A leading figure in Maersk China has praised China’s port industry as the leader in the field, but has warned that some improvements are needed for it to keep that position.
Jens Eskelund, senior director of Maersk China, is reported by Xinhua News Agency as telling the Maritime Silk Road International Cooperation Forum that China had built the most efficient ports in the world, with seven of the world’s top 10 ports there.
He noted government policies to support port construction and provide favourable conditions for carriers.
But while China has valuable experience in port construction, the quality of its ports can improve in the future, he said.
Looking at forward trends, Jens noted that Chinese liner alliances had increased by 67% since 2004, and the country was becoming more receptive to foreign investment.
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However, transhipment on outbound vessels was an issue that could usefully be addressed, he suggested. At present, cargo on a ship from a domestic port to a foreign port cannot be transferred to another ship at a domestic port, which reduces the efficiency of supply chain in China.
Foreign ships have to transfer their cargo out of China, increasing the time of transport, lowering the efficiency of shipping network, and causing Chinese ports to lose potential tax income, he said.
In addition, navigation facilities at Chinese ports need to be improved, Jens said. Most Chinese ports are troubled by low visibility and poor navigation, and have to close temporarily quite often. He pointed out that this had an impact on port operations and the supply chain, and emphasised that navigation safety had to be a top priority.
He urged Chinese ports to continue to communicate with carriers and take the interests of both parties into consideration.