China grants access to VLOCs

China has granted very large ore carriers (VLOCs) access to four of its ports, the country’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said on Friday July 3.

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The move comes after a fully-laden Valemax docked at China’s Qingdao port on July 1, the first 400,000-tonne dry bulk cargo ship to do so in more than two years.

The VLOCs will be able to dock at designated berths at Dalian, Tangshan and Qingdao ports in northern China and at Ningbo-Zhoushan port in the east of the country, following basic construction procedures and technical regulations, according to the statement.

The vessels, which are more than double the 170,000-dead weight tonnage Capesize vessels used for seaborne iron ore transportation, and are meant to reduce freight costs.

China stopped allowing such big ships at its docks on safety concerns until February this year, when the country’s transport ministry lifted the ban.

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