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Shanghai’s development of “green and smart” shipping business, and its push for the transformation and upgrade of the Shanghai International Shipping Center

Dec 7, 2017

The Shanghai Municipal Government’s Information Office held a press conference on October 31on Shanghai’s development of “green and smart” shipping business, and its push for the transformation and upgrade of the Shanghai International Shipping Center. Following are the highlights:

 Zhang Lin, deputy director, Shanghai Transportation Commission

Jia Ruijun, vice president, Shanghai Airport (Group) Co Ltd

Fang Huaijin, vice president, Shanghai International Port Group

Su Ping, deputy governor, Baoshan District

Xu Guoyi: director, Office of the Shanghai Combined Port Administration

Xinhua News Agency: I have a question for Director Zhang Lin. How can the construction of the Shanghai Shipping Center contribute to the Belt and Road initiative? Thank you!

Zhang Lin: We are striving to push the construction of the international shipping center along with the Belt and Road initiative, during which process the hardware and software will be elevated together. In terms of hardware, we will enhance and enlarge the global distribution of businesses of the Shanghai International Port Group and the Cosco Shipping Group. For instance, we have some projects in Greece and Israel. With regard to software, we are pushing works in the following four aspects: firstly, we’re trying to give full play to the functions of the Shanghai International Maritime Asia Technological Cooperation Center, and helping train professionals for ports along the Belt and Road regions. Secondly, we are currently preparing to establish the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road port and a shipping cooperative mechanism. The Shanghai International Port Group and the Cosco Shipping Group will jointly set up the platform, with the aim to initiate a long-term stable port and shipping cooperation mechanism themed “port and shipping cooperation, connectivity, opening-up and win-win results,” among countries along the “21st Century Maritime Silk Road”. The project is currently under planning, and will be officially launched on Maritime Day which falls on July 11, 2018. Thirdly, by tapping the authoritative advantage of the Shanghai shipping index, we will shape a brand of “Belt and Road” trade and transportation index. It is a project supervised by the Ministry of Transport and developed by the Shanghai Shipping Exchange after a two-year collective effort. The index has won wide acclaim from enterprises in the industry, enabling the practitioners to make reliable evaluation on the business and investment environments while making investment and doing business in Belt and Road regions. Fourthly, enterprises in Shanghai are at an advantage in integrating the domestic and foreign markets and resources. We will further tap the functions of the platform of the free trade port, creating a better environment to encourage transportation and shipping enterprises to go global.

 STV: I’m with STV. I have two questions. The first is for President Jia of the Shanghai Airport Group. Just now you mentioned the new technologies helping boost the quality, how can the public benefit from it? The fourth phase of Yangshan Port is to open soon, could you tell us about the progress of the preparation work and the efforts you are making now?

 Jia Ruijun: At present, Shanghai Airport attaches great importance to the application of information technology. We are making great efforts to construct smart ports, smart airports and push smart services and smart operation, aiming to improve customer experience, and enhance the overall operation efficiency and management capacity of the airports, as well as their international competitiveness.

 In terms of smart services, Shanghai Airport launched the passenger service app long ago, which features reinforced society-oriented and passenger-oriented services. Now it can offer customers package services and unique interactive experiences -- starting from when they set off for the airport until they board their flights. Via the “Shanghai Airport” app, customers can easily enjoy self-service products and inquire about flight schedules and real-time information; via Alipay and Tencent’s WeChat payment, they can pay for parking, catering, purchase of food, beverages, and various other commodities at the airport terminals; and with the “micro-blog”, they can “stream” live any problems and complaints that come up during their travel.

 As far as the smart operation is concerned, the two airports of Shanghai are joining hands with base airlines, including China Eastern Airlines, Spring Airlines and Juneyao Airlines, to implement the Fast Travel program of the International Aviation Association (IATA). At present, the self-help check-in, luggage check-in, boarding and luggage inquiries have been realized, and the airports have obtained the “convenient travel green certification” issued by IATA. The airport aprons of Pudong and Hongqiao have achieved full coverage of Wi-Fi network, ensuring infrastructural support to electronic flight bags, mobile cabins and other services of the airline HCC system. With the steady promotion of the first domestic A-CDM airport coordinate decision-making system, the A-CDM systems of the two airports of Shanghai have achieved range upgrade of data access and expansion of data capacity. The airports are striving to promote the target time management of departing and arriving flights, and providing strong support to cross-sector integrated operation and management of Shanghai’s civil aviation.

