your present position|Group News

Yantian Port

Located at Mirs  Bay, east of Shenzhen, Yantian Port has made remarkable achievements after more than thirty years of development. It has not only set many records in China and in the world but also played a significant role in Shenzhen Ports’ ranking among the top three container terminals around the world.    

In 1994, Yantian Port Group and Hutchison Ports Yantian Limited jointly established Yantian International Container Terminals and began to manage the container business together, setting a precedent for Chinese enterprises to introduce overseas investment and build a port together.

Yantian Port is composed of the Central Port, West Port and East Port, and the container terminals (Phases I, II and III), the Expansion Project and some berths at the West Port have been completed. With water depth alongside up to 17.4 meters, it now has 20 container berths and three multi-function berths in operation and can accommodate the 200,000 ton ultra-large container vessels.


A bird's-eye view of Yantian Port (Photo by Yao Shixin)

       With the annual throughput totalling over ten million TEUs in 2007 and exceeding 14 million TEUs for the first time in 2017, Yantian Port has continued to rank No. 1 among the worldwide ports.

—— Attracting the most line-haul container vessels in China: about 100 services from over 40 shipping companies around the world call at Yantian Port every week.

—— World-leading operation efficiency: the average quay crane rate at Yantian Port is 36 moves per hour.

—— The best port supporting system in China: Yantian Port has established a well-developed and convenient on-dock transport system and provides efficient, easy and high-quality customs-clearance services.

—— In 2005, Yantian Port was awarded “The Best Global Container Port of the Year 2005-2006” by the Global Institute of Logistics.

—— In 2016, Yantian Port was awarded “Ports & Terminals Award of Seatrade Maritime Awards Asia 2016”.

—— The planning land area at Yantian Port’s east part is about 3.27 million m², and the specific layout is as follows: one container berth that can accommodate 100,000-DWT vessels and one that can accommodate 150,000-DWT vessels on the 995-meter-long north shoreline, three container berths that can accommodate 200,000-DWT vessels on the 1470-meter-long central shoreline, and three berths with a capacity in excess of 200,000-DWT on the reserved south shoreline. In accordance with the plan, the yards and the hydraulic structure of the first 200,000-DWT berth will be completed by the end of 2020.

       According to the “Overall Plan for Shenzhen Ports and Yantian Port (Revision)”, by 2020, 27 to 29 container ports will be constructed at Yantian Port and the coastline will be 10,173 meters long. The Port will handle 18 to 20 million TEU of containers every year and become the hub port for the international line-haul transport of containers in South China.

      Yantian Port also remains environment-friendly and always takes the environment into consideration when designing, constructing and operating the ports. It has carried out technical innovations in energy-saving equipment and resource utilization to promote the construction of green ports and the protection of the surrounding environment. In 2016, four sets of mobile shore power units were built to cover ten 150,000-DWT to 200,000-DWT berths and meet the demand of the largest vessels in the world. By then, the mobile shore power units had covered over 80% of the deep-water container berths, making Yantian Port the coastal port with most deep-water container berths covered shore power units in China.

      Moreover, the supporting facilities at the Port are also greener. For example, the diesel Rubber-tyred Gantry Cranes (RTGCs) were reconfigured to run on electric power. Then the fuel cost and gas emissions have been reduced by 80% and the noise abated, which has helped to improve the environment greatly. The company has also phased in LNG powered tractors and now a total number of 340 such tractors are in use. Compared to the diesel tractors, the new ones produce 82% less gas emissions.

Terminal services

    The container business involves a series of interlinked procedures like the handling of entering and leaving vessels, loading, unloading and transport of the containers, the operation of large equipment, the arrangement of yards and the progress control. When a container is transported to the Port, piled at the yards, loaded onto a vessel and then the vessel leaves the Port, the whole process brings dozens of pieces of data and for Yantian Port, there are hundreds of thousands of pieces of data every day.

Core technology – the nGen system

   Yantian Port uses the latest Next Generation Terminal Management System (nGen) launched by the Hutchison Whampoa Limited that features powerful functions for container yard and vessel planning.

