The Port of Tianjin formerly known as the Port of Tanggu, is the largest port in Northern China and the main maritime gateway to Beijing. It is located on the western shore of the Bohai Bay, centered on the estuary of the Haihe River, 170 km south east of Beijing and 60 km east of Tianjin city. It is the largest man-made port in mainland China, and one of the largest in the World. It covers 107 square kilometers of land surface, with over 31.9 km of quay shoreline and 140 production berths at the end of 2010.
Tianjin Port handled 450 million tonnes of cargo and 11.5 million TEU of containers in 2011, making it the world's fifth largest port by throughput tonnage, and the eleventh in container throughput. The port trades with more than 600 ports in 180 countries and territories around the world. It is served by over 115 regular container lines. run by 60 liner companies, including all the top 20 liners. Capacity is increasing at a high rate, with 550–600 Mt of throughput capacity expected by 2015.
The port is part of the Binhai New Area district of Tianjin Municipality, the main special economic zone of Northern China, and it lies directly east of the TEDA. The Port of Tianjin is at the core of the ambitious development program of the Binhai New Area, and due to this developmental storm, change occurs at a very accelerated pace. The name "Tianjin Xingang" which strictly speaking refers only to the main seaport area, is sometimes used to refer to the whole port.
Tianjin Port is divided into nine port areas: the three core (“Tianjin Xingang”) areas of Beijiang, Nanjiang, and Dongjiang around the Xingang fairway; the Haihe area along the river; the Beitang port area around the Beitangkou estuary; the Dagukou port area in the estuary of the Haihe River; and three areas under construction (Hanggu, Gaoshaling, Nangang).
Beijiang Port Area:
Beijiang Port Area includes the original areas of the Tanggu New Port, plus new facilities built on reclaimed land north of the Main Basin. It covers approximately 36.8 km2, has 18.9 km of coastline, and contains mostly container and general cargo terminals. It is also the main service and administration area of the port, including the Tianjin Port Container Logistics Center, the Tianjin Port Trade and Shipping Service Area, and the 7 km² Tianjin Port Free Trade Zone
Nanjiang Port Area:
The Nanjiang Area lies on an artificial island 16 km long (east to west) by 1.3–2 km wide (north to south), with an area of approximately 26 km2. Shoreline is 14.2 km long on the north side(opening to the Main Channel), and 12 km on the south side (opening to the Dagusha Channel). This port area contains the bulk cargo terminals, in particular the large oil, ore and coal terminals.
Dongjiang Port Area:
Dongjiang Port Area lies on an artificial peninsula 10 km long and 3 km wide to the northeast of the main basin, and has an approximate area of 33 km2. This is the newest part of Tianjin Xingang, and is still in development. It includes a new container terminal, a regional logistics center, and a 10 km2 bonded port area (the Dongjiang Bonded Port).
The Dongjiang Port Area is being developed into a comprehensive complex with three parallel zones: the terminal area; a logistic processing zone associated with the bonded port; and a comprehensive service zone which will include office space, residential space, and shopping and leisure facilities. The leisure area will be centered on the cruiser terminal and yachting piers, and around an artificial beach (the Dongjiang Bay Scenic Area), built with sand imported from Fujian and including a variety of entertainment facilities (including a dragon boat pier).
Haihe Port Area:
The Haihe Port Area operates all river docks from the Xingang Shipping Lock up to the Haihe Second Tidal Barrier, a distance of 39.5 km. Once the core of the Tanggu port, the lower Haihe river area has seen diminishing number of wharves as riverfront real estate has been reassigned for development. In 2003, the Haihe Port Area had 7,100 m of quayside, 83 berths, 56 production berths dealing with all sorts of cargo including containers. The start of the work on the new Tanggu CBD, however, meant the demolition of most facilities in the Xiangguowan, Yujiapu and Lanjingdao peninsulas, including the large Third Stevedoring Company terminal in Yujiapu, which closed in 2009.
This wind-down of activity is still continuing, and on January 1st 2012, the Haihe will be downgraded from a category I waterway into a category IV, limited to vessels under 1,000 DWT and 10 m of air draft (which will permit the extensive bridge construction planned for the lower Haihe). This change will effectively close the river to seagoing vessels, and limit Haihe traffic to barges. Nevertheless, industrial expansion further up the river will lead to a recovery in the number of available berths. Current plans call for six different production areas, with an area of 9.7 km2 and a quayside length of 21 km.
Beitang Port Area:
The Beitang Port Area lies on both sides of the Beitangkou estuary. At present it is limited to several small barge wharves, but it is planned to expand as part of the development of the Binhai Tourism Area. There are two service wharves planned, 230 m and 150 m in length, plus a large environmental monitoring base, passenger terminal, construction materials wharves and yachting marina. The Beitang Fishing Harbor is directly north, inside the river estuary.
Dagukou Port Area:
The Dagukou Port Area lies on the southern side of the Haihe river mouth. It is composed of the wharves of the Tianjin Lingang Harbor Economic Zone, which is a large industrial area being constructed on reclaimed land. The Dagukou port area is expanding fast, and it is expected to reach a capacity of 100 Mt per year by 2015. Further up the Haihe estuary is the Donggu Fishing Port, which still moors 400 (mostly small) fishing boats.
Port areas under development:
The last three areas (Gaoshaling, Nangang, Hangu) are under construction, and will be integrated into Port operations as they come online.
Hangu Port Area: comprises the Tianjin Central Fishing Port, which is located at Caijiabao to the north of Beitang. The Central Fishing Port is a large (18 km2) mixed development that gathers tourist facilities, a yachting marina, a fishing port with 17 berths capable of handling ships up to 5,000 DWT for a throughput of 17 million tonnes, and cold-chain warehousing. It is expected to go into full operation in 2012–13.
Gaoshaling Port Area: is located on reclaimed land to the south of the Lingang Industrial Area and north of the Duliujian river. It includes the docks of the southern section of the Lingang Economic Area, and will have its own channel. Gaoshaling area will focus on heavy equipment handling and other heavy industrial cargo.
Nangang Port Area: is being built on the reclaimed land of the TEDA Nangang Industrial Zone, south of the Duliujian river and north of the Ziya river. It will focus at first on petrochemical goods. The first trial wharf opened in 2011.