The smart port construction is also advancing smoothly. With regard to passenger transport, with the launch and implementation of the new policy of “expansion of the scope of passengers eligible for self-help custom clearance” by the Ministry of Public Security on August 19, more and more inbound travelers are able to clear customs within 10 seconds; as for freight transport, the coverage of paperless customs clearance has reached 92%, with the only exceptions being some special trades, or those requiring administrative permits or certificate of origin. As the core part in the freight electronization process, electronic waybills have been applied and popularized rapidly in recent years. With the strong support of the customs and inspection and quarantine departments, the two Shanghai airports have seen their electronic waybills become the second-largest in number globally, only after those in Hong Kong, China.

Fang Huaijin: We have completed the construction of the fourth phase of Yangshan fully-automated pier. Construction began on December 23, 2014. Currently the debugging and testing of relevant equipment are advancing smoothly, and we are fully confident that some of the berths will be qualified for opening before the year’s end, when media friends are welcome to witness and cover our opening ceremony at the site. The fourth phase of the Yangshan Container Pier consists of two stages, with the overall plan covering 2,350 meters of the coastline, equipped with 26 remote control semi-automatic container bridge cranes, 120 automated rail cranes and 130 automatic guided vehicles (AGV). Upon completion, the transport capacity will reach 6.3 million TEUs. Under the existing pier conditions, the operation efficiency of the Yangshan fourth phase project will be much higher than that of traditional piers. This year 10 bridge cranes, 58 automated rail cranes and 38 AGVs will be put into service, and after a year’s efforts, we aim to achieve the capacity of 4 million TEUs in 2018.

 With the steady advancement of the construction of the Shanghai International Shipping Center, the Shanghai International Port Group will become the pacesetter of the city’s reform and innovation, and the pioneer of innovation development. We will continue to make our contributions. Thank you! I’m with I want to ask about the Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal. It is not long since it started operation, but it has become the No. 1 port in Asia within a short span of five years. We want to know about its future development. Thank you!

 Su Ping: It has been six years since the Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal opened for operation at the end of 2011. In its second year, 2012, it received the first 100,000-ton-plus international cruise entering the Chinese market, ushering in a new giant cruise era for Chinese cruise tourism. This year, with the joining of two international cruises specially tailored to the Chinese market, the Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal has led China’s cruise tourism into a custom-made high-quality era.

 At present, the outbound and inbound passenger volume of the Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal has surpassed that of Hongqiao Airport, making it the second largest entry-exit port in Shanghai. Shanghai has thus formed a development pattern with “international freight shipping in Yangshan Port in the south and passenger transport in Wusongkou in the north”. The Wusongkou Terminal has become an indispensable and vital part of Shanghai’s construction of an international shipping center and the world’s famous tourist city. At the same time, cruises anchored at Wusongkou and the passengers it received and sent out, respectively, accounted for 47% and 63% of those of the country, making it the No. 1 port in China, also the first in Asia, and at the same time the world’s fourth international cruise home port. Baoshan has also become the first Chinese cruise tourism development experimental area.

 With the completion of the second phase of the cruise port project, the Wusongkou Terminal, on the basis of existing berthing capability of two ships, will be expanded to berth four ships simultaneously. Through unremitting efforts, we are striving to enter the first camp of the global cruise home ports by 2020, to be among the top three ports of the world. The Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal has been committed to building itself into a fun port, a win-win port, a green port, a smart port and a demonstration port, all rolled into one.

Centered on low-carbon eco-friendly green port construction, the Wusongkou International Cruise Home Port last year initiated the cruise shore base power supply project which includes building a 35,000 kV substation and the No. 1 berth shore base power supply frequency conversion equipment. In the same year it started to supply shore power for SkySea Golden Era Cruise. We are currently promoting the connection of shore power to other cruise ships. This set of facilities is the first cruise shore power system in Asia, and also the world’s largest cruise frequency conversion system. The construction of the project has received the support of the Ministry of Transport and the Shanghai Transportation Commission. Currently the intensified construction of the second berth shore power facilities is under way. In addition, the cruise port is also working on solar photovoltaic power generation projects, having set up about 3,000 square meters of solar photovoltaic components, whose total installed capacity is 1 megawatt (mw). Upon completion, the Wusongkou Port will be able to achieve both emission reduction and energy conservation.

