Article

Article from China: Maritime pilots to escort Hainan's port development


published on 12 October 2020 259

Article by ChinaDaily. Title photo by Pu Xiaoxu/Xinhua

South China's Hainan province is the only provincial-level special economic zone among the seven special economic zones and the largest special economic zone in China. The "Overall Plan for the Construction of Hainan Free Trade Port" announced on June 1 this year proposes to build the Hainan Free Trade Port into an important gateway for deepening the country's reform and opening-up policy.

The construction of the Hainan Free Trade Port has been witnessing many silent supports of unsung heroes, and among them are a group of maritime pilots. A total of 22 pilots from the provincial ship pilot station perform piloting at five ports in Haikou, Yangpu and Dongfang. Their core work is to pilot ships in and out of the port, berthing and leaving the dock.
After piloting a cargo ship coming from abroad to berth at Yangpu Port, pilot Lin Daomin in protective gear steps off the cargo ship's gangway. [Photo by Pu Xiaoxu/Xinhua]
After piloting a cargo ship coming from abroad to berth at Yangpu Port, pilot Lin Daomin in protective gear steps off the cargo ship's gangway. [Photo by Pu Xiaoxu/Xinhua]
After piloting a cargo ship coming from abroad to berth at Yangpu Port, pilot Lin Daomin in protective gear steps off the cargo ship's gangway. [Photo by Pu Xiaoxu/Xinhua]
After piloting a cargo ship coming from abroad to berth at Yangpu Port, pilot Lin Daomin in protective gear steps off the cargo ship's gangway. [Photo by Pu Xiaoxu/Xinhua]
Hainan has a coastline of more than 1,500 kilometers, and its economy is a typical island economy in which transportation to and from the island is the lifeblood of the province's survival. About 98 percent of cargo and 45 percent of passengers enter and exit by sea each year, and most of these ships are piloted by the Hainan Provincial Communication Pilot Station.

For various types of Chinese and foreign ships traveling to and from Hainan, pilots must not only be familiar with various ship operations and port hydrological environments, but also conversant in English for navigation so that they can communicate smoothly when piloting foreign ships. It is necessary to work closely with the piloting team and tugboat of the piloted ship, and piloting usually takes an hour to several hours.
After rushing to an anchorage outside Yangpu Port by tug, pilot Lin Hongpin climbs a large ship on a soft ladder to board and pilot the ship into the port for berthing. [Photo by Pu Xiaoxu/Xinhua]
After rushing to an anchorage outside Yangpu Port by tug, pilot Lin Hongpin climbs a large ship on a soft ladder to board and pilot the ship into the port for berthing. [Photo by Pu Xiaoxu/Xinhua]
After rushing to an anchorage outside Yangpu Port by tug, pilot Lin Hongpin climbs a large ship on a soft ladder to board and pilot the ship into the port for berthing. [Photo by Pu Xiaoxu/Xinhua]
After rushing to an anchorage outside Yangpu Port by tug, pilot Lin Hongpin climbs a large ship on a soft ladder to board and pilot the ship into the port for berthing. [Photo by Pu Xiaoxu/Xinhua]
Lin Hongpin, a national first-class pilot who takes mission in Yangpu, said that no matter the wind or rain, midnight or dawn, the pilot has go to sea. They often have to climb a ladder of more than 20 meters high on the sea to board and pilot ships, and they often wear protective equipment to pilot ships from all over the world. They are under tremendous physical and psychological pressure. Since the beginning of this year, the Hainan Provincial Ship Pilot Station has piloted more than 4,200 ships. Among them, more than 3,000 vessels were piloted in Yangpu.

Yangpu, situated in the province's northwest, undertakes the task of building a pioneer zone for the free trade port. According to the overall plan, Hainan will be the first to implement a new import and export management system in the qualified special customs supervision areas such as Yangpu Free Trade Port Area by 2025. The full-scaled customs clearance will be implemented after the conditions are ripe.
Lin Hongpin (left) uses a walkie-talkie to communicate with the ship he is about to pilot. [Photo by Pu Xiaoxu/Xinhua]
Lin Hongpin (left) uses a walkie-talkie to communicate with the ship he is about to pilot. [Photo by Pu Xiaoxu/Xinhua]
Lin Hongpin (left) uses a walkie-talkie to communicate with the ship he is about to pilot. [Photo by Pu Xiaoxu/Xinhua]
Lin Hongpin (left) uses a walkie-talkie to communicate with the ship he is about to pilot. [Photo by Pu Xiaoxu/Xinhua]
On Sept 28, the Yangpu-South Pacific-Australia container route was officially opened at Yangpu Xiaochantan Terminal, marking the opening of the first intercontinental route of Hainan Free Trade Port. As of Sept 28, Yangpu has opened 32 container liner routes, including 13 foreign trade routes and 19 domestic routes. The Yangpu Xiaochantan Terminal has completed a total of 497,000 TEUs of containers from January to August with a year-on-year increase of 66 percent. Among them, the volume of foreign trade containers was 118,000 TEUs, a year-on-year increase of 432 percent, and the growth rate was among the top ports in the country, adding impetus to the construction of Hainan Free Trade Port.

As an important fulcrum of the logistics industry, Xiaochantan Terminal's capacity improvement project is expected to be completed by Dec 31, and the design capacity of the terminal will be increased from 650,000 TEU to 1.8 million TEU. Currently, Yangpu has identified its major positioning, the new western land-sea channel, the advanced manufacturing base, the bulk commodity trading base, and the international trade innovation demonstration zone.
As the pilot vessel berthes at Yangpu Port, Lin Hongpin focuses on the dynamics of the vessel and the dock in real time. [Photo by Pu Xiaoxu/Xinhua]
As the pilot vessel berthes at Yangpu Port, Lin Hongpin focuses on the dynamics of the vessel and the dock in real time. [Photo by Pu Xiaoxu/Xinhua]
As the pilot vessel berthes at Yangpu Port, Lin Hongpin focuses on the dynamics of the vessel and the dock in real time. [Photo by Pu Xiaoxu/Xinhua]
As the pilot vessel berthes at Yangpu Port, Lin Hongpin focuses on the dynamics of the vessel and the dock in real time. [Photo by Pu Xiaoxu/Xinhua]
Lin Hongpin (right) returns to the station in Yangpu and chats with Lin Daoming during lunch. [Photo by Pu Xiaoxu/Xinhua]
Lin Hongpin (right) returns to the station in Yangpu and chats with Lin Daoming during lunch. [Photo by Pu Xiaoxu/Xinhua]
Lin Hongpin (right) returns to the station in Yangpu and chats with Lin Daoming during lunch. [Photo by Pu Xiaoxu/Xinhua]
Lin Hongpin (right) returns to the station in Yangpu and chats with Lin Daoming during lunch. [Photo by Pu Xiaoxu/Xinhua]
After piloting a large ship into Yangpu Port, Lin Hongpin climbs a tugboat on a soft ladder for other piloting tasks. [Photo by Pu Xiaoxu/Xinhua]
After piloting a large ship into Yangpu Port, Lin Hongpin climbs a tugboat on a soft ladder for other piloting tasks. [Photo by Pu Xiaoxu/Xinhua]
After piloting a large ship into Yangpu Port, Lin Hongpin climbs a tugboat on a soft ladder for other piloting tasks. [Photo by Pu Xiaoxu/Xinhua]
After piloting a large ship into Yangpu Port, Lin Hongpin climbs a tugboat on a soft ladder for other piloting tasks. [Photo by Pu Xiaoxu/Xinhua]
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