The busy Qingdao Port of SPG [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
According to data released by the Ministry of Transport at the end of March, during the January-February period, China's coastal ports accomplished 1.62 billion metric tons of cargo, up 2.9 percent year-on-year. Their foreign trade cargo volume totaled 694 million tons, an increase of 4.6 percent year-on-year. Furthermore, the national aggregate container throughput reached 39.07 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units), up 0.6 percent year-on-year.
Notably, the cargo throughput of Shandong Port Group (SPG) experienced an increase of 6.2 percent year-on-year and its container volume rose 13.3 percent year-on-year. The growth rate was 3.3 percentage points and 12.7 percentage points higher than the average growth of national coastal ports, respectively.
Compared with the same period last year, most of SPG's subsidiaries posted growth. Qingdao Port's container volume ranking climbed up one place to third in the nation. Rizhao Port's cargo volume ranked No 5 nationally and its container volume ranking moved up one place to be included in the nation's top 10, and Yantai Port's container volume ranking moved up one place to 12th in China.
In the first two months of this year, the container throughput of Qingdao Port, Rizhao Port and Yantai Port grew by 12.3 percent, 16.7 percent and 17.7 percent, respectively, and all of them posted double-digit growth. In fact, since the beginning of this year, SPG has stepped up efforts to strengthen container growth and mapped out and implemented an action plan to advance the integrated growth of the container business to amplify its leading advantages.
On March 8, the 2023 Port and Shipping Seminar on High-quality Container Development of SPG kicked off in Shanghai, during which SPG exchanged views with container carriers to jointly bolster the high-quality growth of container business, reached cooperation consensus and signed a slew of cooperation agreements, all in a bid to advance container development.
Meanwhile, under the guidance of internal integration, SPG's port companies and business companies have improved route layout, optimized handling standard, and shared customer resources and dividends thanks to port integration. For example, Qingdao Port joined hands with Rizhao Port and Shandong Port Shipping Group to enhance the standards of barge shipping, with some 170 sailings between Qingdao and Rizhao, and the average handling efficiency improved by 55 percent month-on-month, which effectively increased SPG's growth volume.
Rizhao Port worked together with Shandong Port Shipping Group to develop new energy vehicle exports, which saved nearly 15 percent of comprehensive costs for customers. Yantai Port relied on the advantages of the "Yantai-Qingdao" daily feeder service to further develop the feeder business together with Qingdao Port.
The first two months of outstanding performance signified a good start for SPG to complete this year's goals and targets. However, faced with uncertainties presented by the macroeconomy, SPG still needs to keep working hard to secure more excellent achievements in a new round of challenges.
SPG is the world's largest port conglomerate in terms of cargo capacity. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]