The International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH) has considerably strengthened its membership base in China now that Ningbo Zhoushan Port Group, manager of the Ningbo and Zhoushan port complex, has decided to join the body.
The group's decision was confirmed in the wake of the Maritime Silk Road Port International Cooperation Forum, which was held in Ningbo in mid-June, reported MarineLink of New York.
IAPH president Santiago Garcia Mila met with Ningbo Zhoushan Port Group vice general manager Ni Chenggang at the forum to conclude the membership arrangement.
"With the ever-growing impact of the Chinese Belt and Road strategy, we look forward to working together to boost trade and stimulate economic growth across Asia and beyond," said the IAPH president.
Ningbo and Zhoushan represent the largest port complex in the world. In 2017 the port group handled a total cargo throughput of one billion tonnes. The port complex is part of the maritime Silk Road and has the largest deep-water facilities in China. The port's maritime connections increased substantially after China's Belt and Road initiative.
In addition, the port has commenced sea-rail transport services with trains providing services to 30 cities in China as well as countries in central and northern Asia and eastern Europe. The container handling volume of its sea-rail transport is expected to surpass 400,000 TEU this year, a 60 per cent increase compared to 2017.
Ningbo-Zhoushan handled 10 million TEU from countries along the Belt and Road in 2017, up 16 per cent compared to 2016.