By Bai Guangdi, People's Daily
The Rugao port in east China's Jiangsu province is seeing a busy scene these days. Containers are constantly hoisted by travelling bridge cranes and various types of cargo are being unloaded from gigantic vessels in the water.
As of July 15, the Suzhong international terminal of the Rugao port had handled 300,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) this year, up 6.8 percent from a year ago.
Ports are a barometer of foreign trade and the national economy. Apart from the Jiangsu port, major ports along China's coastline are all prospering.
The monthly throughput of the Bohai Bay port in east China's Shandong province for the first time exceeded 50,000 TEUs this May, and the daily throughput of the Shanghai port has grown to pre-pandemic levels. The total throughput of the Zhongshan port in south China's Guangdong province went up 6.4 percent year on year in the January-June period this year.
China's foreign trade in goods surged 14.3 percent in June this year. Efforts are continuously being made to ensure smooth logistics at ports across the country, and the business environment at ports is constantly improving, which has laid a solid foundation for ensuring steady and high-quality growth in foreign trade.
The development of the port economy is inseparable from intelligent technologies. From unattended cranes to real-time logistics visibility, the application of intelligent technologies has brought drastic changes to ports over recent years.
For instance, the handling efficiency at the fully automated terminal of Qingdao port in east China's Shandong province is 50 percent higher than that at similar ports. At the fourth phase of the Yangshan deep-water port in Shanghai, the world's biggest automated container terminal, rail-mounted gantry cranes are remotely controlled by a nine-member team, while they needed 119 operators in the past.
By optimizing devices and work procedures with technologies, Chinese ports are enhancing their economic performance and further lowering cost to gain an edge in the increasingly fiercer global competition.
Land-sea interaction is opening up new prospects for the development of ports. Inland areas remain a vast backup for ports, and ports are important outlets for inland areas. To achieve development, ports must make use of complementary advantages with inland areas.
To make port services more accessible and smoothen shipping routes, efforts must be made to advance cargo transfer, shorten work procedures and reduce transport distance.
The Lianyungang port in east China's Jiangsu province is "seamlessly" connected to China-Europe freight trains. Cargos transported to the port by trains from across the country are immediately distributed overseas by freighters. The busy shipping routes are injecting strong impetus into the development of the regions along them.
Secure and smooth industrial and supply chains are key to the development of ports. While ensuring the sound performance of traditional businesses, Chinese ports are also constantly expanding digital services and extending their reach to trade, finance, insurance and electronic clearing.
Ports are always a symbol of opening up and hope. Though China's development is facing more risks and challenges, the fundamentals sustaining the country's long-term economic growth remain unchanged. The busy ports and fully loaded cargo ships are a signal that the Chinese economy is bound to achieve stable growth.
By making better use of the advantages of ports, smoothening the domestic economic cycle, and promoting the "dual circulation" development pattern, China will definitely achieve long-term economic stability and growth.