Incheon aims to boost its position in the rankings of the world’s busiest ports by 2025.
Currently, the South Korean port languishes below the World Shipping Council’s top 50 container ports. Last year it handled 2.33 million teu, which it expects to grow by 11.4% in 2015. But that is still far behind the 18.7 million teu handled in 2014 by Busan, the country’s busiest port that is fifth in the world rankings.
Speaking at the Incheon Port Authority’s (IPA’s) 10th anniversary celebrations on 11 July, IPA CEO Yoo Chang Keun said the port would position itself as the logistics hub of the pan-Yellow Sea area by enabling speedy access to the South Korean hinterland.
As well, the construction of a new international passenger terminal, which is part of the Golden Harbor project, would help to position Incheon as a tourist attraction to Koreans and foreigners.
Touted as an international ocean tourism complex, Golden Harbor is envisioned to attract three million tourists a year by 2018. The development will comprise a harbour hinterland complex, shopping mall, hotel, water park, marina, and condominium. Construction on the 1.3 million m² site is due to start at the end of 2015.
Yoo said, “As Incheon port’s service network becomes increasingly denser and wider, we have crossed the two million mark in terms of the annual number of 20-foot containers handled, as well as annual passenger arrivals.
“IPA will continuously work at improving itself towards the next 10 years, while humbly reflecting on what it has achieved and preparing for navigation in the next century.”
Related news:Incheon proceeds with Golden Harbor project
Incheon port has already taken the first steps towards its ambitious growth by expanding capacity to accommodate ultra-large container ships. Back in 2007, the biggest box ships it could handle were 4,000 teu ships.
Phase 1 of the redevelopment – Incheon New Port – will add six berths along 1.6 km of quay that will be able to accommodate vessels of up to 10,000 teu capacity. Hanjin Shipping will operate Terminal A, which will open in early 2016, while Sun Kwang Newport Container Terminal is in charge of Terminal B, which opened on 1 June. Each terminal has a quay length of 800 m.
The longer-term plan is to dredge the waters to 16 m to enable 15,000 teu ships to call at the port.
However, Yoo warned the IPA not to rest on its laurels.
“Although we have resolved the port’s shallow depth, enabling ultra-large container ships to call at Incheon and bringing down logistics costs, we must also mobilise all our competencies to improve cargo handling speed, accessibility, service, and shippers’ convenience. We should do our best to further bring down distribution costs for the benefit of citizens.”