Busan Port Revamps Trans-Shipment Capacity

Busan Port

Published Jul 27, 2015 6:34 PM by The Maritime Executive

South Korea’s Busan Port aims to handle 13 million TEU of trans-shipment cargo by 2020 ranking it number two in the world.

The Korean Ministry of Ocean and Fisheries together with the Busan Port Authority announces a long-term vision and strategy to develop Busan Port into a global trans-shipment hub port.

In recent years trans-shipment cargo at Busan has grown by 10 percent (average) year-on-year while local cargo has increased by 4.2 percent. In 2014, trans-shipment activities overtook local cargo operations for the first time in the port’s history with trans-shipment accounting for 50.5 percent (9.43 million TEU) up from 31.7 percent in 2000.

Taking a lead from this success, the Korean government and Busan Port Authority (BPA) are implementing concrete plans to consolidate and strengthen Busan’s position as a global trans-shipment hub.

The first step is to integrate container handling activities currently undertaken at North Port and New Port into a single New Port location. This will also include the creation of eight new berths at New Port by 2020 – these will add a further 6.21 million TEU capacity. Added to this, a feasibility study will investigate further expansion to the western container terminal at New Port.

In addition, a feeder terminal for intra-Asian carriers will be created to serve the feeder network within the port.

Meeting the demands for ever-growing container ships, the current program of dredging to a depth of 17m will be completed ahead of schedule in March 2017. Todo Island, currently situated in the port entrance, will be removed by 2019 and the entrance itself will be expanded by the end of 2018.

State-of-the-art, power-efficient container cranes and transfer cranes will be installed in the new facilities and the existing yard tractors will switch from oil power to electricity. This is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 42 percent.

For the efficient transfer of trans-shipment containers, the current multi-purpose terminal sited between the north and south container terminals will be replaced by a yard tractor shuttle road and storage area. The multi-purpose terminal will be relocated elsewhere. A new port-wide ITT platform will control all container movements. 

To generate economies of scale and to facilitate these new arrangements, the four existing terminal operators at North Terminal will form a new unified joint venture company with BPA taking a shareholding.

By integrating all container handling at New Port, it gives North Port the opportunity to develop into a new maritime cluster accommodating maritime manufacturing, marinas, cruise terminals and other facilities – this is being progressed.