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Busan port aims to move 18.2m teu in 2014

Busan port aims to move 18.2m teu in 2014
South Korea’s main seaport Busan is aiming to move 18.2m teu of containers this year, a modest increase of 3% from a throughput of 17.7m teu recorded in 2013, according to Lim Ki-tack, president of Busan Port Authority (BPA).

“To accomplish this volume target, we are trying to improve competitiveness as a transhipment hub port by reinforcing customised marketing toward port-interested customers,” Lim told Seatrade Global.

He believed that the positive performance of Busan port over the years has been possible due to its strategically located position, coupled with good connectivity to other ports and favourable weather conditions.

Busan port is located in the center of the main trunk route surrounded by the world's factories and second largest markets, China and Japan. This Northeast Asia region takes up 41% of the world's entire container throughput, lending strength to Busan to compete with other global container ports.

The South Korean port has 368 weekly services connecting approximately 500 ports in more than 150 countries, plus feeder network linking Busan to Japan, China and Russia from more than 100 weekly services. In addition, Busan port is hardly closed for bad weather such as sea fog and typhoons. On average, the port only closes two to three days a year due to bad weather.

“Busan port is taking advantage of this favourable environment and we envision it to be an even bigger transhipment hub port by connecting the world's largest markets,” Lim said.

Busan port currently handles about 8.6m teu of international transhipment cargo per year, and the transhipment volume accounts for 49.5% of the total container throughput in 2013. “Busan port's primary role is to connect Northeast Asian economy with the rest of the world,” Lim said.

Meanwhile, an ongoing redevelopment work at Busan New Port will see its quay and channel depth get dredged to 16-18 metres and 15-16 metres, respectively, so as to accommodate larger containerships of 18,000 teu. The channel depth will be further deepened to 17 metres by this year with a budget of $140m.

The port is also introducing four 50-metre high, 24 raw container cranes in response to handling bigger ships.

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