Swedish furniture maker IKEA will export most of its goods to South Korea via Incheon port.
IKEA, which opened its first store in South Korea in December 2014, made this decision after it began testing out Incheon New Port Phase 1-1 container pier (Terminal B) in July.
Impressed with the efficiency of the terminal, IKEA’s global manager for customs and trade coordination Monica Berg and other company executives visited Incheon Port Authority’s operations director Hong Gyung-won on 6 October.
Both sides had intensive discussions making the port the Swedish furniture maker’s gateway into South Korea.
Berg said, “IKEA really appreciates the detailed attention that IPA and its related entities have provided in managing the logistics for our goods.”
Hong said, “We will do our best to minimise inconvenience to cargo owners.”
IKEA said that shipping its goods via Incheon have helped to reduce its overall shipping costs due to its proximity to Seoul. Busan port is South Korea’s biggest container port but it is three hours from Seoul, while Incheon port is an hour from the capital city.
Incheon New Port Phase 1-1 container pier (Terminal B) opened partially in June, ahead of the planned opening of the entire redevelopment in 2016.
Phase 1 of the redevelopment will add six berths along 1.6 km of quay that can accommodate vessels of up to 10,000 teu capacity. Besides Terminal B, which is operated by Sun-Kwang Logistics, there is Terminal A that will be operated by Hanjin Shipping. 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.
Incheon, situated 32 km southwest of Seoul, has been marketing itself as a gateway to Seoul’s metropolitan hinterland.
At 59,000 m², IKEA’s Seoul store is the Swedish furniture maker’s biggest store in the world, exceeding its Stockholm store by about 4,000 m².