China’s Yangshan deepwater port in Shanghai is set to expand its annual throughput handling capacity with the addition of seven new berths in December, reports said.

The seven new berths, costing RMB12.8bn ($2bn) to build, will add 4m teu of capacity a year, with plans to further expand the capacity to 6.3m teu a year. The new berths will officially come on stream on 10 December this year, according to an official with Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG), cited by South China Morning Post.

Shanghai port, which houses the Yangshan deepwater port, is already the world’s busiest container port with an annual throughput of 37.13m teu in 2016.

“Shanghai is determined to stay ahead of the competition in terms of port development. Authorities and operators have been prioritising technologies and management to enhance the port of Shanghai’s international status,” Xiao Yingjie, president of the Merchant Marine College at the Shanghai Maritime University, was quoted as saying.

Yangshan harbour is equipped with some of the most technologically advanced cranes, lifts and carriers with the ability to swiftly load, discharge and tranship cargoes. As many as 130 automated guided vehicles (AGVs) will be deployed at the port.

Shanghai port first overtook Singapore in 2010 to become the busiest container port in the world. Most of the port’s activity served domestic trade and commerce, with only around 7.2% of the traffic is categorised as international transhipment.

In 2016, Shanghai municipality set a target for the port to achieve 15% for international transhipment by 2040.

China-based research house Shanghai International Shipping Institute (SISI) highlighted that container transhipment will help to boost throughput at ports, even though it cannot generate direct economic benefits. It added that transhipment ports will need to adopt price competitive approach and offer favourable rates to international transhipment containers, which is what Shanghai port is doing.