In a sign of growing competition among South Korean ports for container cargoes, Incheon Port Authority (IPA) will partially open Incheon New Port Phase 1-1 container pier (Terminal B) on 1 June, after getting governmental approval.
This means IPA will be able to open 410 m of the 800 m long Terminal B on 1 June in advance of opening other sections as administrative procedures have been completed.
Prior to this, IPA and Sun Kwang Newport Container Terminal, operator of Incheon New Port Terminal B, reached an agreement to open first 410 m of the whole 800 m. Then, IPA applied to Incheon Regional Oceans and Fisheries Administration for the plan according to Port Authority Act.
Leader of the new port development team at IPA, Lee Won-hong, said, “We are glad to announce that Incheon New Port will partially open on 1 June thanks to the approval from the government. In order to achieve early activation, we will dedicate ourselves to construct infrastructure in the hinterland and to open a traffic network as early as possible.”
Incheon Port’s previous capacity enabled it to take in container ships of just up to 4,000 teu, causing it to lag behind Busan, which has consolidated its status as the transhipment hub of Northeast Asia.
To attract ultra-large container ships and to compete with Busan, IPA has been dredging the waters to enable 10,000 teu ships to call at Incheon.
Phase 1 of the redevelopment will add six berths along 1.6 km of quay that will be able to accommodate vessels of up to 10,000 teu capacity. Besides Terminal B, 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.