YANTAI Port, the city's main marine facility, is expanding its capacity to cope with increasing demand.
Some foreign investors have found the facilities inadequate and have chosen to use the ports of Qingdao and Weihai.
''There is limited freight service between Yantai and Hong Kong, so I sometimes need to transport goods by road to Qingdao and use the port there,'' said a Hong Kong businessman.
But Port of Yantai Authority general economic engineer and director's assistant Yang Yusheng disagreed with claims that the facility was inadequate.
He said that every week up to 10 freight services sailed between Yantai and Hong Kong, 10 between the port and Japan, and two to South Korea.
About 30 per cent of Yantai's trade was done using ports outside the city, he said.
Yantai has 23 berths, of which nine are of 10,000 tonnes or more. Last year, it handled shipments of about 11.9 million tonnes, of which foreign trade accounted for about half.
''There is difference between us and a modern international port,'' Mr Yang said. ''Much work has to be done.
''We have been developing very rapidly, although our scale is smaller than Qingdao and Dalian.'' Yantai is building six deep-water berths, adding capacity of 3.4 million tonnes. The 438 million yuan (about HK$390 million) project, funded by state loans and city resources, is expected to be completed in 1996, when work will start on another seven deep-water berths with capacity of 3.5 million tonnes. In all, investment will top one billion yuan.
It is expected that in 2020, the port will have 58 berths, including 43 deep-water berths, generating an annual throughput of more than 30 million tonnes.