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Port Development and Future: Fourth Generation Port - Lighthouse of International Port Construction  2015-09-11

With the acceleration of global economic integration process and the rapid development of modern logistics system, the position of the port as the global logistics distribution hub is highlighted increasingly. With the carrying forward of ‘One Belt and One Road’ strategy, the development orientation of ‘strengthening port construction of coastal cities and functions of international airline hubs’ of coastal cities is clearer and clearer.

In recent years, with the orientation of constructing transportation and logistics hub in the eastern part of northeast China and Northeast Asia region, Port of Dandong had perfected the functions and supporting facilities continuously and had geared to the international standards gradually. At present, the competition among international ports has transformed to the soft environment and soft power of port functions and services from hardware conditions of location advantages and shipping strength. The well-known ports in the world are transforming to the fourth generation port. So what is the fourth generation port?

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development divided the ports into the first generation port, the second generation port and the third generation port in the Port Research Report in 1992. Simply, the first generation port is loading and unloading port, the second generation port is industrial port, the third generation port is logistics port and the fourth generation port is supply chain port. On the basis of first three generations of ports, the functions of the fourth generation port are expanded continuously, the resource allocation abilities are improved continuously, and the operations management system and mechanism is innovated continuously. And the fourth generation port has breakthroughs in the respects of scope of business, comprehensive service, port-neighboring economy, relation of port and city and regional development.

Most of ports at home and abroad are in the development stage of the second generation port and the third generation port. While the development experience of well-known ports in the world and the leapfrog development practice of coastal ports in China indicates that the global advanced ports are striding forward the fourth generation port from the third generation port.

Taking Antwerp Port for example, as the biggest port of Belgium and the third biggest port in Europe, the logistics development pattern of Antwerp Port is joint investment in operation. Antwerp Port Authority invests in the enterprise with advanced logistics enterprises and launches logistics service jointly. In this way, the capital problem of the port is solved and the port can quickly know and grasp the operation and management technology and mode of operation of international modern logistics center by the cooperation with advanced logistics enterprises.

In order to meet the demand of transit shipment, Antwerp Port constructed numbers of specialized warehouses. Antwerp Port has developed collecting and distributing system and has close relationship with European hinterland. Due to the strong storage, collecting and distributing advantage, Antwerp Port can continue to give play to the traditional sea-land transfer function and the sea-sea transfer role is strengthened.

Another characteristic of Antwerp Port is the mutual support and coordinated development of logistics and industry. The port logistics bring convenience to port-based industry and industry brings stable supply of goods for logistics.

The exploration of the fourth generation port theory and the development practice of overseas advanced ports is of great significance in the transformation and upgrading of Port of Dandong and the construction of the fourth generation port.

Firstly, with the orientation of constructing transportation and logistics hub in Northeast Asia and the international trade port with large industrial cluster, Port of Dandong strengthens the development of port logistics as the main business of perfecting port function and providing value-added service for clients.

Secondly, Port of Dandong takes initiative to provide service support for enterprises and institutions in the port area, improves the attraction and competitiveness of the port, constructs unified logistics platform and continuously improves the comprehensive service level and ability of the port. Port of Dandong promotes port-neighboring economy to the strategic level of innovative development pattern, links port with industry and realize the new development of the port.

At last, Port of Dandong handles the relations of port and city correctly and realizes the interaction between port and city and integrated development. Port of Dandong will construct fishing port, yacht marina, museum and other facilities to promote the urban development when meeting the port development.

At present, the infrastructure construction of Port of Dandong develops rapidly and the hard power of the port is improved remarkably. The soft power of the port becomes the main attack direction of transformation and upgrading of the port. With the help of ‘One Belt and One Road’ strategy, Port of Dandong will fully grasp the national policy information, continuously perfect port service function, improve the international competitiveness of the port and take the lead in the construction of the fourth generation port.