Portugal’s Sines port has conditions to start sea transport to and from China

13 September 2007

Shanghai, China, 13 Sept – The chairman of the concession-holder of the Portuguese port of Sines, said Wednesday in Shanghai, that “conditions have been created” for container traffic to start being transported directly from China to Portugal in the last quarter of the year.

At that time, Jorge Almeida said, the first phase of the expansion of the terminal would be in operation.

Almeida was speaking to journalists in Shanghai after a meeting with the second largest Chinese shipping company, China Shipping, and contacts with the largest, COSCO, in Beijing, during a visit to China by the Portuguese secretary of state for transport, Ana Paula Vitorino.

Improving the conditions at the port of Sines, which will have a new crane, is allied to China’s interest in shipping directly to Portugal, from where it can have direct access to the Iberian and European markets.

Almeida said that traffic at Sines totaled some 100,000 TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit), but that it arrived in Portugal after stopping at non-Portuguese ports.

The chairman of the port of sines said he was “favorably surprised” by the reaction of the two largest Chinese shipping companies to the presentation of the port of Sines.

However, and despite the scheduling of a signing memorandum of understanding between the port of Sines and China Shipping during this visit, this did not take place.

The Chinese companies are interested in using the port of Sines, but only after construction of the second dock, which is expected to be complete by the end of 2008.

COSCO currently transports around 2,000 TEU between China and Portugal, while China Shipping transports 800 TEU. (macauhub)