The northeastern Chinese port of Tianjin is set to boost its volumes following an agreement with COSCO to create a regional port hub.
Under the terms of the agreement, COSCO Shipping Lines will help to boost Tianjin's container volumes by developing new routes, in order to realise Tianjin's goal of being the hub port of Northeast Asia.
Both sides pledged to deepen their cooperation in green and smart port construction, governance, overseas project investments and international talent development to enable Tianjin to fulfil its role in the Belt and Road initiative.
COSCO will also help to fulfil the role that the government has envisioned for Tianjin in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Integration Plan, which will see northern Chinese cities and provinces using their comparative advantages and synergies to achieve regional growth.
One concern is that the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, also known as the Three North Areas, is inadequately cosmopolitan and therefore not fully integrated into global supply chains. Physical infrastructure will be key in integrating the cluster, including for integrating supply chains and the labour market.
Tianjin, which was the ninth busiest port in 2019, with throughput of 17.3 million TEU, will be COSCO’s strategic hub port in Northeast Asia. Relying on the advantages of COSCO’s global transportation and sales network and Tianjin Port’s geographical location, the two parties will collaborate in logistics projects such as transhipments around the Bohai Sea, developing the port hinterland, and transportation along the Eurasian Land Bridge. The idea is to ensure sufficient logistical coverage of Three North’s hinterland, through improving sea-rail intermodal transportation.
COSCO and Tianjin Port said, “We will give full play to their advantages and jointly expand their overseas operations, particularly along the Belt and Road.”