Da Nang port in the central city of the same name has handled container ships of 500 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) since early this year, an upbeat sign that it is on its way to becoming the largest and most modern container port in the area.

At a recent ceremony to welcome the first ships in 2014, the port was also honoured for its handling of a record five million tonnes of cargo last year.

In 2013, Da Nang port recorded the highest output, revenue and investment with 102 vessels and over 116,300 passengers. The number of container ships of 167,500 TEUs rose by 16 percent from the preceding year while the number of passengers nearly doubled.

Between 2009 and 2013, it posted an average growth of 13.4 percent. Notably, container goods saw strong expansion, up 24 percent per year.

At present, the output of containers makes up 40 percent of all merchandise going through the port. The high growth signals that Da Nang port is a part of the logistics supply chain in the Central-Central Highlands region.

Under the seaport development plan until 2020, Da Nang port plans to handle 7.5 million and 15 million tonnes of goods by 2015 and 2020, respectively. The capacity of container goods will hit a respective 220,000 and 600,000 TEUs.

To reach the set goals, it will build a new wharf designed for container vessels of 3,000-5,000 TEUs and an other one for 15,000 DWT ships at Son Tra peninsula where more warehouses will be up and running soon.

Each year, it will invest heavily on new technology and equipment, and improve maritime services as well.

In the foreseeable future, Da Nang port will relocate Han River port out of the city’s centre, better the quality of seaport and logistics services while ramping up infrastructure and training a contingent of high-quality workers.

It will also aim for 5.3 million tonnes of goods, containers of 190,000 TEUs and 120,000 arrivals aboard 120 cruise liners, in response to the city’s Entrepreneurship Year.-VNA