    Using nGen, the Control Centre (Yantian's operation hub) is able to plan and arrange the terminal operations as well as monitor all the routes and equipment. For instance, when a large vessel approaches the port, the Control Tower makes the necessary advance preparations based on the vessel size and the perceived operation workload. These include the pre-allocation of berths, quay cranes and trucks. In addition, the current and pre-planned locations of yard cranes are also shown on the computer screens in the Control Centre, providing the basis for yard planning at the terminal. The system is designed to automatically allocate equipment according to the container size, making it possible to unload and stack containers at the correct locations within the yard. Thus, the system enables Yantian Port to demonstrate a world-class efficiency to its clients in a scientific and precise manner.

Radio data system

  The whole area of Yantian Port is connected by the Radio Data System (RDS). The real-time communication between the container yards, the quayside facilities and the Control Tower is made possible by the use of the two-way radios, computers and mobile communication devices. In this way, the Control Tower can monitor and control over 100 gantry cranes, dozens of quay cranes and hundreds of tractors; the front-line staff can receive commands; the engineers can find out the operational conditions in real time, and the operational staff can monitor and manage the facilities remotely. To sum up, the RDS helps to arrange all the work in an orderly way.

Information centre

    The Yantian Port International Information Co., Ltd has developed a data sharing network for the relative enterprises like the ports, shipping companies, freight forwarders, shipping agencies, customs brokers and the joint inspection units. Currently, the Centre has six functions: logistic tracking, international transhipment, operations of shipping companies, customs-clearance at the Port, online confirmation of the equipment interchange receipts (EIR) and pre-declaration of imported goods (empty boxes).

    To provide convenience for the container truck drivers, Yantian Port has developed diversified methods for them to inquire about the container information, such as text messages, phone calls and online checking. The drivers can find out the container information by making phone calls or inputting their phone number on the online platform. The container information and the shipping schedules can also be made public. When drivers are making phone calls, they just need to input the code of the shipping companies or the container number to find out if the containers they need are available and where to pick up the containers.

The non-stop IT system

   For the container terminals, it is essential to make sure that the operations are stable and continuous and the data are safely stored. System failure and data loss resulting from accidents should be avoided. Therefore, Yantian Port provides customers with around-the-clock services throughout the year. At Yantian, unplanned system downtime is contained within 2.5 hours for the whole year, and to less than 25 minutes for any single downtime scenario.

Port Community Card system

     Yantian Port has installed the Port Community Card (PCC) System at the customs' electronic gatehouse. To be specific, the PCC can automatically read and print the EIR at the gatehouses and makes the electronic payment. It is also the ID card of the tractors and loaded with all the information about the tractor. By swiping the card on the sensor, the drivers can get the explicit instructions for the following operation and shorten the time they used to spend in waiting there.

Paperless EIR

    The EIR is a document issued by ports to prove the delivery and reception of goods. As one of the documents that enable the transferring the containers from one port to another, EIR used to be a hard copy. Now, with the development of technology, it is made paperless and the corresponding information is automatically transmitted to the customs’ system through the computers. Thus, it now takes less time and energy to transmit information and the information is also transmitted in time and safely.

Electronic load-meters at the gatehouses

    A scientific allocation of berth based on the weight of the containers is a prerequisite for the successful transport of numerous containers. At the Phase III Gateway of Yantian Port, the goods will be weighed automatically when the tractors go through the gateways and the more important is that the weight is the net weight of the goods excluding the weight of the tractor and the containers, which has guaranteed the scientific arrangement of vessels and the safety of marine trips.

Port traffic

     With an efficient, convenient and high-quality customs-clearance environment and the development of the rear land taking shape, Yantian Port has already developed a good service system and formed a modern port city. The traffic there is fast and well-developed and the Port has taken the lead in China to operate bonded logistic parks. By cooperating with world-renowned logistic enterprises like Kerry Logistics, Yantian Port has stimulated the development of the logistics at the Port and provided huge support for the business of the Port.

