Yoon attends opening of new automated terminal at Busan New Port

April 5, 2024

President Yoon Suk Yeol attended the opening ceremony for a new automated terminal at Busan New Port on Friday, pledging to turn the port into a global logistics hub and extend full support to the shipping industry.

The seventh container terminal, located in Changwon, 298 kilometers southeast of Seoul, is the first fully automated terminal in the country, with automated transfers of cargo from ships to containers, raising productivity by up to 20 percent compared with other ports and lowering the risk of safety-related accidents, according to the presidential office.

The New Port sits on land straddling both Busan and Changwon.

“I promise you here that I will push the port and shipping industries to a new level,” Yoon said during the ceremony. “I will turn Busan Port into a world-class smart port and make our port and shipping industries the best in the world.”

In particular, Yoon promised to extend the tonnage taxation system, under which shipping companies pay taxes based on the net tonnage of their fleet, rather than their profits, making the tax burden lighter than when paying corporate taxes.

The shipping industry has called for extending the tonnage system ahead of its scheduled expiry at the end of the year.

Additionally, Yoon pledged 5.5 trillion won (US$4.07 billion) in government funding for national shipping companies to help them expand their fleet and make them environment-friendly.