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Nansha emerges as substitute amid Yantian crisis

The Nansha International Container Terminal seems to become a viable alternative to the Yantian Port, which is struggling with the Covid-19 outbreak in Guangdong province.

The Guangzhou Port Company confirmed on 7 June that Nansha Port Area is operating normally without Covid-19 cases. The company has also implemented a number of prevention measures for truck drivers to control the risk of an epidemic in the port area.

Vessel-tracking data suggest that amid the congestion in Yantian, THE Alliance, comprising Hapag-Lloyd, Ocean Network Express (ONE), Yang Ming and HMM, has swapped calls at Yantian for Nansha. The maiden call of the alliance at the Guangzhou sub-port was on 2 June, when the 19,870TEU vessel, Al Zubara, deployed on FE2 Asia-North Europe service, docked the port.

Furthermore, THE Alliance is working with Guangzhou Port Group to develop Nansha into a competitive international shipping hub and provide a faster and easier shipping channel for enterprises in the Greater Bay Area that encompasses Guangdong Province, Hong Kong and Macau.

Sailing from East Asia to Europe via Nansha can provide customers with convenient connections from southern China to Southampton and Le Havre and also offer transit to Northwest Africa via Tangier Port. This enables better connections with African countries that have business relations with Chinese companies due to the "Belt and Road" initiative.

Additionally, Nansha is increasingly promoted as a port of call in ocean-going routes as more Chinese manufacturers shift to the western side of the Pearl River due to lower rental and labour costs.

In the first five months of 2021, Nansha's container throughput soared by a year-on-year increase of 81%. The port handled 17.17 million TEU in 2020, while in 2019 the Chinese hub saw 16.78 million TEU.

When Phase 4 of the Nansha port development is completed this year, the port's annual throughput could exceed 18 million TEU.

Martina Li
Asia Correspondent

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