president Nam Bong-hyun’s Incheon Port embarked on a promotion tour in the Chinese sphere, meeting with the CEOs of important container shipping firms in the region. His mission was to inform them of Incheon Port’s plan to become more convenient for foreign container shipping firms’ vessels and improve its services. It was the first tour for the CEO since he took over the management of the port authority in February, and has been getting keen attention in the industry for the enormous success of the tour.
President Nam kicked off the tour on March 20 and concluded it on March 24. He visited Shanghai and Taiwan, calling on major container shipping firms. He got commitments from the heads of a number of those container shipping firms to set up Intra-Asia shipping lines, along with an ocean-going container shipping line in the near future, ending the tour on a successful note.
According to the Incheon Port Authority, one shipping firm may open a new container shipping line to Southeast Asia, including Vietnam, in the second half of the year. Another shipping firm will try to form a deep-sea container alliance to allow its member shipping firms to disembark their at Incheon Port from next year.
A container shipping line linking southeast Asian countries from Incheon Port will be opened, as well as a deep-sea container shipping line originating from Incheon Port, if all goes as planned.
Nam successfully delivered the message to shipping firms in the Chinese region that Incheon Port plans to further upgrade its facilities and current conditions, and in the process he showed off some of the advantages they would have by using the Korean port. During the marketing tour he also listened to what the container shipping firms wanted in the way of improving Incheon Port’s facilities and services. He told them the port would go the full distance to meet what they wanted.
The officials of the container shipping firms who CEO Nam met during the tour pointed out the high charges for towing vessels that Incheon Port uses to guide their ships to the wharfs, while other foreign ports use just one guide vessel. They also pointed out higher stevedoring charges compared to other ports and a lack of rooms at logistics facilities for LCL cargoes at Incheon Port. Nam told them that Incheon Port would do its best to correct what it can and will let any related organizations know of their issues. Incheon Port Authority will try to strengthen its relations with shipping firms in the Chinese sphere by upgrading its network with them and exchanging opinions and information.
The Incheon Port Authority announced on March 27 that it stood 57th in “Top 100 Container Ports: 2016 Throughput,” according to French shipping researcher Alphaliner. According to the IPA, there was no big change in Incheon Port’s rank, even though the port handled 2.33 million TEUs. It placed 71st in 2014; and 67th with 2.38 million TEUs in 2015. But in 2016, Incheon Port made the top 60 by rising an impressive 10 notches from 2015.
Among the world's top 100 largest container ports, the volume of container traffic in Incheon Port grew 12.7 percent year on year in 2016, the second highest among the top 60 ports in the world. The IPA expects Incheon Port to reach the top 40 in the world if it achieves the container handling target of 3 million TEUs this year.
"We will achieve the target of 3 million TEUs in 2017 and to enter the 40th largest port in the world by working together with all Incheon Port workers to improve services and marketing for customer satisfaction," said Nam Bong-hyun, who took over as the fifth president of the IPA this year.
"Strategically located in the heart of the Korean Peninsula, Incheon Port is the gateway to the national capital of South Korea, including Seoul Metropolitan City, which has the biggest purchasing power in the country," said Yoo Chang-keun, former president of Incheon Port Authority.