Innovation and Development as the Port of Yokohama Marks 160 Years

The Port of Yokohama opened to the world in 1859 and has endured as a symbol of harmonization between Western and Eastern cultures.

Rapidly advancing through the 21st century, the Port of Yokohama has realized many enhancements while establishing plans for significant new development. These plans will offer closer synergy between the port and the city of Yokohama, a new cruise terminal and the development of an LNG bunkering site.

Located in eastern Japan, the Port of Yokohama is conveniently located at the entrance of Tokyo Bay and is geographically positioned as the first port of call for westbound vessels and the last port of call for eastbound vessels in the trans-Pacific trade routes.

The Port of Yokohama offers five major complexes that accommodate various cargos including containers, breakbulk, dry bulk, automobiles, Ro-Ro and LNG. The port is also a central location serving inbound and outbound cruise lines and passengers.
Port of Yokohama is proudly ranked 45th for world container ports.

Terminal Facilities and Development

Port and logistics facilities are concentrated around Honmoku Pier, Daikoku Pier and Minami Honmoku Pier. Honmoku Pier is the largest in the country, providing a 16m depth quay and the ability to service large size container vessels exceeding 10,000 TEU.

To meet the demand of increasing trade volume and larger size vessels, cargo-handling capabilities have been upgraded and port facilities have been gradually expanded toward the sea.

The Port of Yokohama facilities now range from Sakai canal, which borders with Port of Kawasaki, through the Tsurumi area in the Keihin Industrial Zone and Negishi Bay, to Hakkei Island. The total port area is 10,148 hectares, including a 2,863-hectare waterfront area.

Future development will see container operations presently located at Daikoku Pier moving to Honmoku Terminal, allowing Daikoku Pier to become a dedicated Ro-Ro terminal. Construction of Minami Honmoku Pier – labelled MC-4 – is currently underway and on schedule to be completed by 2020 to support increased container cargo volumes. The MC 1,2, and 3 terminals – offering a water depth at the quays of 18m – are now in operation.

Future developments will focus on the container market while maintaining respect for the life of the city, ensuring that people can both enjoy living and visiting our beautiful port city.

Cruise Offerings

Port of Yokohama is planning to move its logistic operations from the Yamashita Pier, located closer to the city, to the outer harbour areas such as Honmoku Pier, Minami Honmoku Pier and Daikoku Pier. This will enable transformation of the inner harbour area into cruise terminals or MICE (Meeting, Incentives, Conferencing, Exhibitions, a new type of tourism), providing parks, restaurants and shopping centres.

Port of Yokohama serves as a gateway to the greater Tokyo area and has welcomed a substantial numbers of cruise ships. Lying 11 nautical miles closer to the Pacific than Tokyo Port, it allows cruise ships to save on pilotage and fuel while allowing passengers to spend a greater amount of time sightseeing.

As the port is conveniently located in the heart of Yokohama, shopping and tourist destinations are only a short walk away. Public transportation offers easy access to Tokyo, while Mount Fuji and Kamakura are ideal day trip destinations.

Sustainability – LNG Bunkering and Environmental Responsibility

Geographically the ports of Yokohama and Kawasaki are ideally located to serve as the first or last bunkering points on the Asian side of the trans-Pacific trade route. With the IMO regulated global sulphur cap becoming effective as of January 1st 2020, more and more vessel owners are converting from conventional fuel to LNG. In addition to vessel owners, the entire industry including ports need to be ready to meet this regulation.

Japan being the number-one import country of LNG provides a unique opportunity to meet this challenge as Tokyo bay alone has five LNG terminals. Negishi Terminal is the closest and most accessible to the Port of Yokohama.

In 2016, The Ministry of Infrastructure, Land and Transport of Japan formed the International LNG Bunkering Focus Group with a number of overseas authorities including the Maritime Port Authority of Singapore. To date, the number of participants has grown to 12, with other members being Port of Rotterdam, Port of Zeebrugge, Port of Antwerp, Norwegian Maritime Authority, Port of Marseille, Port of Jacksonville, Port of Vancouver, Port of Ulsan and Suez Canal Economic Zone Authority.

In preparation for this new era, worldwide networks are being strengthened. Representing Port of Yokohama, YKIP joined the multi-sector industry coalition SEA\LNG to support the transition to LNG as a marine fuel. YKIP also participated, together with other ports of Europe and North America, as a Working Group of IAPH in development of the “Audit Tool” (more detail will be presented during Session 3 “Ports Perspectives” on October 24) on LNG bunkering safety.

Plans are in development for the next stage of LNG bunkering with a goal of developing a ship-to-ship bunkering operation by 2020. A joint venture among YKIP and two other partners was established, on November 5th 2018, to build and operate the first LNG bunkering barge in Tokyo Bay by 2020.

Since 2015, the Port of Yokohama has been supporting a truck-to-ship LNG bunkering operation for the tugboat ‘Sakigake’, Japan’s first LNG-fuelled vessel.

In support of environmental sustainability the Port of Yokohama offers a discount on port fees to vessels which are considered an eco-ship according to either the IAPH Environmental Ship Index or Green Award Foundation certification.

Port of Yokohama in the 21st century

The Port of Yokohama is prepared for, and dedicated to, embracing the challenges and change required of world class ports of the 21st century. Building on 160 years of experience will inspire the port to be more humble and more creative while endeavouring to make the Port of Yokohama a global beacon of excellence.