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Nansha port bucks trend with more ship calls and boom in intra-Asia services

GUANGZHOU China's port of Nansha is bucking the downturn trend among container terminals this year, and looks to emerge as the big winner from the Pearl River Delta's evolution into the Greater Bay Area

28 June 2020 - 19:00

GUANGZHOU China's port of Nansha is bucking the downturn trend among container terminals this year, and looks to emerge as the big winner from the Pearl River Delta's evolution into the Greater Bay Area.

While other Chinese terminals were suffering in the coronavirus shutdown, Nansha clocked up a 30 per cent increase in Q1 exports to Europe.



Port of Nansha's Europe CEO, Johannes Nanninga, said: 'There's a transformation taking place in South China, and Nansha is still gaining market share. There's almost no trade which isn't growing.'



Part of Guangzhou Port Group, Nansha lies on the west bank of the Pearl River Delta (PRD), its three terminals handling 75 per cent of Guangzhou's 21.9 million TEU, when it surpassed Hong Kong to become the world's fifth-busiest box port, reports The Loadstar, UK.



The big increase in Q1 European volumes was due to an additional 2M sailing, and new calls have been won on other major tradelanes, too. For example, Nansha attracted its first direct US east coast service, also from 2M, last September.



Mr Nanninga said the port's intra-Asia volumes had also grown, 'tremendously', with 20 new services in 2018 and another 10 last year. Calls connecting South-east Asia, Taiwan and Korea have been particularly prominent.



However, international volumes have surged from a relatively low base by Chinese standards, with Nansha having only switched focus from purely domestic traffic in 2009. In fact, even by 2018, around 60 per cent of the port's volumes were via Chinese domestic traffic.



The transition to international cargo coincided with the transformation of the PRD into a hi-tech manufacturing hub and the economic integration of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau into the Greater Bay Area.



The completion of Nansha's on-dock rail connection in the second quarter of 2021 could also be a 'game changer', believes Mr Nanninga. 'It really opens up the the western economic hubs, especially Sichuan, Chengdu and Chongqing.'



Meanwhile, with Guangzhou having been historically dubbed China's 'window to the world', even now it's providing a snapshot into Beijing's plans to transform the country's economy to greater levels of domestic consumption, shift from low-cost manufacturing and improve the environment.



Nansha is also aiming to tap into refrigerated cargo flows from Europe, Africa and Latin America by building a 150,000sq metre cold storage facility, the largest in South China.



'Traditionally, temperature-controlled business was always routed via Hong Kong,' added Mr Nanninga.


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