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Wuhan launches new Yangshan services

27 March 2013
Wuhan New Port Authorities have announced the start of a new six-days-a-week Yangshan service from 26 March. Container barges will depart Wuhan Yangluo every day except Sunday on a direct route to Shanghai Yangshan.

Three barge operators – Cosco-owned Shanghai Fanya, SIPG-owned Jihai Shipping, China Shipping-owned Shanghai Puhai – will operate the common user platform for all companies involved in foreign trade, according to officials. China Shipping has signed a slot purchase agreement with SIPG Jihai to operate ‘Jihai Zhicheng’, which has a capacity of 212 TEU, while Cosco has deployed a new 426 TEU vessel ‘Junzhen Hexie’ on the route. This brings the total capacity on the route to 2,921 TEU, according to reliable sources from Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG).

Last year, Cosco carried 240,000 TEU between Wuhan and Shanghai, while SIPG Jihai carried 86,000 TEU and China Shipping 22,000 TEU, according to sources of these companies. Together, they accounted for about 60 per cent of the volumes between the two cities.

SIPG said that these scheduled calls will be managed the same way as ocean liners and will have fixed berths, a fixed time of loading and unloading, and a fixed contact point. They typically sail for 72 hours and berth at scheduled time slots.

Two other barge operators, Sinotrans Hubei and Wuhan Changhai, approved by Wuhan New Port Authorities, provide shuttle services between Wuhan and Yangshan. However, they do not fall into the SIPG scheduled service scheme, partly due to the fact that the vessels need to anchor at different terminals in Shanghai for loading and unloading, which makes scheduling less predictable.

Last year, according to SIPG, Yangtze container shipping contributed nearly one-quarter of Shanghai port’s entire throughput of 32.5m TEU.

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