2nd channel of Grand Canal's Hangzhou section now navigable
The first boats enter the second channel of the Hangzhou section of the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal. [Photo/hangzhou.com.cn]
Around 9 am on July 18, with the sound of a whistle, 16 cargo ships divided into two groups and set sail from the Babao Ship Lock, heading towards the Qiantang River and the second channel of the Hangzhou section of the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal.
This marked the opening of navigation on the second channel of the Hangzhou section of the canal.
Captain Zhu Guirong of the Zhejiang Jiaxing Cargo Ship 02358 has been navigating these waters for 20 years. This time, his ship led the way into the inland river through the Babao Ship Lock.
"Traveling from Jiaxing to Hangzhou via the canal is now at least six to seven hours quicker," Zhu said. In the past, when shipping goods through the old canal, during peak seasons, it would take seven to 10 days of waiting at the Sanbao Ship Lock to enter the inland river.
The captain couldn't contain his excitement, saying, "I have witnessed history!"
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