Only 20 years ago the Chinese port system was still in its infancy stage. Hong Kong acted as the only container gateway to China. Since the second half of the 1990s, throughput at Chinese mainland ports started to accelerate. In recent years, shipping lines have been dedicating higher capacities and deploying larger vessels to cope with the increasing Chinese imports and exports. Chinese port activity is mainly concentrated in three regions: the Pearl River Delta (PRD), the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) and the Bohai Sea Economic Rim (BER). The PRD in the south with main ports Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Guangzhou was the first to benefit from China’s opening up policy launched in the late 1980s. The YRD with main ports in Shanghai and Zhoushan/Ningbo started to grow significantly in the late 1990s. In more recent years, the northern BER with main ports in Tianjin, Qingdao and Dalian, has witnessed remarkable growth.
In an article, published in Port Technolgy International [issue 61], PortEconomics co-director Theo Notteboom, joined by Lin Feng (PhD at ITMMA-University of Antwerp) present the port system in northern China, looking in detail at the evolving port hierarchy.
You can freely download and read the article @PortEconomics.