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.
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.
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.
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.