Qingdao has gained extra containerised cargo volumes at the expense of South Korea's leading port of Busan, which has recently suffered terminal congestion and cargo-handling equipment damage during extreme weather conditions.
Shipping lines Zim Israel and Italy's Lloyd Triestino were due to introduce the Qingdao call in late October on their joint Asia/US Express service in a move designed to maintain sailing frequencies on a fixed day weekly basis. The service will now serve three ports in China – Qingdao, Shanghai and Ningbo – and use Qingdao as a feeder port hub to tranship cargo to and from South Korea.
The Busan call is being dropped because of continuing delays that have been building up since the port was hit by typhoons in late summer. At least four port gantry cranes were destroyed in September, severely cutting handling capacity.