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Sea gates of Asia

Shipping routes from the sea terminal of Shanghai are laid to more than 300 ports of the world

Sea gates of Asia

Municipal government authorities are trying to turn the Shanghai port into an international shipping center. Famous foreign corporations continue to increase investment in China, which contributes to the harmonious entry of Shanghai into the international logistics network.

Bare numbers

If you look at the map of China, it will seem that with such a huge coastline, there should be enough ports. There are, in fact, almost 60 of them. But it should be borne in mind that almost the entire Chinese coast is shallow, and the amplitude of the ebb and flow can be more than 6 m, so almost everywhere there are restrictions on the entry of large ocean vessels into the port.

When Russia at the beginning of the 12th century received a harbor in Port Arthur, China, it had to be considerably deepened. And all the same, battleships could go out into the open sea only at high tide. Modern container ships have a draft of more than 20 m, and the largest of them - more than XNUMX m. And only four ports in China are classified as "international deep-water". Shanghai is the most important of them.

In literal translation, "Shanghai" means "at sea" - the Chinese themselves call it "Hu" or "Shen" for short. The city stands on the border between the provinces of Jiangsu and Zheyang on the shoreline of the East China Sea on the Huangpu River near the mouth of the great Yangtze.

In all its glory, the city appeared before foreigners after the first opium war. Under the terms of the Nanjing Treaty 1842 year (according to which Hong Kong departed for one and a half centuries), Shanghai, along with four other Chinese ports, was open to Europeans.

By the beginning of the XX century, from a small fishing town, it turned into the most important city in China and one of the world's leading financial centers. In addition, the city became the focus of mass culture, intellectual disputes and political intrigues in Republican China. After the victory of the Chinese Communist Party in the civil war in 1949, the government imposed high taxes on Shanghai, the bourgeoisie was persecuted, and its former wealth quickly came to naught. And only after the authorities in 1992 authorized the resumption of the market development of Shanghai's economy, he quickly bypassed Shenzhen and Guangzhou, from which the market reforms in China began.

An acute struggle for the right to be called China’s economic center unfolded between Shanghai and Hong Kong. In 2003, the per capita GDP in Shanghai was 46 586 Yuan (about $ 5620) - it was ranked 13 in the list of 659 cities in China. Among the advantages of Hong Kong were a stronger legal system and much more experience in banking and services. Shanghai has “in the hole” strong ties with the central government and other areas of mainland China, as well as a stronger production and technological base. After the transfer of Hong Kong to China in 1997, the role of Shanghai in the financial and banking sector, as well as the location of the head offices of the companies, intensified, fueling the demand for an educated and modern labor force.

At the beginning of the XXI century, Shanghai claims to regain the title of a world-class city and become the center of all of East Asia. Today it is the world's busiest cargo port - and the most populated city in the world. According to official data, more than 18 million people live in it, but the locals themselves will proudly tell you that there are “much more” of them.

Shanghai attracts foreign investment more than any other city in the world. Leading industries here are banking, information technology, automotive and petrochemical industry. China's shipbuilding industry ranks third in the world after Japan and South Korea, and Shanghai is its main manufacturing base. It builds almost 50% of all ships in the country, which corresponds to roughly 5% of world output. Shanghai shipbuilders can expect that the demand for their products, including warships, and ocean-going container ships will continue to grow.

According to some experts, China's excellent network of railways allows without any problems, to deliver goods cheaply and quickly from Harbin or Mudanjiang to Shanghai. And from there - to all points of the world. On this basis, it is concluded that China does not really need Russian ports of Primorye. One can argue: will the port of Shanghai cope, serving the whole of China?

Let's compare: take the port of Vostochny in Primorye, the throughput of which is 1,2 million containers. But the port of Shanghai: in 2001, this eastern Chinese city was listed only as the fifth port of the planet. In 2002, he processed 400 thousand containers, and in 2006 year - already 12 million containers. In December 2011, the port crossed the symbolic border in 30 million six-meter containers, which did not submit before to any other port of the planet.

In 2005, Hong Kong lost the palm in the competition for the title of the world's largest port of Singapore, and in 2010, the latter in turn "surrendered" to Shanghai. The heyday of Shanghai port in China is associated with the country's accession to the WTO in 2001. Over the past 8 years, container trade through the Shanghai port has tripled. Following the results of the 2012 year on the background of a slowdown in the world economy, the Shanghai port recorded an increase in the processing of containers by 2,5% in relation to 2011 and the growth in the processing of cargo in general - up to 502 million tons.


The Shanghai port is not in the city or even on the continental coast. It is a giant man-made mega-building on the basis of a dozen islands, well visible from space. The port is shocked by its scale. Its area is over 3619,6 sq. M. Km - includes several "joining" working areas. Each zone has its own cargo specialization.

The Shanghai International Port is a typical Chinese model of public-private partnership, in which the state is the inspiration, strategy and main organizer. Private business prevails quantitatively and has complete economic independence in the performance of its tasks. The joint-stock company Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) has a state controlling stake. In turn, SIPG and the state-owned Chinese ocean shipping company (Cosco, 5-th place in the world in container shipping) are the main shareholders of numerous specialized companies that have property and business in the port of Shanghai.

