International container services partially resumed Friday at Japan’s Port of Sendai, the largest port in the northeastern Japanese region that bore the brunt of the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
The Port of Sendai-Shiogama in Miyagi Prefecture reopened the China-South Korea Route with the arrival of the first container ship operated by South Korea-based Namsung Shipping.
The arrival of the container ship, Star Unix, came four days later than initially scheduled, because of a typhoon.
The Port of Sendai-Shiogama comprises two ports — the Port of Sendai in Sendai City and the Port of Shiogama in adjacent Shiogama City. A welcoming ceremony for Start Unix was held at the Port of Sendai’s Takasago container terminal where the vessel arrived.
According to the Miyagi prefectural government, the China-South Korea Route, one of the Port of Sendai-Shiogama’s regular international container shipping routes, connects Miyagi Prefecture with such cities as Busan in South Korea and Dalian and Qingdao in China.
It remains uncertain, however, when the Port of Sendai-Shiogama will be able to reopen its two other regular international container shipping routes — the East Asia Route and the North America West Coast-Southeast Asia Route, which includes Los Angeles and Oakland.
Container services resumed at the Port of Sendai-Shiogama on June 8. But the port has not yet been fully restored, and container services there had been limited to domestic feeder ships until Friday.