins in, the number of large ships equipped with a maximum load capacity of over 19,000 TEUs on JADE/AE11 route from Nansha Port to Mediterranean has reached 13.
The maritime trade between Guangzhou and Europe has a long history. As early as in the 18th century, the famous European ocean-going merchant ship "Gothenburg" sailed to Guangzhou for three times, witnessing the prosperity of the "ancient Silk Road on the sea", which is an important historical mark of maritime trade between China and Europe. Now, it only takes MSC IRINA 23 days from Nansha Port to Gioia Tauro, Italy, the first port in Europe, enabling the seamless flow of the international China-Europe trade channel.
2023 marks the 20th anniversary of China-Europe comprehensive strategic partnership. With the recent visits of leaders of EU and European countries as well as the development of China-Europe relations on economy and trade, Guangzhou Port Group has been actively uniting ship companies and shippers to expand China-Europe trade, giving full play to its foreign bureau in Europe to help enterprises in both Europe and the Greater Bay Area with the information of shipping schedule and services of ship and rail transport and logistics & warehousing in Guangzhou Port, boosting the stable development of bilateral relationship on economy and trade, and helping ensure the stability of industrial and supply chains.
Actively Providing Services to Build First-class Business Environment and Promote High-quality Economic and Trade Development in Greater Bay Area
To fulfill the berthing work, a team of professional operators belong to Nansha Phase II of Guangzhou Port took the method “one plan for one ship”, kept frequent communication with ship companies and ports about shipping plans, optimized all parts of the operation and replaced all paper bills by electronic ones to guarantee the safe and on-time loading. According to the latest “Ocean-going International Container Ships’ Averaged Berth-waiting Time in the World's Major Ports in March” list from Shanghai Shipping Exchange, Guangzhou Port, with the shortest average dock time and berth-waiting time, continued to rank first in Port efficiency among all major ports in the world.
With the strong support from Guangzhou Customs and Nansha Customs, the “one port to the whole Bay Area” customs clearance mode that only requires “one declaration, one inspection and one release” is now widely applied in 13 inland ports such as Guangzhou, Foshan, Jiangmen, Zhongshan, etc., thus the clearance of containers is accelerated, the efficiency of logistics is boosted, the cost is cut down and the Nansha Customs is enabled more functions. By EDI and blockchain technology, Nansha Port has made paperless work of both export and import, that a procedure takes 2 hours before can now be gone through within a few minutes.
Helping Build the Bay as World-level Logistical Complex
The Nansha Port in which MSC IRINA docked is the core of Guangzhou Port, and with the world’s leading hardware equipment for the port’s production and management system, Nansha has built 20 container berths with a capacity of over 100,000 tons and an annual container throughput capacity of 24 million TEUs. In recent years, the Port, with the support from customs, maritime, border inspection and pilotage, has seen a better business environment around it, and the comprehensive ability of the Port has also been proven with the regular berthing of super large ships like “OOCL SPAIN”, “COSCO SHIPPING SOLAR” and “MSC MINA”.
As the largest comprehensive port in Southern China, the cargo throughput and container throughput of Guangzhou Port Group increased by 1.8% and 2.5% respectively in the first quarter than those of last year, which are a “good start” and “steady growths”; with 157 foreign trade routes and a year-on-year growth of 138.6% in ship and rail transport in the first quarter, the formation of a two-way network of land-sea port collection and distribution facilities and a port logistics service network that serves the domestic and foreign trade cycle is accelerating. Next, based on the goal of the construction of an international shipping hub in Guangzhou, the Group will accelerate the project of International port of Nansha Port Area, Phase V Container project in Nansha Port Area, International Port for Ship and Rail Transport project of Nansha and other key projects for the upgrade of Guangzhou Port, continuously enhance the Port’s capacity, develop the Port into a smart port, actively promote cost reduction and efficiency improvement, comprehensively optimize the business environment in the Port, so as to accelerate the construction of “grand logistics system” of the Port, and help Nansha to build a strategic platform based on the Bay, coordinates with Hong Kong and Macao, and goes worldwide, thus giving strong power to the high-quality development of the Great Bay Area. (Text by Zhu Jiaming, Zeng Yanhong and Deng Yanzhang, Picture by Zhu Junkun and Li Qijun)