The Port of Yingkou is located near the mouth of the Liao River off Liaodong Bay, a branch of the Bohai Sea, and then the Yellow Sea. In China's southwestern Liaoning Province, the Port of Yingkou is less than 200 kilometers (about 120 miles) northwest of the border with North Korea. The Port of Yingkou is about 190 nautical miles (200 kilometers or 124 miles direct) north-northeast of the Port of Dalian via the Bohai Sea. The Port of Yingkou is some 650 nautical miles (1060 kilometers or 660 miles direct) north of the Port of Shanghai across the Yellow Sea.
The Port of Yingkou is an important city for light industry in China. There are a wide range of factories in the Port of Yingkou that include cotton mills, food processing plants, canneries, knitting factories, oil-extraction plants, and paper mills. The Port of Yingkou has a few big evaporating pans for making sea salt. The Port of Yingkou is a fishing base for Liaoning Province and a busy river- and seaport handling millions of tons of cargo each year. The engineering sector in the Port of Yingkou produces machine tools. The Port of Yingkou is also home to a major oil refinery. The Port of Yingkou is connected to Shenyang to the northeast and Dalian to the southwest by expressway, and it is part of a busy rail network. In 2007, over 1.3 million people lived in the Port of Yingkou.
The area that would become the Port of Yingkou has a long history. Paleolithic peoples lived and thrived here, leaving behind historic and cultural artifacts and sites.
The Port of Yingkou began to grow as a river port in the middle 19th Century, eventually replacing the upriver port functions at Tianzhuangtai and Niuzhuang. The early Port of Yingkou was named Mogouying after the garrison of troops that was quartered there at the time. The 1858 Treaty of Tianjin opened the port at Niuzhuang to foreign trade; however, silting of the lower Liao River prevented its use. From 1861, the Port of Yingkou was used instead. Europeans confused the two ports and called the Port of Yingkou by the Romanized name of the first treaty port, Newchwang.
In the latter half of the 19th Century, the Port of Yingkou grew in importance and became the main outlet for cargoes from Manchuria in Northeast China as a transshipment point between junks using the Liao River and ocean-going ships. Unfortunately, the Port of Yingkou frequently silted up, and it was icebound for three months each year. In the first years of the 20th Century, the Port of Yingkou lost its status as a major port when railroads were built in Manchuria, diverting the river traffic to Dalian.
When the rail link between Shenyang and Dalian was built, the Port of Yingkou began to prosper once again, exporting large volumes of soybeans. The city also produced vegetable oil and bean cake for export. During this period, a large foreign community made its home in the Port of Yingkou.
The modern Port of Yingkou covers almost five thousand square kilometers (1.9 thousand square miles) and consists of three urban districts (Laobian, Xishi, and Zhangian) and Dashiqiao city. The Port of Yingkou has two important industrial zones. Covering an area of 30.4 square kilometers (11.7 square miles), the China Minmetals Industrial Park is about 12 kilometers (7.4 miles) east of the Port of Yingkou is a large-scale enterprise-oriented industrial park located in the Coastal Industrial Base. The Yingkou Economic & Technological Development Zone is located about 52 kilometers (32.3 miles) south-southeast of the Port of Yingkou at the Bohai Sea coastline. Five industries have located within the Zone: steel, chemicals, mineral processing, textiles and garments, and logistics.
In 2005, the Chinese government announced its Coastal Base Project, an effort to develop the Liaoning coastline by focusing on five points including the Port of Yingkou. Since then, the Port of Yingkou has experienced significant expansion, converting marshland and reclaimed land for industrial development. The effort includes increasing the size of the Port of Yingkou at Bayuquan and Xianren (location of the Yingkou Economic & Technological Development Zone).
The modern Port of Yingkou and surrounding area is rich in mineral resources and in crops like fruit, rice, and aquatic products. The Port of Yingkou is both a river port and a seaport, and its presence has stimulated regional economic development. The Port of Yingkou seaport is one of China's ten largest ports. In the 21st Century, the Port of Yingkou will focus on sustaining a positive economic climate, attracting foreign investment, and improving the local economy.