       Roads connecting the Yantian Port are as follows: (1) south-north: Guangshen Highway, National Highway 107, Meiguan Highway, Longda Highway, National Highway 205, Qingping Highway Phase I, Dongshen Road, Huiyan Highway, Shenshan Highway and Yanpai Highway. (2) east-west: Jihe Highway, Yanba Highway, Shuiguan Highway and Nanping Highway Phase I.

     Since Yantian Port commenced operations in 1994, the company has witnessed the soaring growth in container throughput. Infrastructure around the port has also been upgraded at a rapid pace, increasing from just one road and one tunnel to four roads, four tunnels and three interchanges. The rapid increased road capacity has kept pace with Yantian Port's throughput growth, ensuring a smooth flow of traffic in the area.

Road Infrastructure around Yantian Port:


Opened to Traffic

 Two-way Lanes

Traffic Capacity Per Day (PCU)

Huiyan Highway




Wutongshan Tunnel




Yanba Highway

May 2003



Mingzhu Interchange

Dec. 2003



Yanpai Highway

May 2006



Second Access Road to Yantian

Jul. 2008



Environmental Protection

     Committed to the energy-saving and environmental protection work and upholding a sustainable strategy, Yantian Port aims to build a green port. It has reconfigured its diesel RTGCs to run on electric power to reduce the discharge of carbon dioxide or on hybrid power which consumes 30-50% less fuel. Yantian Port is also the first Chinese container terminal operator having successfully used liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered container tractors for production. Meanwhile, it has improved the lighting for the yards and buildings and begun to use more solar power, which helps to reduce the use of electricity by 4.5 million kWh per year and the expenditure by 6.4 million yuan. The Port also has made huge efforts to protect the marine environment through wastewater treatment, floating garbage collection and oil-spill detection systems and great achievements have been made.

Saving energy & carbon cutting  

       As an important measure that ports took to save energy and cut carbon emission, the shore power program plays a crucial part in the ports’ efforts to build a green port and enhance their competitiveness. After the shore power systems were put in use at Yantian Port, vessels can turn off their engines when they approach the Port to cut the carbon emission and improve the air quality. In this way, the noise is also eliminated and the staff now have a better work environment to maintain the vessels and equipment. In June 2016, the construction program of the shore power system was selected as the Excellent Pollution Control and Environmental Protection Program in Shenzhen. Then in 2017, the shore power system won the “2016-2018 Incentive Fund for Shore Power System (the first batch)” awarded by the Ministry of Transport of the People's Republic of China and got 18.38 million yuan. The Port’s “Research and Application of Shore Power at the Container Terminals” program was awarded the first-tier Science and Technology Award by China Water Transportation Construction Association in 2017.

Natural gas tractors

      Yantian is the first Chinese container terminal operator having successfully used natural gas powered container tractors for production. Currently, there are 27 such tractors operational around the clock at Yantian. Compared to diesel-powered container tractors with the same horsepower, these tractors emit 82% less exhaust gas.

Marine Environment Protection

     Since ports are the gateway to marine resources, Yantian Port is making full use of its technologies and strict management to protect the water resource and develop the Port in a sustainable way. To improve its ecological civilization construction, the company has organized voluntary tree planting activities every year and kept releasing fingerlings at the Mirs Bay to restore the aquatic environment during the past nine years. All these efforts have helped to improve the surrounding environment of the Port and restore the ecological balance in the offshore areas. When the water quality at the Port was improved to Grade I in 2016, dolphins were found there frequently. In that year, the fingerling releasing activity was selected as one of the “100 Programs that Satisfy the Shenzhen Citizens” of Shenzhen’s fourteenth care project and received public commendation from the committee.  

Oil-spill detection system

    The terminal's pirerheads are equipped with four oil-spill detection systems to detect any possible oil spills from calling vessels. The 24-hour monitoring system is able to monitor and detect oil spills as they occur in real time and then transmits these data to the Yantian control tower computers. Once received and the alarm sounded, the relevant operation team can then immediately act upon the oil spill. The comprehensive wastewater treatment facilities at the terminal extract all the wastewater generated from port operations and office areas for treatment before they are discharged through the municipal sewage pipelines.