I. Outstanding Geographic Location
Located at the front edge of the Yangtze River Delta, the Port of Shanghai lies in the middle of the18,000-kilometer continental coastline of the mainland of China and holds the estuary of the Yangtze River. Situated at the junction of the West/East transport route by the Yangtze River and the South/North route along the seacoast, it is one of the major hub ports in China’s coastal area and plays an important role in China’s opening up to the outside world and her participation in the global economy. With entry and exit of 99% foreign trade goods of Shanghai via the port, its annual foreign trade cargo throughput accounts for about 20% of the total volume of China’s coastal ports. As a world-renowned port, Shanghai ranked at the very top in 2007 in terms of cargo throughput and held the second position in the world container throughput billboard.
Backed by the metropolis of Shanghai and the vast Yangtze River basin and economic hinterlands, Shanghai Port handles or transships goods from all the other 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government in China (including Taiwan). Besides the city of Shanghai, these hinterlands include Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Jiangxi, Hubei, Hunan and Sichuan provinces and Chongqing municipality. Shanghai Port boasts convenient waterway and land transport conditions and smooth distribution channels which extend to the whole Yangtze River basin and the vast of the nation through the expressways, state-level highways, trunk line railways and coastal routes. Shanghai is also close to global shipping routes. Apart from that, the air transport of Shanghai is also highly developed.
II. Long and Brilliant History
Shanghai has long been a significant port of foreign trade and transport since the ancient China. Early in the Fifth Year of Tianbao Emperor in the Tang Dynasty (A.D. 746), the Chinese Government set up a governing regime in this transport dominant area, i.e. Qinglong County (now situated at the northeastern part of Qingpu County and the southern bank of Suzhou Creek). Ships began calling at this booming port. In the Song Dynasty, Qinglong County was nicknamed as the No.1 Trade Port of the Yangtze Delta. In the Third Year of Zhenghe Emperor of Song Dynasty (A.D.1111), the Central Government established the Trading and Shipping Agency here to collect customs tariffs and regulate shipping market. Later on, the accumulated huge amount of mud and sand in river water extended the shoreline of Yangtze River Delta eastbound with expansion of land area and change of fairway channels. By the end of Jingding Emperor period and in the First Year of Xianchun Emperor of the Southern Song Dynasty (around A.D. 1265), the port was moved to Shanghai County. In the first two years of Yongle Emperor of the Ming Dynasty (1403-1404), the Huangpu River was exploited with outstanding fairways, which boosted the development of Shanghai Port.
After loss of the “Opium War” against Britain in 1840, the Qing Government was forced to sign the Treaty of Nanjing and Shanghai Port was opened to the outside world on November 17th 1843. A great number of foreign adventurers swarmed into Shanghai and took notorious actions like appointment of foreign harbour master, designation of foreign vessel anchorages and berths, cultivation of military force for colonization, demarcation of apron waters, building of warehouses and yards, drug smuggling, human trafficking, etc. In the Third Year of Xianfeng Emperor of the Qing Dynasty (A.D.1853), the foreign trade value of Shanghai surpassed that of Guangzhou, and Shanghai became the largest foreign trade port in China. After the 1870’s, Shanghai Port evolved into the shipping center in China where contemporary industrial clusters took shape at both sides of Huangpu River and Suzhou Creek.
At the beginning of the 20th Century, Huangpu Fairway Bureau dredged and harnessed several sections of the Wusong Estuary and the Huangpu River so that 10,000-tonnage vessels might sail into the Huangpu River at high tide, which complied with the development trend of both ship’s type and local economy. In the 1930’s, Shanghai Port acted as the shipping center in the Far East and in 1931 its cargo throughput amounted to 14 million tons, ranking seventh in the world in terms of entry ship tonnage. Shanghai thus became an important port city of the world.
In May 1949 Shanghai got liberated, which heralded the advent of brand new history of port development. Thanks to the three-year rehabilitation period after liberation, the grand port construction movement in the1970’s and after the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Party Committee, Shanghai Port has been developing very fast and becomes an engine for both city construction and economic development of the Yangtze River Basin and the whole nation.
In December 1995, the Central Party Committee and the State Council made a strategic decision of building Shanghai International Shipping Center. Yangshan Deep-water Port District (First-phase Project) and Yangshan Bonded Port Area were launched for operation on December 10th 2005, which symbolized the initial achievements in construction of the international shipping center.
Through more than half a century of endless efforts, Shanghai Port has become a large comprehensive world-class hub port with multi functions and modern facilities.
III. Status Quo of Shanghai Port
At present, Shanghai Port is composed of eight port districts, namely the upper reach, middle reach and lower reach of the Huangpu River, Baoshan Luojing, Waigaoqiao, Hangzhou Bay, Yangshan and Chongming. Till the end of 2007, Shanghai Port had 1,155 berths, including 133 berths capable of accommodating 10,000 tons or above. Its total shoreline reached 101.5 kilometers and designed cargo throughput was 373 million tons per annum. Categorized by different purposes of terminals, there were 174 public berths, including 121 production berths with 22.2-kilometer shoreline and designed cargo throughput of 171 million ton/year, 981 shipper-owned berths including 495 production berths with 40.1-kilometer shoreline and maximum berthing capacity of 100,000-tonnage vessels, and 539 non-productive berths for public affairs, shipbuilding and repairing, ferry boats, workboats or military purpose with 39.1-kilometer shoreline. As for inland waterway harbor basins, there were 1,052 standard berths with maximum designed berthing capacity of 3,000-tonnage vessels.
In 2007, Shanghai Port accomplished cargo throughput of 561 million tons, ranking first in the world for consecutive three years. The throughput is composed of 492 million tons of seaport throughput and 69 million tons of inland waterway throughput. The foreign trade cargo throughput reached 256 million tons including export of 127 million tons and import of 129 million tons. Shanghai Port’s container throughput reached 26.152 million TEUs, which ranked second in the world and accounted for 23% of total throughput of above-scale ports in China. As for the container throughput, 10.384 million TEUs were carried by international outbound services, 9.486 million TEUs by inbound services, 2.873 million TEUs by inland feeder services and 3.409 million TEUs by domestic trade services plus 1.28 million TEUs of international transshipment containers. Till the end of 2007, there were 2,182 domestic and international liner services calling at Shanghai Port including 549 deep-sea services and 508 short-sea services.