Annual cargo throughput surpassed 1 billion tonnes again at Port Ningbo Zhoushan in east China’s Zhejiang Province in 2018, the Port operator said Tuesday.

This makes the port the first in the world to exceed such volume. The annual container throughput at the port has hit a record high of 26 million standard containers ranking among the top three ports in the world, according to the Port Ningbo Zhoushan Group.

By the end of 2018, the port had launched three new sea routes to raise its total to 246. Meanwhile, it has deepened cooperation with major international shipping alliances, including the 2M Alliance and the Ocean Alliance.

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Strong growth has also been posted in the port’s sea-rail transport services, which link the port by railway with other parts of China. In 2018, the port opened nine new sea-rail transport routes and China’s first double-deck container sea-rail cargo service.

The sea-rail transport services at the port handled more than 600,000 standard containers in 2018, a year-on-year increase of over 50 percent.

Port Ningbo Zhoushan, which lies at the meeting point of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, is the busiest port in China.