Passengers on ferries running from Incheon of South Korea to 10 Chinese cities jumped 34.7 percent on year in 2018 amidst normalization of ties and travel following a year-long diplomatic spat over Korea’s installation of a U.S. antimissile system.
According to the Incheon Port Authority (IPA) on Friday, ferry ships servicing on routes between Incheon and 10 cities in China carried total 809,058 passengers last year, up 34.7 percent from the previous year.
It is close to 88 percent of the level in 2016 before Beijing’s ban of Chinese group tours to Korea in retaliation against Seoul’s installation of an U.S. anti-missile shield system.
The Incheon-Shidao route was used by the largest 172,000 passengers, followed by route to Weihai with 126,000, Lianyungang with 113,000, Dandong with 104,000, Qingdao with 76,000, Tianjin with 74,000 and Yantai with 70,000.
The amount of goods carried by ships on the routes totaled 437,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU), down 1 percent from a year earlier. Container transport contributes 70 percent to the total revenue of ship operators servicing on Korea-China routes.
Currently, 16 routes are operated between Korea and China - 10 from or to Incheon, five Pyeongtaek and one Gunsan.
By Ji Hong-goo and Lee Ha-yeon
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]