Gwangyang, South Korea's second-busiest container port, has attracted seven new service routes in Q1 2021, raising hopes for a recovery in throughput.
Affected by Covid-19, Gwangyang's container throughput dropped 9.4% in 2020, to 2.16 million TEU. Yeosu Gwangyang Port Authority (YGPA) said that through reaching out to liner operators, new routes were created despite the ongoing pandemic, as demand for container shipping rebounded.
YGPA estimates that the seven services created in Q1 could generate an additional annual throughput of 120,000 TEU, while reducing logistics costs for local shippers and facilitating imports and exports by strengthening connections to Gwangyang.
These routes include CMA CGM’s GSX service between Guam and Saipan, Heung-A Line’s revised SIS2 service between China and the Indian west coast and Evergreen Marine Corporation’s KCV service between South Korea, China and Vietnam.
Closer to home, coastal feeder operator SCL also launched its KDS service between Kwangyang and Donghae.
The authority said that it is now in talks with major container shipping alliances to connect Gwangyang with more ocean-going routes, such as South America and the US East Coast.
YGPA’s marketing manager Jang Bang-sik said, “The increase in the number of services and the diversification of routes is essential to the recovery of the region's imports and exports, which have stagnated due to Covid-19. Our strategy is to revitalise the transportation volume of Gwangyang Port in the mid- to long-term.”