Despite the challenges faced by the global shipping markets coupled with intense competition among ports in Northeast Asia, the Busan Port Authority (BPA) – responsible for port operation and management in Busan – chalked up some impressive achievements in 2014 and is looking forward to more growth in 2015.
Record container throughput and on track to achieve 20 million TEU
A record number of containers – 18.678 million – were handled by Busan Port in 2014, the highest number in the history of the port. The numbers represent a 5.6% increase on 2013 and is split 9.25 million TEU of local cargo (up 3.6%) and 9.42 million TEU of transshipment cargo (up 7.7%).
For the first time, transshipment cargo volumes overtook local cargo making Busan the most important transshipment facility in NE Asia.
An enhanced marketing campaign utilizing the three BPA international offices in Shanghai, Tokyo and London will ensure BPA’s strengths of connectivity and value-for-money will be championed to potential customers around the world.
More berths and enhanced logistics facilities
22 berths are now in operation at Busan New Port and freight is also being handled at the Northern Logistics Park (1.7 million square meters) and the Western Logistics Park (2.48 million square meters).
BPA is pushing ahead with plans to construct an additional eight berths and add a further 1.91 million square meter logistics facility (Distripark) on the Western and Southern perimeters.
Two of the world’s largest container ships – the MV Mærsk McKinney Møller and the MSC Oscar – made Busan their maiden port call and continue to visit regularly. A comprehensive port entry simulation system proved it was safe for these ULCCs to call and further work, including removing a small island and dredging to 17 meters – will ensure the continuing safety of these large vessels.
Becoming the leading cruise destination for Northeast Asia
BPAs marketing activities embrace the cruise market to rapidly position Busan as a global cruise destination. In 2014, the port welcomed 110 cruise ship visits and 250, 000 passengers. This is a 10% increase on the previous year. Estimates show that the economic ripple from cruise activities to the Busan economy amounted to USD158 million last year.
This year, the 160, 000gt RCCL operated “Quantum of the Seas” will call at Busan – the largest cruise ship operating in the region. Asia’s biggest cruise show and conference “Seatrade Cruise Asia” will be staged in Busan in June.
With the full support of the Korean Government, BPA fully intends to develop Busan as a leading cruise destination and international maritime and tourism hub.
Redeveloping Busan Old Port
Busan Old Port is Korea’s first redevelopment port project. A new international passenger terminal for cruise ships will open in July 2015 and work is due to start later this year on creating a world-class marina for the leisure industry. Best practice from around the world will be implemented to ensure the Old Port project is a success.
Safety and environmental responsibility tops the agenda
Efforts are in place to ensure Busan Port remains accident free throughout 2015
BPA is the first port in Northeast Asia to implement the Environment Ship Index (ESI). Clean seagoing vessels which score 31 points or more on the Environmental Ship Index (ESI) will receive a 15% discount on the GT portion of their port dues in Busan.
Creation of an International Maritime and Logistics Research Center.
In the near future BPA intends to develop an international center to undertake research into maritime and logistics activities. This will help position BPA as a leader in its field. The center will also carry out in-depth studies into BPA’s diversified business portfolio.