Incheon New Port Source Incheon Port

South Korea’s Incheon Port Authority (IPA) has worked with compatriot intra-Asia carriers Sinokor Merchant Marine and Dong Young Shipping to offer extra loader sailings to South-east Asia for shippers exporting from the Seoul area.

The first sailing, on 2 December, saw Sinokor deploy the 1,500 teu Fortune Trader to Singapore, Jakarta, Hai Phong, Incheon and Busan, while Dong Young, a subsidiary of Namsung Shipping, deployed the 1,000 teu Pegasus Pacer to Hai Phong, Incheon and Busan last Thursday.

The South Korean government, through various agencies and port authorities, has worked with local and deepsea operators, including HMM, SM Line and  KMTC Line, to execute ad hoc shipments to help local shippers, although most of the sailings have been from the main container port in Busan.

IPA president Kim Jong-gil said the extra loader sailings would help importers and exporters in the Seoul metropolitan area struggling with the shortage of ships and a surge in freight rates.

Incheon’s container volume has grown by about 7% annually over the past five years and, in 2020, achieved a record high throughput of 3.27m teu and is now building a smart port, alongside South Korea’s New Deal, which aims to generate 1.9m jobs by 2025 in the post-Covid-19 economy.

This will include a distribution centre with a shareable platform to make it affordable for some 60 small and medium-sized businesses, starting from 2023, in the hope of developing logistics start-ups. Stage 1-2 of the Incheon New Port development, expected to be operational by 2026, will also be completely automated and could boost Incheon’s annual capacity to five million teu.

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