Shanghai may see 14% drop in TEUs
Shanghai's container throughput this year may drop 14 percent from 2008 to around 24 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) according to preliminary estimates, a government official said yesterday.
The city's container traffic is expected to be lower than last year's 28 million TEUs, Wang Hongquan, vice director of Shanghai Transport and Port Authority, said at a conference.
Shanghai's throughput in the first half of this year dropped 15.5 percent from a year ago to 11.7 million TEUs. He didn't provide figures for dry bulk throughput for 2009.
Container traffic in the first 11 months this year totaled 22.6 million TEUs, down 12.3 percent from the same period last year, according to Shanghai International Port Group.
The city's monthly throughput was 2.20 million TEUs, down 3.33 percent from a year ago, the smallest annual drop this year.
Shanghai was the world's second-busiest container port in 2008, behind rival Singapore which handled 29.9 million TEUs. The island state handled 15 percent fewer containers annually at 23.6 million TEUs in the first 11 months of this year, according to the Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore.
Shanghai handled 296 million tons of dry bulk goods in the first 11 months of this year, a 14 percent decline from a year ago.--(12/30)
The best routes, according to police
The best ways to go from the Oriental Pearl Tower to the Super Brand Mall, the Jinmao Tower, the Shanghai World Financial Center, Century Avenue and Pudong Road S.
The fastest ways to get to the SWFC, the Jinmao Towel, the Super Brand Mall and the Oriental Pearl Tower from the east.
As the downgrade ramp of Yincheng Road M. is still under construction and part of the road is blocked, drivers can turn around and detour at the intersection of Yincheng Road M. and Century Avenue, which is shown by the red line.
The starting point of the red line is also the Pudong exit of the Xinjian Road Tunnel.--(12/29)
Minpu is two bridges in one
The Minpu Bridge, the city's first two-deck bridge, is expected to be put into operation this week, constructors said over the weekend.
The bridge across the Huangpu River will cut travel times from downtown to suburbs, Pudong International Airport and the neighboring Zhejiang Province. It is the eighth bridge across the Huangpu River, and the first bridge connecting the airport and downtown.
The bridge, built especially for the 2010 World Expo, is about 3.9 kilometers long and the longest bridge of its type in the world. The upper deck is a 44-meter-wide, 8-lane highway, with a maximum speed limit of 120 kilometers per hour. It will be a part of the Pudong Airport Expressway, connecting Zhejiang and the airport.
The lower deck will be a 28-meter-wide, 6-lane road, with a speed limit of 60 kilometers per hour, to connect Minhang District along both banks of the Huangpu River.
The main tower of the bridge is H-shaped and 210 meters high, bridge designers said.
The bridge not only allowed a highway across the Huangpu River, but also saved on land and costs. Ma Biao, deputy chief engineer with the Shanghai Engineering Design General Institute, said the position available for such a bridge on the Huangpu River was rather limited, thus they considered putting the highway and the road together.
The cross section was designed as an inverted ladder shape, which saved steel, he said.--(12/28)
Ring roads open
The ring roads' Pudong leg will open to public traffic tonight. Pudong's Inner Ring Elevated Road and Middle Ring Elevated Road will open to the public about 10pm today.
Some ramps will open later because of unfinished construction. An elevated road connecting Pudong's Middle Ring Road with the Pudong International Airport will open at the same time.--(12/25)
Fudan first: scanned essays
For the first time, a local university has started to use anti-plagiarism software in its independent student-enrollment process.
Previously, the software has been used to detect plagiarism in graduation papers to deter rampant academic cheating on campus.
Now Fudan University is using the software to vet the work of prospective students who seek entry through a nationwide writing competition.
It's meant to serve as a backup, after the papers are read by a panel of professors
"The judges' panel have chosen about 90 finalists from 2,291 participants," said Ding Guanghong, Fudan's admissions director.
"But further machine filtering detected a questionable 3,000-word paper, with about 1,000 words copied or similar to others works," Ding said.
College entrance reforms give schools more freedom to choose students than before.
Talented students can show their individual qualities, instead of depending primarily on the national entrance exam. Universities can grant them early admission, even if their scores on the national exam are not the best.--(12/24)
Tomb-sweep peak crowds down 13%
More than 924,000 people went to visit their deceased family members' graves yesterday as tomb-sweeping hit its peak, as expected, on the Winter Solstice Day, said the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau.
The turnout was about 13 percent lower than last year, when the Winter Solstice was a Sunday.
"Considering that yesterday was a workday, the tomb-sweeping volume was impressive anyway," said an official surnamed Zheng, with the bureau's funeral-management division.
Originally, the past weekend was expected to be a heavy volume day for tomb-sweeping, but the chilly weather apparently kept many people at home. Over the weekend, around 678,000 went on a tomb-sweeping trip, said the bureau.
Although vehicle volume yesterday morning didn't show a remarkable rise, short-term traffic jams still appeared here and there, said the Shanghai Highway Administration.
From 6am to 11am, about 111,000 vehicles were on the highway, and some roads, such as the expressway from downtown to Jiading District, and a section of the Beijing-Shanghai expressway, experienced heavy traffic.
"The traffic jam, however, was not serious," said Dong Hui, an official with the administration.
Cemeteries said people are growing aware of avoiding the Winter Solstice grave-visiting peak. The Binhaiguyuan Cemetery in Fengxian District said fewer people came to the cemetery and fewer new tombs were set up than last year.
"We hope the two figures can still drop next year," said Zhao Xiaohu, general manager of the cemetery. --(12/23)
Help at sea
Shanghai maritime authorities yesterday set up a new emergency-response base in city's fast-growing Yangshan Deep-water Port area, off the East China Sea. A patrol boat, fastest in the city so far, will cut the emergency response time to 30 minutes from the current two hours, officials said.--(12/22)
The Shanghai Committee of the Chinese Youth League has launched a youth classic-literature reading project for students and white-collar workers.
Partnering with Shanghai International Interllectech Corporation, the project will feature lectures by scholars on weekends.--(12/21)
A frosty forecast for the weekend
The weekend will be chilly, with the mercury not expected to inch upward again until next week, weathermen said.
For the next four days, the minimum temperature will stay below freezing: 2 degrees Celsius below zero in downtown and 3 to 4 below in the suburbs, said Shanghai Meteorological Bureau yesterday.
"The cold front will still come down from the north for the weekend, thus we won't expect it will get warmer quickly," said Li Jinyu, a forecaster with the bureau.
Today the high temperature will be 5 degrees, dropping to 3 tomorrow.
The highs, however, will start rising on Monday, forecasters said. They expect a high of 8 degrees on Monday, rising gradually to 11 on Thursday.
"Beginning Thursday, the minimum temperature will be rise to over the freezing point at last," Li said.
The only good news is that sunny to cloudy weather will dominate the coming five days under the influence of the cold front. This will help relieve the expected traffic burden this weekend as tomb-sweeping hits its peak.--(12/19)