Posted : 2012-11-25 16:30
Updated : 2012-11-25 16:30

Busan logistics hub in Northeast Asia

Lim Ki-tack
Busan Port Authority CEO

By Lee Hyo-sik

Busan Port has emerged as a maritime logistics hub in Northeast Asia, attracting large numbers of multinational freighters.

Thanks to its state-of-the-art loading and unloading facilities operational 24 hours a day, a skilled labor force and attractive incentives provided to shipping firms, it has become a must for global shipping lines to establish a strong presence there.

''Busan Port is the world's fifth largest container port ideally, located in the center of Northeast Asia. It offers all possible services shipping companies need to transport cargo to their destinations in the most cost-effective and efficient manner,'' Busan Port Authority (BPA) CEO Lim Ki-tack said. ''On top of our top-notch port facilities, it is our people who make Busan a great place to do business for global shipping companies.''

BPA said the volume of freight handled by Busan Port jumped 8.7 percent in September from a year earlier, with its cargo transshipments soaring 11.1 percent. This is in a stark contrast to other regional ports that have seen their volume decline sharply amid the ongoing sluggish cross-border trades.

It has established an excellent feeder network connecting ports in China, Japan, and Russia, and introduced transshipment incentives to attract larger volumes of cargo.

''Despite the global economic downturn, we expect to load, unload and transship more freight in the coming months. To meet the increasing demand, we will continue to expand our cargo handling capacity,'' Lim said.

BPA has been implementing an 8.5 trillion won scheme to redevelop its existing North Port since 2005. On top of improving dock equipment, it plans to build an international passenger terminal capable of accommodating 2.8 million people annual by 2014.

The New Port, which offers depth to accommodate oversized vessels with capacity of more than 10,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU), has further raised Busan's international profile as Northeast Asia's logistics center.

''We will create a large logistics industrial complex next to the New Port by investing 651 billion won through 2017 in a bid to attract more multinational transport firms and create thousands of new jobs. The construction of a distribution center for vessel parts and other supplies will be completed by the year's end so that freighter ships can dock at Busan Port for maintenance,'' the CEO said.

Lim said BPA has provided a total of 15.6 billion won in subsidies this year to 50 foreign shipping companies transshipping cargo in Busan.

''Greater financial assistance will be provided to both local and foreign shipping lines. We will continue to reduce port usage fees for our customers, as well as expand financial and administrative support,'' he said.

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