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Incheon Port eases incentive criteria

Incheon Port Authority (IPA) has made it easier for liner operators to obtain incentives amid the Covid-19 pandemic, reducing the minimum qualifying cargo volume (on half-yearly basis) to 800TEU from 3,000TEU.

In 2019, aiming to revitalise the shipping and logistics industry in Incheon, the city’s authorities began providing KRW1 billion (US$816,000) in annual incentives to attract cargoes.

The incentives, comprising discounted port fees and handling charges, are targeted at liner operators, freight forwarders and cargo owners, who are encouraged to launch new shipping routes, attract more cargoes (including refrigerated ones), to and from strategic areas.

Ports worldwide have felt the impact of Covid-19, which has disrupted supply chains and industrial output, resulting in reduced cargo volumes.

In the first quarter of 2020, Incheon processed approximately 700,000TEU, a 2.1% dip from the same period in 2019, although this was affected by the Lunar New Year holidays. Volumes from China accounted for 56% of the containers.

Additional incentives have also been set aside for shipping companies who used Incheon Port during the height of the pandemic in South Korea, where the number of infected cases surged in February 2020.

Busan is South Korea’s busiest container port, but Incheon positions itself as a gateway into the Seoul metropolitan area. The incentives saw Incheon’s 2019 container throughput increase by 4.2% year-on-year, to 3.25 million TEU, including a record volume of reefers and transhipped boxes.

IPA’s vice-president (operations) Lee Jung-haeng said, “The external environment surrounding the shipping industry is not bright, but we will continue to make use of incentives to ensure that we build on our achievements from last year.”

Martina Li
Asia Correspondent

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