Nansha box port will expand its container volumes by increasing its rail links and connecting to the country’s Belt and Road initiative
Guangzhou terminal complex is one of China’s fastest-growing ports and jumped from number seven to five in the world’s top 10 largest container ports by volume in 2018. It registered a growth rate of 27.87M TEU in 2018, a rise of 7.4% compared to 2017. Its container port Nansha’s volumes comprise 65% of Guangzhou’s total volumes. The port complex consists of four terminals. Nansha is the deepsea terminal, the other three are river ports. It has capacity for 20M TEU and can also handle 20,000-TEU box ships.
As well as adding value by opening a free trade zone, the Pearl River Delta port is focusing on boosting rail connections, which are critical to expanding its volumes in the future and for tapping into the country’s Belt and Road initiative.
Nansha’s Europe chief executive Johannes Nanninga told Container Shipping & Trade “Nansha is in the final stages of being connected to rail. This means that Nansha will be the only deepsea port in China that has an on-dock railway station - all the other ports shunt between station and port. The trains will roll right into the terminal.”
The port started work on the on-dock railway in 2015, with work slated to be finished by mid-2020. The on-dock railway will connect Nansha with inland provinces all the way up to Sichuan including Chengdu and Chongqing as well as to the national rail network.
Mr Nanninga added “We will be connected to the national grid and connected to the Belt and Road programme.” Ports in China need this connectivity, as in the past a lot of manufacturing and production took place in the coastal areas, but now economic activity is countrywide as manufacturers have moved to cheaper locations inland and in the west. Rail is needed to access these manufacturing locations.
Nansha is also connected to 50 barge/feeder networks. Now China is becoming more of a consumer market, strong and varied distribution channels are needed.
Future plans include developing large logistics parks. Next to Nansha Terminal Phase 3, 320,000 m2 has been earmarked for a comprehensive logistics park. The port also has what it claims is the largest cold-chain logistics facility in South China.
As well as focusing on boosting connectivity in China, the port is also concentrating on increasing its trade lane growth.
Mr Nanninga said “The Europe trade has grown very fast and there is also a very healthy export growth from Europe.”
He singled out the trade between Asia and the Middle East, India and Pakistan as being fast growing for Nansha.