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Port on steady growth track despite COVID

Updated: Sep 3, 2021 chinadaily.com.cn Print
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Cargoes are loaded onto a containership berthed at Ningbo-Zhoushan Port, Zhejiang province, over the weekend. [Photo/Xinhua]

Prevention, control of virus 'key tasks' in Ningbo-Zhoushan to ensure operations

Cargo handling at Ningbo-Zhoushan Port-a port which ranks third in global container handling capacity and recorded the largest global cargo throughput for 12 consecutive years-has remained stable despite the recent COVID-19 sporadic outbreaks in the nation.

According to the latest data from Zhejiang Seaport Group, the port's operator, container throughput at Ningbo-Zhoushan Port in East China's Zhejiang province reached 20 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) this year as of 9 am on Sunday, the first time the target has been met in August, but in previous years nine months were usually needed to handle such an amount.

Overall operations at Ningbo-Zhoushan Port were stable, despite that on Aug 11 a worker in its Meishan Port area tested positive for COVID-19 in routine nucleic acid testing, thanks to the prompt and effective measures by the operator.

The worker was promptly sent to a designated hospital for further medical treatment. His close contacts were all quarantined. The relevant venues have been required to cease operation for disinfection.

Ningbo-Zhoushan Port announced it suspended all container services and ship operations in Meishan Port area on Aug 11. It is also working to rearrange the departure and arrival schedules of vessels to minimize the negative impact of the temporary closure of the Meishan Port area. The other areas of Ningbo-Zhoushan Port currently operate in a normal and orderly manner.

"Until today, except the Meishan Port area, all the other port areas at Ningbo-Zhoushan Port are operating in an orderly manner," a manager surnamed Ge told China Daily on Monday.

Data showed Ningbo-Zhoushan Port handled a daily average of 75,000 TEUs on Aug 11, 12 and 13, almost 90 percent of the daily container throughput in July.

The stable operations of international shipments are vital to foreign trade, especially since COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc globally.

Now, foreign trade businesses are facing difficulties caused by the shortage of empty containers, the low efficiency of loading and uploading containers at some ports, and increasing prices for international shipments.

Ningbo-Zhoushan Port, which topped the world's annual cargo throughput for 12 years in a row, has been making every endeavor to ensure smooth shipments of cargoes between China and the outside world since the novel coronavirus broke out, the port said.

A port official said prevention and control of the virus are now the key tasks, noting they'll continue with strict implementation of preventive and control measures and work out a sound plan for the resumption of full operations at Meishan Port area.

The port handled more than 1.17 billion metric tons of cargo in 2020, up over 4 percent year-on-year and ranking first in the world for a 12th straight year, statistics from the Ministry of Transport showed. The port's container throughput hit 28.72 million TEUs last year, up over 4 percent year-on-year and ranking third globally.

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