Growing from strength to strength
After holding the title of the world’s busiest container port for five consecutive years, Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) is now looking to become greener and more diversified while strengthening its position.
SIPG operates more than 280 international container ships that travel to 340 ports every month. Its net profits last year was reported to be 6.77 billion yuan ($1.06 billion).
On July 13, SIPG announced its plan to acquire 79.2 percent of stakes in Shanghai Jinjiang Shipping (Group) for 1.9 billion yuan. Shanghai Jinjiang Shipping, a container carrier specializing in short-sea box shipping in East Asia, is expected to help strengthen SIPG’s related business.
“Currently, Shanghai Hai Hua Shipping (HASCO), which is under the SIPG, is running short-sea box shipping business, and a consolidation of this operations will come after the deal,” said Fang Huaijin, vice-president of SIPG.
Following more than five years of restructuring, the port group has built its success around its core container business. Last year, Shanghai Port demonstrated a capacity for future growth, handling 35.28 million TEU (20-foot equivalent unit) containers to exceed its designed capacity of 28 million. The organization’s other businesses in logistics service and port logistics are also expanding quickly.
“We are now building new yards and adjusting existing ones at the same time to handle the demand,” said Fang, adding that technological advancements have played a vital role in Shanghai Port’s development.
Thirty years ago, it took half a month to handle 30,000 tons of cargo. Now, a shore crane needs only an hour to transport more than 30 containers at SIPG’s Waigaoqiao port, said Fang.
Shanghai Port has been making significant investments in technology, as evidenced by the 12.8 billion yuan it spent to build a fullyautomated container terminal in Yangshan port, which will come into operation two years later. According to Fang, the new facility will increase the annual capacity of Shanghai Port to more than 40 million TEUs.
The automated terminal, the fourth phase of the Yangshan Port project, has been designed to handle 6.3 million TEUs. Its unique energy consumption structure should result in zero carbon dioxide or other emissions while allowing savings of up to 70 percent.
On Sept 14, six of the world’s largest port operators — DP World, Hutchison Port Holdings Limited, APM Terminals, PSA International, Port of Rotterdam and SIPG — launched the first ever joint industry initiative to promote environmental awareness and make a push for sustainability in the communities in which they operate.
“With Green Port Plan 2020, SIPG are bound to further consolidate what we have achieved as a green innovator. Environmental sustainability will be jointly safeguarded as an initiative where the port and maritime industries can mobilize all their resources to pursue the ideal green port,” said SIPG’s chairman Chen Xuyuan.
SIPG is quickly developing both domestically and internationally. Earlier in April, the Shanghai-based corporation won the bid for concession of the Bayport Terminal in the port of Haifa in Israel for 24 years starting 2021.
Fang said that the successful bid will further enhance the competitiveness of SIPG’s global terminal operational network and play a part in China’s “One Belt and One Road” strategy, which aims to boost cooperation in the region and create new trade routes linking Asia, Europe and Africa.
“We hope this project will bring SIPG profit as well as new development opportunities in the future,” said Fang, before adding that restructuring would be a key element to the enterprise’s sustained success.
Transport technology such as shore cranes has been crucial to SIPG's success.