 I would like to take this opportunity to make an important announcement: the 2017 Seatrade Asia-Pacific Cruise Conference will be held on November 1-3. And media friends are welcome to attend the meeting and file reports. Thank you!

 Shanghai Observer: I’m with Shanghai Observer of Jiefang Daily. I have a question for Director Zhang. The shore power facilities of Shanghai are developing rapidly, and just now Director Su also told us much about the connection of shore power to cruises. Can we know more about the specific future plan for the development of Shanghai’s shore power, as well as the latest matching facilities? Could President Fang reveal more about the contents of the construction and planning for shore power in Yangshan Port’s fourth phase?

 Zhang Lin: At present, we have basically achieved the goals set in the first “Three-year (2015-2017) Action Plan for Shanghai Green Port,” and now a new three-year (2018-2020) Action Plan is being drafted, which will incorporate specific tasks and targets of shore power development. The plan will be released in the first half of next year. In accordance with the unified deployment of the Ministry of Transport, as well as the overall requirements of the municipal government on green ecology construction, we will strengthen our efforts in pushing the shore power project.

The Ministry of Transport has a special program for shipping and port pollution prevention. In the program, there are specific standard for shore power use. Shanghai will build a national pilot for green port and lead China’s green port development based on the standard for world-class ports. Thanks.

 Fang Huaijin: As to the second question, according to the Yangshan Port’s fourth phase plan, there are five sets of shore power equipment, providing power to ships weighing 150,000 tons. The five sets have high frequency, high pressure and high power. Four sets each have a capacity of over 5 trillion watt and one set has 4 trillion watt. Bidding and purchasing process has been completed for the five sets. Before the end of this year, some of the five sets will be installed at the port and will provide power for trial operation of the port. Thanks.

 Shanghai Radio: One question for Director Xu. You mentioned construction of a green port. Controlling pollution caused by ship emissions is an important part of it. I’d like to ask about the plans for emission control.

 Xu Guoyi: We started to implement a ship emission control area in the Yangtze River Delta on April 1, 2016. However, the Ministry of Transport carried out the plan to meet the control target on January 1 this year. On September 1, 2017, we again carried out the plan for 2018 in advance. Why did we do it ahead of the national schedule twice? First, because it is what our citizens wished for. Second, the conditions are mature now. We have the support of society, including airlines and port shipping authority. The results from implementing the plan are very obvious in two aspects:

 First we have the support of society, the general public, media, port companies and shipping companies. Law enforcement authorities’ inspection shows that violation rate is quite low. Only one or two cases come up every month. Second the results are good. According to statistics from monitoring authorities, in 2016 sulfur dioxide in the air in Shanghai was 15 mg/m3, 11.8% lower than 2015. In the first half of 2017, the figure was 12.5 mg/m3, 21.25% lower year on year. Take figures from the Wusong International Cruise Terminal for example. In 2015 sulfur dioxide was 20 mg/m3 and in 2016 the average was 17 mg/m3. In the first half of 2017, the figure was 13 mg/m3. It has dropped a lot. Surrounding ports like those in Ningbo, Shenzhen and Hong Kong also saw sulfur dioxide, the culprit of PM2.5, fall 20% to 30%. It clearly proves the positive result of the emission control plan. In the air near the port, sulfur dioxide is still relatively high. In 2016, the figure was 17 mg/m3 near the port and in urban area the figure was 15 mg/m3. In the first half of 2017, the figures were 15 mg/m3 and 12.5 mg/m3, respectively.

Next we’ll do two things. The first is to work hard for low emission, standard-meeting emission and even zero emission. Vice President Fang said just now that the reason we use shore power is to phase out the use of low-sulfur fuel oil. Use of standard low sulfur fuel oil or shore power involves interest distribution. The Ministry of Transport, the National Energy Administration and the State Grid have signed cooperation agreements, hoping to set up an expenditure sharing mechanism for shore power so that we can push forward ships using shore power when they are docked at the port. The second is to meet stricter control standards, which is to use low sulfur fuel oil when ships dock at the port.

