More cargo ships from the Chinese mainland heading to Europe have been transiting via Kaohsiung port in Taiwan in recent years, workers at the port said on Monday.
"More and more freighters are running from the Chinese mainland to Europe," Jack Wu, a 50-year-old pilot at the port, said while helping to navigate the MV Cosco Netherlands container ship on Monday.
"One hundred freighters reach our port every day, nearly 30 percent of which travel along that route," he said, adding that numbers increased after the Belt and Road Initiative was launched at the end of 2013.
Kaohsiung port, the largest in Taiwan, is in the southwest of the island.
Wu said 70 percent of the ships along the route are big vessels full of cargo.
"More ships stopping here means more profit for our port," he said. "As a result, not only our port, but all ports along the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road benefit."
Wang Lin, chief officer of the MV Cosco Netherlands, said nearly 1,000 standard containers would be loaded during the eight-hour stop at Kaohsiung.
"It's expected electronic devices like personal computers and smartphones will be the main products loaded this time," he said.
The 5-year-old ship can carry more than 13,000 standard containers.
An agent at Kaohsiung port who declined to be named said 60 to 70 percent of all nonlocal ships at the port are from the Chinese mainland.
"If those ships from the mainland didn't stop in Kaohsiung, our port would look deserted," he said.