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Luzhou-Wuhan-Taiwan shipping route to open by year-end

26 June 2013
Local government representatives gathered in Luzhou, Sichuan province, last week to promote a new container shipping route between Luzhou, Wuhan and Taiwan. It is due to start by the end of this year, according to the Yangtze River Administration under the Ministry of Transport.

Luzhou is Sichuan’s only major Yangtze port and it caters for the whole of the province as well as neighbouring regions. The existence of hydropower stations upstream and downstream of Luzhou, including the Three Gorges Dam, has made shipping conditions difficult in recent years. Low water levels between Luzhou and Chongqing can be volatile in the dry season, to the extent that shipping has often been suspended. The average size vessel carries up to 200 TEU, while the largest vessel capable of sailing from Wuhan to Yangshan carries 480 TEU.

Containers from Luzhou will be transferred onto bigger vessels in Wuhan before sailing directly to Taiwan. It is not clear yet which shipping line will be operating on the route and how long the entire journey will last. But officials claim that, with special arrangements, the direct route will realise a saving of four days. The Sichuan and Luzhou governments have promised a series of preferential policies to attract companies to use the service in future.

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