Ports in the capital's neighboring Tianjin and Hebei province will accelerate the pace of their integrated development in maritime transport, a move to support the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.
There are four major ports in the region－Tianjin Port, and Hebei's ports of Qinhuangdao, Tangshan and Huanghua－all of which are located along northern China's Bohai Sea Rim, according to the China Ports& Harbors Association.
"The ports have complementary advantages, based on which we should share resources and information to achieve joint development," said Liu Guanghai, general manager of Hebei Port Group Co Ltd, which owns Qinghuangdao Port and several other wharves in Tangshan, Cangzhou and Handan.
He said the coordinated development will save costs, improve efficiency and ease competition among all the ports.
Liu made the remarks on Wednesday while discussing a four-year plan on the coordinated development of ports in the region, which was issued by the Ministry of Transport last month.
According to the plan, a world-level ports cluster in the region will be basically formed by 2020, with Tianjin Port being the center and ports in Hebei as its wings, the plan said.
Tianjin Port, the largest comprehensive port in northern China, will focus on transportation services for containers, roll-on/roll-off automobiles and cruise liners, while ports in Hebei will mainly develop bulk cargo business.
The clear division of functions can help avoid homogeneous competition among the ports and ensure all of them with vigorous development, Liu said.
Based on the divided functions, other related industrial development will be encouraged, according to the plan.
Tianjin Port can develop logistics for automobiles and coldchain deliveries, as well as modern shipping services such as financing and insurance.
For ports in Hebei, coal-washing, coal-blending, and ore-screening services can be added.
Hebei Port Group, which is headquartered in Tangshan, handled 325 million metric tons of cargoes last year, being the world's largest ports operator for major dry bulk cargoes, according to the group.
By the end of 2020, the number is aimed to exceed 540 million tons.
"The coordinated development will help us achieve that goal," Liu said.
Since the central authorities initiated the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region in February 2014, progress has been made on different transportation fields, including railways, highways, airports and ports.
Bohai Jinji Port Investment and Development Co Ltd, a joint venture port corporation, was established in August 2014, by Tianjin Port Group Co Ltd and Hebei Port Group Co Ltd to combine the maritime transport resources of northern China.