Neptune Orient Lines opened its new terminal at the Port of Qingdao on Wednesday with the arrival of the APL Dubai.
The joint venture container terminal, which was originally expected to open in the second half of 2011, opened for business well ahead of schedule.
NOL, together with SITC International Holdings, a China-based shipping logistics company, formed a partnership with Qingdao Qianwan United Container Terminal in May 2011 to operate the terminal.
NOL said the terminal will primarily serve vessels operated by APL and SITC. The inaugural call at the terminal was made today by the APL Dubai, a vessel with a capacity of 6,574 20-foot equivalent units deployed on APL’s West Asia Express service.
APL makes more than 200 port calls annually at Qingdao, China’s fifth-largest container port, which links the city and Shandong province, as well as its neighboring provinces to international markets through APL’s global shipping network. The terminal has an annual capacity of 1.5 million TEUs.
The new container terminal is equipped with efficient handling equipment including seven post-Panamax ship-to-shore cranes as well as 16 rail-mounted yard gantry cranes.