Shanghai’s Yangshan Port has started double-berthing feeder vessels to speed up the transfer of cargo and deliveries to industries upriver.

Double-berthing involves parking one feeder vessel on the outside of another at the wharf so bridge cranes can work on both simultaneously, conducting loading and unloading operations. A patrol vessel is on standby at the berth, in case of an accident.

Port officials said that the more-timely delivery of goods in the hinterland along the Yangtze River helped the development of nearby industries. Shippers told The Loadstar double-berthing improved utilisation rates of the berths and bridge cranes, enhancing the port’s operational efficiency.

Double-berthing was piloted in Yangshan in September 2019. A majority of the feeder ships collecting goods from Shanghai do so at Yangshan and around 90% of them come from the Yangtze River Delta.

The Journal of Marine Science and Engineering says inland shipping along the Yangtze has become very prosperous, making scheduling and container movements increasingly challenging for feeder operators. Prior to double berthing, it took 45 minutes to transfer containers between feeder vessels in the delta. Double-berthing reduces this to 20 minutes.

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