Figures from the Yangtze River Administration under China’s Ministry of Transport show that cargo throughput at the major ports along the Yangtze trunk line stood at 918m tons, up 16.6% from the previous year. Foreign trade-related cargo rose by 21% to 116m tons, accounting for 12.5% of the total, according to the report, ‘Yangtze Transport 2008: Accessing China’s interior’.
Of the 5.54m teu recorded by Yangtze ports in 2007, 44.5% was related to domestic trade and 55.5% to foreign trade, indicating that shippers are continuing to use the Yangtze to reach both international markets and the booming consumer markets along China’s coast. Increasing proportions of finished goods and high-value cargo are now containerised, adding momentum to the growth in container traffic along the world’s largest cargo-carrying river. This year, Yangtze ports are expecting a 36% increase in volumes to 7.5m teu.
In 2007, Taicang and Nanjing became the first two Yangtze ports to break through the 1m teu-a-year throughput barrier. About 41% of container throughput at Taicang is for domestic trade, while Nanjing handled 156,000 domestic boxes. Wuhan recorded 82,000 teu for domestic trade, making up 21% of the port’s container volume, while Chongqing’s domestic trade-related container traffic of 160,000 teu accounted for 37% of its total.