Today it seems ridiculous and ridiculous that even a dozen years ago the world experts unanimously considered the Shanghai port to be "unpromising" because of shallow water and inability to deepen the sea coastline. For the first time at the government level, the Yangshan Port Development Program was adopted. It is a container port on the island of the same name, which structurally enters the port of Shanghai and is connected to it by the S-shaped Donghai Bridge, opened in 2006 and being the longest bridge in the world.

At a brisk pace, in just three years, the Chinese carried out land reclamation and dredging works in the gulf. Piers were erected around the once quiet fishing islands Big and Small Yanshan (the depth there reaches 15 m). The island terminal Yanshan was opened in 2005 year, since then it has been expanding annually. The ongoing dredging works are divided into four projects and will be commissioned by 2014. And after the completion of all the works by the year 2020, the Shanghai port of Yanshan will receive annually 25 million TEU (a conventional unit of measure for the capacity of cargo vehicles).

There is a duty free zone in Yangshan port. Its main functions are international transit of containers, warehousing of goods exempted from duties and processing of export goods. In June 2008, Yanshan solemnly received the 8-thousandth ship.

In general, the “Yanshan project” cost $ 13 billion. The state was the most generous investor through a consortium of 10 Chinese banks. Attracted and foreign investors. Thus, in the consortium, which received the right to build and operate the so-called 2 zone of the Yanshan port, the Danish AP Moller - Maersk Group and the transnational Hutchison Whampoa (the absolute leader in container shipping) received the 32% of shares. In SIPG 16%, in 10% are Cosco and the Chinese shipbuilding group.

An indicative fact: foreigners were admitted not "for nothing". "The Shanghai International Port Group" acquired 40% of the container terminal in the Belgian Zeebrugge, built by AP Moller - Maersk Group. Thus, the Shanghai port workers acquired their first own base in Europe. "We will continue to seek every opportunity to promote our development abroad," the company's president, Mr. Chen Huyuan, said at a meeting of shareholders of the Shanghai International Port. It is important to note: unique and grandiose in itself, the modernization of the Shanghai port is closely linked with other projects that are no less fantastic in terms of ambitiousness.

In particular, with the global reworking of the Yangtze River, in which a third of the country's population lives. In general, the project includes the transfer of part of the flow of the rivers Huang He, Yangtze, Haihe to the northern regions of the country through a network of canals: central, eastern and western. In the 11 five-year plan, $ 21,2 billion was spent for these purposes.

The upper and middle Yangtze currents account for 16% of the internal turnover of the Shanghai port. The two-kilometer-long Three Gorges Dam-Water Works dam, built in the middle of the Yangtze River (approximately 1000 km from Shanghai), raised the river level by more than 100 meters.

Already, barges with a displacement of up to 10 thousand tons can run between Shanghai and more than 2300 km from Chongqing, the most densely populated city of the country and the largest inland (river) port. Shanghai International Port invested heavily in infrastructure in nine different ports along the Yangtze River. In particular, with the municipal government of Chongqing, an agreement was signed on the construction of 13 berths for container ships in the amount of $ 343,7 million. In any case, in this case it is also about linking the country to a single, this time water network.

Social competition

By 2020, Shanghai will inevitably become the main financial and shipping center. According to the plan of the State Committee of the People's Republic of China, there will be a market for used vessels with an annual turnover of $ 1,6 billion, as well as an international cruise base for 500 departures / arrivals per year. The port of Shanghai is only an element of the well-thought-out policy of the PRC central government on the development of port infrastructure. Chinese authorities are actively investing in a promising industry, but at the same time, perhaps, they are even more actively encouraging regional officials and companies that own ports to invest in. This can be seen as one of the components of the state's strategy with respect to ports.

By and large, here is seen a kind of "socialist competition" on plans to expand port capacities and increase the volume of freight and container turnover. That this is a competition, there is no doubt, given that some ports are located close enough to each other (like Hong Kong and Guangzhou in the south, Ningbo and Shanghai in the east, Dalian, Tianjin and Qinhuangdao in the north) and will fight for Cargo flows and shipping lines.

However, competition is only one component. In addition, the Chinese government creates a kind of clusters of ports, which, competing with each other, together become major centers of attraction for shipping companies. This helps Chinese ports already in international competition with the same Korean ports, Singapore port and others.

At the same time, specialization does not hinder competition. Everyone is fighting for containers as a high-tech area of ​​work, but at the same time, the same Dalian in the north is “responsible” for accepting oil, and Qingdao in the southeast is for accepting iron ore, since it is located next to the plants.

An important element in international port competition is duty-free port zones, which China consistently opened in the 2000-s. As noted in the customs administration of the PRC, these zones are subject to special care of the country's top leadership, since they are regarded as a "springboard" for increasing foreign trade. For these purposes, they provide for the most preferential tax policy and maximum simplification of customs and other clearance procedures.

An additional effect from the development of transport routes is the provision of employment in the infrastructure projects of a large mass of the Chinese population, which, according to the economists, should lead to an increase in domestic demand. And this is also the strategic goal of the Chinese government after the world crisis, which demonstrated that the rate only for the export of goods leads to an unbalanced model of the economy.

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