The Ningbo Port Group Company Ltd., the port authority for the Port of Ningbo, was created in 2004 in accordance with the requirements of the State Council and the Ningbo City on Reform of Port Management System. Since its establishment, the Port Group has brought sustained development to the Port of Ningbo. The Port of Ningbo is China's second busiest container port and the eleventh busiest container port in the world.
Formerly known as the Ningbo Harbor Bureau, the Ningbo Port Group Stock Company Ltd. was created in early 2008 by the combined Ningbo Port Group, China Merchants International Container Terminals, and six additional companies. In addition to returns for its shareholders, the Stock Company lends the needed corporate structure, improved internal controls, construction capital, international competitive position, and management of state assets.
The Port of Ningbo is a multi-functional port that integrates its modern deep-water facilities across the inner river, the estuary, and the sea. The Port of Ningbo has shipping connections with over 600 ports in 100 countries.
The Port of Ningbo offers deep water and easy currents. It is protected from strong waves and wind by the Zhoushan Islands. The entry channel for the Port of Ningbo is 22.1 meters (72.5 feet) deep in most places. Ships of up to 300 thousand tons can easily navigate the harbor with the tides. The Port of Ningbo also offers many opportunities for development and construction because it has a deep-water coastline of more than 120 kilometers (74.6 miles). Behind the deep-water coastline is a wide, flat dockland suitable for storage, warehousing, and marine industries.
The Port of Ningbo has 315 working berths stretching over 50 kilometers (31 miles), including 74 deep-water berths with capacity for ten thousand DWT. The Port of Ningbo's biggest terminals include a 250 thousand DWT crude oil terminal, a 200 thousand DWT terminal for stevedoring ores that can berth ships to 300 thousand DWT, a 6th-generation international container berth, and a specialized berth for liquid chemical products with capacity for 50 thousand DWT.
The Port of Ningbo's most prominent activities are stevedoring, transfer and storage of iron ore imports, handling both foreign and domestic containers. Major cargoes also include bulk cargoes, crude oil, product oil, liquid chemical products, grains, and coal.
In 2007, the Port of Ningbo handled 345 million tons of cargo, making it second among China's ports after Shanghai. Despite the worldwide economic slowdown, the Port of Ningbo handled more than 10.8 million TEUs of containerized cargo, moving it from 11th to 8th among world container ports.
The Journal of Commerce recently reported that, in the first half of 2011, the Port of Ningbo handled a record seven million TEUs of cargo and a record 208.3 million tons of cargo. Increases included not only international trade but domestic container traffic. Water-to-water domestic container transshipments increased to 641 thousand TEUs (an almost 22% increase), and domestic container movement by rail increased to 25.5 thousand TEUs (a 182% increase).
The Port of Ningbo has state-of-the-art container-handling facilities that can support large container vessels with capacity for more than ten thousand TEUs. The Port of Ningbo also has a complete and efficient logistics system that coordinates its ocean-going container fleet, container truck fleet, freight-forwarding activities, and the forward-booking platform.
The container-handling facilities in the Port of Ningbo include 4465 meters (14.6 thousand feet) of berths with alongside depths from 13.5 to 17 meters (44.3 to 55.8 meters). The berths are complemented by high-capacity container yards. A single bridge crane in the Port of Ningbo can handle up to 53.3 TEUs per hour, and performance for whole ships is 364.8 TEUs per hour.
The Port of Ningbo has become increasingly recognized for the speed of service. The top twenty shipping companies around the world have set up offices in the Port of Ningbo. The Port of Ningbo has opened 220 container lines, including 110 ocean-going lines, to other regions and countries. It supports about 900 container liners each month.
The Port of Ningbo has ample intermodal connections that make it part of an extensive network for collection and distribution of goods. The Port of Ningbo's water-to-water transshipment capabilities allow it to cover the whole of East China and the Yangtze River Valley via the Yangtze River and the Grand Canal.
The Port of Ningbo has access to four important expressways: the Shanghai-Hangzhou-Ningbo Expressway, the Ningbo-Taizhou-Wenzhou Expressway, the Hangzhou-Nanjing Expressway, and the Ningbo-Jinhua Expressway. The great bridge that crosses Hangzhou Bay cuts the travel time from the Port of Ningbo to Shanhai to two hours.
In-dock railways link the Port of Ningbo to the national rail system through the Xiaoshan-Ningbo Railway. These connections make it easier to move export trade from inland cities and provinces through the Port of Ningbo. Regular air connections link the Port of Ningbo to Hong Kong through the International Airport of Ningbo.