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Freight to boost Qin-In Ferry as passengers show steep decline

Qinhuangdao Qin-In Ferry, which transports passengers and containers between South Korea and China on its ro-ro passenger ferry, is expanding its intermodal cargo services to overcome the drop in passenger numbers amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The company’s sole vessel, Xin Yu Jin Xiang, shuttles between South Korea's Incheon port and China's Qinhuangdao port. Xin Yu Jin Xiang has capacity for 348 passengers and 270TEU.

Speaking at the company’s 16th anniversary, Qin-In president Han Young-rak said this year, the company faces its biggest crisis with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Han said, “Passenger transportation has completely stopped,” adding, “We’re making various efforts to overcome this situation.”

Qin-In is expanding cargo transportation services to Hebei province, where Qinhuangdao is located, and to nearby Tianjin and Beijing, as well as landlocked Mongolia. The Mongolian service, which began by linking maritime transport with trucking in 2008, has developed into a multimodal transport route comprising sea and land freight.

In particular, the time required to travel to Mongolia has been reduced by up to six days compared to other ports in China by simplifying customs procedures. Cargoes from Incheon arrive at shippers’ doorsteps in Mongolia in 10 days.

Han said, "We will grow Mongolia's service into Qin-In’s flagship business by reflecting the needs of shippers as much as possible and by continuously improving the service."

The company plans to build a new 30,000gt ro-ro passenger ferry that can accommodate 900 passengers and 350TEU. This vessel will replace the 1995-built Xin Yu Jin Xiang.

Martina Li
Asia Correspondent

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