Entering the port of Qingdao

Qingdao Gang, the port of Qingdao – also known as Tsingtao – is a port on the Yellow Sea situated on the SE side of Jiaozhou Bay. It is one of China’s principal ports and it can be approached from SW, E and S through a traffic separation scheme which is well marked with a good buoyage system.

Qingdao Port is divided into the inner and outer port area – the outer port being used mostly for anchorage.

The inner port includes six terminals capable of handling all types of vessels and the biggest of them is QQCT (Qingdao Qinwan Container Terminal) which can accommodate the world’s largest vessels.

QQCT has 13 berths with a total length of 3500m and a turning basin which is 900 m long.

Our vessel called QQCT five times during our four month voyage. Four entering maneuvers took place at late night hours, while the departures took place mostly during day light, but in bad visibility due to dense fog or rain.

Our departure from the beginning of June and our last entering – at the end of June – took place during day time and in fair weather, offering me the opportunity to admire and photograph the maneuvers – approaching the pilot station, the sky-line of the city of Qingdao, berthing and un-berthing.

Entering Qingdao-Entering Qingdao –

Entering Qingdao

-Entering Qingdao –

Entering Qingdao

-Entering Qingdao –

Entering Qingdao – Entering Qingdao –

Most of the time – due to port congestion or dense fog – our vessel had to wait at anchorage in the outside harbour until the pilot was confirmed (the distance between the anchorage area and the pilot station is ~ 30 miles).

At the end of June, the port was closed for a few days due to very dense fog (with short periods of resuming cargo operations) and our vessel had to wait ~ 80 hours in the anchorage.

The vessel was always boarded by two pilots and the distance from Pilot Station to berth – ~ 7 miles – was covered in less than one hour.

Our vessels came starboard side alongside and a swing was performed upon departure – to port side or starboard side, depending on weather conditions – with the help of two tugs.

Entering Qingdao

Entering Qingdao

Entering Qingdao

Entering Qingdao

You can watch a time lapse video of the entering maneuver here.

   You can watch a time lapse video of the departure maneuver here.

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