2016 was a record year for the volume of cargo transported along China's longest river, the Yangtze.
The throughput through the shiplocks of the Three Gorges and Gezhouba both exceeded 130 million tonnes in 2016, up 8.3 percent over 2015, according to the Yangtze River Navigational Affairs Administration.
The throughput along the whole main waterway was nearly 2.3 billion tons last year, up six percent from 2015. The ports along the river also realized a throughput of 330 million tons in foreign trade, reports China Daily.
A shiplift at the Three Gorges Dam in central China started operation in September, shortening transit times significantly. The lift carries vessels 370 feet up from the original river level of the Yangtze to the newly created lake behind the dam. The journey takes less than an hour each way, compared to a four hour trip through the adjacent set of staircase locks.
The Yangtze is the longest river in Asia and the third-longest in the world. It is the longest in the world to flow entirely within one country. It drains one-fifth of the land area of China. The Yangtze is the sixth-largest river by discharge volume in the world.