NANNING, June 28 (Xinhua) -- The first phase of China's first sea-rail intermodal automated container terminal went into operation Tuesday in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
A ship loaded with goods from Indonesia became the first vessel to moor at the wharf in Qinzhou port. It left for Southeast Asia with China-made goods including auto parts, glass and chemicals on Tuesday.
The first phase, including two 100,000-tonne container berths, was designed to handle 1.02 million standard containers per year.
The second phase, including two 200,000-tonne container berths, is under construction. With a handling capacity of 1.6 million standard containers a year, it is expected to become operational in 2023.
The Beibu Gulf Port, including the ports of Qinzhou, Fangcheng and Beihai, serves as an important transit point in the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor, a trade and logistics passage jointly built by western Chinese provincial regions and Singapore. The corridor connects 14 provincial-level regions in China with 316 ports in 107 countries and regions around the world.
The new container terminal was built to meet the transportation demand from the rapidly growing sea-rail intermodal service. The number of trains operating within the sea-rail intermodal service of the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor had surged from 178 in 2017 to 6,117 in 2021.
In the first five months of this year, imports and exports with the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) member countries via Qinzhou port grew 28.6 percent year on year to 26.25 billion yuan (about 3.9 billion U.S. dollars).
The automated wharf and improved customs-clearance service will help facilitate trade with the RCEP members, said Zhu Kuirui, a customs official with Qinzhou port.