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Busan ushers in new era as super port city

Port hits 16 million TEU mark in 2011; new facilities to fuel an additional surge in volume


Just before dawn on the first day of 2012, large trailers filled with containers could be seen busily passing through Hanjin Terminal at Busan New Port. The stacked containers were loaded one after another onto a vessel by Hanjin Shipping, demonstrating the constant flurry of activity at one of the nations most advanced export bases.

The volume of container traffic handled by Busan Port has continuously set new records. Early last December, it exceeded 15 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units), rising to 16 million TEU by the end of the year.

If the 16 million 20-foot-long containers were lined up end to end, they would span the circumference of the Earth (40,000 kilometers) two and a half times. This record level of volume saw Busan Port rank as one of the worlds five so-called super ports.

Port authorities now have their eyes fixed on a new milestone by hitting the 20 million TEU mark. As container terminals have begun operating at Busan New Port, which lies at the center of the ever-evolving port, it already accounts for over 50 percent of total freight volume last December.

After four years of construction, four new berths opened at Busan New Port Container Terminal (BNCT) on Jan. 1, making a total of five container terminals in this area and 22 berths in total. BNCT is the first terminal in Asia to adopt a vertical layout system and deploy an automated yard crane, as well as other hi-tech equipment, which is expected to raise the efficiency of traffic-handling operations there.

Hanjin Shippings Valentia weighed anchor after it was fully loaded up and set sail for the six continents with a loud blast of its fog horn. Despite the difficulties facing the global economy this year, Busan looks forward to meeting future challenges head on and expects the local economy to achieve greater success in 2012.


Hanjin Shippings Valentia gets ready to set sail.


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