The country’s largest roll-on, roll-off passenger harbor started operation at Xuwen port area of Zhanjiang, Guangdong province, on Saturday, halving the travelling time to the island province of Hainan.

The newly launched Nanshan operation area in Xuwen has 16 roll-on-roll-off berths for passenger or cargo transport , as well as a berth for hazardous goods, capable of accommodating vessels of up to 5,000 dead weight tons each.

With investment of about 2 billion yuan ($293.2 million), the project has designed capacity of moving 3.2 million vehicles and 17.28 million passengers a year.

Shipping distance between Xuwen and Haikou, capital of Hainan, is shortened by half to 12 nautical miles and traveling time to over an hour.

The project significantly boosts transport capacity across Qiongzhou Strait and interconnectivity between provinces of Guangdong and Hainan, said Li Jing, director of Guangdong provincial department of transport.

It is set to promote the exchanges between the provinces in logistics, trade, industries and people, he added.

The project marks a new milestone in Zhanjiang’s serving national strategies such as Hainan Free Trade Port, said Zheng Renhao, Party secretary of Zhanjiang.

He pledged continued efforts in building supporting facilities and enhancing management and services at Xuwen port area.

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