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Gaolan Port thrives today, plans for even grander future


Updated: 2021-06-17

The import-export value of Gaolan Port reached 17.72 billion yuan ($2.77 billion) in the first quarter of this year, up 43.7 percent from the same period in 2020 and 9.2 percent from 2019.

Ongoing foreign trade growth, burgeoning port construction, and increasingly convenient customs clearance are attributed as factors for the successful quarter. Still further progress is anticipated under plans released March 29.

Opinions on Supporting Zhuhai in Building a Modernized & Internationalized Special Economic Zone in the New Era of Socialism With Chinese Characteristics propose to establish Zhuhai as a new comprehensive transport hub on the west bank of the Pearl River Estuary. For instance, construction of a 200,000-dwt main shipping lane, 100,000-dwt container terminal Phase III, 150,000-dwt Ganghong Coal Terminal and Yamen shipping lane will clear the way for more shipping routes and upgrade to a Generation IV port.


Gaolan Port [Photo courtesy WeChat account: zhportholdings]

In addition, it will turn the fierce competition with surrounding ports into cooperation. The limited economic scale of the port hinterland and lagging aggregation of shipping service factors are also to be overcome. 

The role of Gaolan Port as a national major coastal hub port and comprehensive transportation hub will be strengthened. It will also become an international shipping and logistics center and bulk commodity trading center, making Zhuhai a core carrier in Greater Bay Area construction and a factor in the international division of labor through a multimodal transport network.

Gaolan was sanctioned by the nation as a Category 1 port for opening-up and forms the bulk of Zhuhai Port operations. It is 45 nautical miles from Hong Kong, and 11 nautical miles from Macao. The southernmost berth is merely 1 nautical mile away from a major international shipping lane.

Since the opening of the Guangzhou-Zhuhai Railway and Gaolan Port Expressway, a two-hour economic circle has formed between the port and Pearl River Delta region, which has extended influence to the city cluster on the west bank of the Pearl River Estuary, and South, Southwest, and Central China.

By the end of 2020, the port had 79 production berths, of which 33 are for over 10,000 dwt. It processed 162 million tons of cargo and 3.09 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEU) annually, accounting for 91 percent and 82 percent of Zhuhai Port's totals. Throughput has exceeded 100 million tons of cargo and 1 million TEUs, and stable growth has been sustained. 

A portal connecting the Xijiang River and South China Sea to the world, the port operates 44 shipping routes to more than 10 countries and regions, including major domestic coastal ports and ports along the Xijiang River. 

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