Ships await start of China/Taiwan direct shipping
A containership owned and operated by Evergreen Marine Corp. is ready to depart for China’s northern port city of Tianjin on Monday morning when direct cross-strait shipping links are launched, the Taiwan Times reports.
The 1,158-TEU ship, when it departs at 10 a.m., will be the first Taiwanese commercial ship to sail directly from Kaohsiung to the mainland. It is also scheduled to make calls at Dalian and Qingdao.
The paper said ship owned and operated by Taiwan’s Wan Hai Lines, Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp, Taiwan Navigation Co., and China’s Huarong Marine Co. are also scheduled to depart on Monday from the northern port of Keelung.
The Xinghua news agency reported that China’s Ministry of Transport said Friday up to 90 mainland ships will be able to get government approval for direct trips across the Taiwan Strait. It said the voyages Monday will be the first direct sailings across the narrow strait since the 1949 split.
Xinghua quoted a ministry press release as saying the quota “was based on our research on the trade, passenger transport and current shipping business conditions.”
The news agency said that on Monday ships will set off from six ports in the mainland and two harbors in Taiwan. Under a Nov. 4 agreement the mainland will open 48 seaports and 15 river facilities, while Taiwan will open 11 harbors for direct shipping.