In June, Incheon New Port will open at Incheon Port, serving as the gateway to Seoul and the metropolitan area. In the new port, large vessels will be able to freely enter and leave the ocean.
Until now, Incheon Port has had a greater percentage of maritime transport services within the North China and Southeast Asia regions. Once the New Port becomes operational, however, it will open the way to directly transport goods with large container ships to Europe and the American continent in the future.
Before the opening of the new port, Business Korea had an interview with Incheon Port Authority (IPA) President Yoo Chang-keun, who focused on the marketing at home and abroad in order to attract new shipping companies and vessel fleets.
A new logistics channel will be opened soon. Could you tell us the details about it?
Once the new port is opened, vessels with 4,000 to 8,000 TEU can freely enter and depart. The companies with shippers and ships, which have business partners in the metropolitan area, can choose a better logistics channel than the existing services in Korea in terms of time and cost.
Currently, container vessels with 4,000 to 8,000 TEU will be able to enter and depart on a regular basis. Also, vessels with up to 12,000 TEU can operate through the Datum Level-16m project by 2018.
How are conditions of the dock, unloading equipment, and background land?
First of all, two terminals with docks of 800 meters and a linear length of 1.6 kilometers will be opened. Terminal B, which will open first this year, introduced five RMQC with 22 rows, and will introduce two more.
The port also introduced 14 yard cranes with a capacity of 5 tiers and 9 rows, and 10 more will be introduced in the future. The terminal has an open air storage yard that is 600 meters wide from the quay wall to the end of the terminal.
The terminal covers a total 145,000 m2 of area. Terminal A, which is of the same size, will open at the beginning of 2016, and the equipment will also be nearly identical.
Is it possible to secure enough shipping quantity?
Since the port is located near the metropolitan area and has other major ports and service networks nearby in the northeast coast, which leads China’s economic growth, it is fully possible. The global G6 alliance decided to establish a regular container route called the Central China 1 Service, which stretches from the U.S. to Incheon and then to North China. It will pass through Terminal B, which will be open in June.
Is there anything you’d like to say to global shipping companies and shippers?
When you use Incheon New Port, you will save up to 4 kilometers in shipping service distance than if you use the existing shipping companies to enter Incheon Port. Therefore, it is cost effective in terms of fuel and pilotage.
Also, you can save time in unloading containers by using the new container cranes with 22 rows. Also, the new port will be an attractive alternative for cargo transport from the point of view of shippers, since it can considerably reduce the cost of transport compared to the existing route, which transports goods from the port of the southern part of Korea to the metropolitan area by truck.
What are your plans for your 10th anniversary this year?
Vision 2030 is to set a developmental strategy and to form key values. We are also planning a road map to build a sustainable development strategy looking to the future, analyzing business conditions.
We will create methods to achieve a future map for Incheon Port and Incheon Port Authority. All principal agents of the IPA and Incheon Port Corporation will share one vision and the same strategy.
Tell us about the specialty and comparative advantage of Incheon's newly-established port.
First of all, we have geographic efficiency. From Incheon Port one can reach metropolitan Seoul within an hour, while also facing China, the world's largest market. And it is close to Incheon International Airport.
With the improved logistics of the new port, we are located in deeper waters (-14 m at present, and -16 m by 2018), and have built cutting-edge facilities making efficient use of a wide open-air storage yard. We expect vast improvements in our distribution system.
What is the significance of the cooperation with the world’s second largest G6 alliance?
The G6 alliance member companies will deploy container ships with 6,800 TEU and provide one service each week.
The course service, which passes the west coast of the U.S., Busan, Incheon to Qingdao and Shanghai in China, will enrich the Incheon port to be a global port through the increase of shipping traffic and transshipment cargo.
Lastly, how do you predict port traffic this year?
As of February, the container traffic in Incheon Port recorded 361,666 TEU, a 10.5 percent increase over the same period a year earlier. Thanks to the opening of the new port, the container traffic goal this year will be 2,600,000 TEU, which is higher than the forecast 2,500,000 TEU.