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Shanghai and Ningbo ports to merge?

Shanghai and Ningbo ports to merge?

Shanghai: Buried deep in article by the China Daily newspaper today on port consolidation along the China coast is the admission that two former port foes are talking to each other, with a possible view to merge.

"Major ports in the country are holding consolidation talks with regional rivals as resource duplication and stifling competition threaten to destroy profits at a time of dwindling business," China Daily reported, citing the recent merger of two competing port operators in Tianjin.

Intriguingly the article continued: "In the Yangtze delta region, the competition between Shanghai's Yangshan deep-water port and neighboring Ningbo-Zhoushan port was widely perceived as healthy when exports from the region were growing at a breakneck pace... Now, the two rivals are reportedly talking to each other about a possible partnership, or even a merger."

These two ports have sparred with each other for much of the past decade, especially since Shanghai's Yangshan development got underway. Yangshan, a pair of islands to the south east of Shanghai, technically falls in Zhejiang province, Ningbo's territory. Both ports grew incredibly fast this decade but are now suffering in the downturn.  [25/03/09]