In the long-term, first we need to enhance the standard for low sulfur fuel oil from 0.5% m/m to 0.1% m/m. Second we will strive to make the Yangtze River Delta an international shipping emission control area identified by the International Maritime Organization, which will help the area to meet international standards and be recognized by ships of other countries sailing international routes.

 Shanghai Traffic Radio: One question for Director Zhang Lin. He mentioned the role IT plays in pushing efficient operation of the port. What influence will the E-truck platform have on the practical operation of the port?

 Zhang Lin: The major problem for container truck transportation in the port is no-load in their return trip. Through E-truck platform, trucks can collaborate with the port to coordinate their transportation. Now concentrated arrivals cause congestion at the port. The E-truck app will help solve the problem. We believe in one or two years IT and Internet+ port technology will ease congestion in Shanghai, especially in areas surrounding the port.

Fang Huaijin: Director Zhang Lin’s answer already covers all. I will add one example. The estimation we did shows that 27,000 container trucks come and go from Shanghai Port every year and another 30,000 have come to the port. They mainly ship goods. Demand and resource information are asymmetrical. It is difficult to realize timely pairing up. E-truck is an appointment platform developed by the Shanghai International Port Group. We set up a brick-and-mortar company for the operation. Now more than 2,000 truck teams have registered on the platform with 20,000-plus trucks. The platform enables timely linking of goods’ shipping demands with trucks, greatly increasing the efficiency of truck shipping and port operation.

The most obvious improvement is that trucks’ waiting time has shortened a lot. We now know in time when trucks will come into port for loading and when they will depart with the load. We can prepare equipment and staff needed in time. Also the big data we gather from E-truck not only helps in port operation but also transportation infrastructure construction and plan and its daily management in Shanghai. The application elevates the whole logistic chain and value chain and makes Shanghai a better place. A question for Mr Jia of Shanghai Airport. On September 21, the Civil Aviation Administration of China unveiled measures for on-time rate. Pudong Airport has not met the on-time rate for several years in a row. What influence will the measures have on Pudong Airport’s operation? What will the city’s two airports do to improve their on-time rates?

Jia Ruijun: On-time rate is what concerns passengers and airport staff the most. For a long time, on-time rates at both our airports were not satisfactory. We have carried out targeted work to improve factors influencing the rate:

First, set up a coordinated command platform. Give full play to airport community platform and set up a management committee for coordinated operation and command center for on-the-spot coordination under the leadership of a special committee for airport operation. CAAC East China Regional Administration, CAAC East China Air Traffic Management Bureau, base airlines and airport authority will make concerted efforts to improve coordination efficiency and capacity to handle emergencies in flight operation.

Second, improve application of new technology and boost airport operation capacity. Pudong Airport is upgrading II and III category of instrument landing system at its second runway. Equipment installation, test and trial flight and operation rules have all been approved. Hongqiao Airport has its HUDⅡoperation of head-up display approved. We are speeding up its use to improve operation efficiency in low visibility and passenger experience during bad weather.

Thirdly, improve coordination efficiency on ground maintenance, optimize ground slipping time and slipping route with airlines and aviation management authority, improve congestion of slipping route, plan to build vertical linking routes and take measures for preventing sliding, improve runway connectivity and ease conflicts between service route and aircraft operation.

Due to many factors, in September, the normal release rate in Pudong Airport was 70.81% and that of Hongqiao was 80.05%. We believe with support of all parties, problems hindering normal flights can be addressed and air and ground coordination command efficiency can be improved, which will definitely elevate the flight on-time rate and improve safe, convenient and passenger-friendly service experience. Director Zhang mentioned the free trade port. Recent news suggests plan for an FTP roll out. Can you brief us on the next move for FTP and is there any timetable? Thanks.

Zhang Lin: An improved plan for FTP is awaiting approval. We will update the information as soon as we have news. FTP will definitely play a big role in building Shanghai into an international shipping center. It will be a new engine to elevate Shanghai’s competitiveness as a metropolis and as a port city.