Called Liujiagang Port in centuries past, the Port of Taicang underwent major rebuilding in efforts the 1990s that earned it the status of a State First Class Port and Container Transshipment Port. The Port of Taicang is the trunk-line container port at the northern arm of the Shanghai International Shipping Center, and it is the busiest foreign trade port in Jiangsu Province.
The Port of Taicang occupies 38.8 kilometers (24 miles) of waterfront on the Yangtze River with excellent deep-draft berths. The waterfront area boasts stable shoreline conditions and deep-water access, the Port of Taicang is ideal as a container hub port.
The Port of Taicang handles containers, dry bulk cargo, and petrochemical products. The Port of Taicang contains 48 berths (24 with capacity for 10-thousand DWT vessels) and is designed to handle up to 76 million tons of cargo and 2.35 million TEUs of containerized cargo per year. The approach channel to the Port of Taicang has a navigable depth of 12.5 meters (41 feet) that can support 70-thousand DWT bulk vessels and fourth-generation container ships. At high tide, the Port of Taicang can accommodate 200-thousand-DWT bulk carriers and fifth- and sixth-generation container ships.
Over 900 container vessel calls come to the Port of Taicang every month. At the end of 2008, the Port of Taicang has six container berths with a total length of 1490 meters (4888 feet) designed to handle 2.35 million TEUs per year. The container berths are supported by 125 hectares of container yards, 7.5 hectares of bonded warehouses, and 2.5 hectares of warehouses for export goods under customs supervision. The supporting container-handling facilities include 16 container cranes and 47 gantry cranes. In 2009, four new 50-thousand-ton container berths were finished in the Port of Taicang, adding 1309 meters (4295 feet) of berthing space and capacity for an additional two million TEUs.
The Port of Taicang supports five ocean-going container lines, 19 domestic container lines, and 45 feeder services along the Yangtze River. The Port of Taicang has four short-range services to Taiwan, Korea, and Japan. Some 19 global carriers (including China Shipping, Maersk, COSCO, CMA-CGM, and Evergreen) use container express services at the Port of Taicang. The Port of Taicang has 19 domestic trade routes serving 15 major Chinese coastal ports, and Yangtze River feeder services reach 17 major ports.
At the end of 2008, the Port of Taicang had 15 berths serving bulk cargoes. These berths supported the Wugang Ore Terminal, the Jiulong Paper Breakbulk Terminal, the Huaneng Power Plant Coal Terminal, and the Environment-friendly Power Plant Coal Terminal. The berths total 2.6 kilometers (1.6 miles) in length and have capacity for over 44.2 million tons of bulk cargo. There are also 18 handling facilities covering a total of 15 hectares of cargo-handling yards.
In 2009, four berths with total length of 791 meters (2595 feet) and capacity for an additional 3.5 million tons were added at the Wanfang Breakbulk Terminal. Two 50-thousand-DWT berths were added to support the Huangeng coal warehousing and distribution center. The total length of these berths is 570 meters (1870 feet), and they have design capacity for 24 million tons of bulk cargo.
Port of Taicang docks operated by Mobil (Chinese), Changjiang, and Yang Hong Petrochemicals offer total berthing distance of 1354 meters (4442 feet) and can accommodate 7.05 million tons of petrochemicals. The petrochemicals facilities in the Port of Taicang have tanks with total capacity for 850 thousand cubic meters (over 7.2 million US barrels).