I visited Incheon Coastal Passenger Terminal in Jung-gu, Incheon on August 24, 2022. The Incheon Coastal Passenger Terminal building is divided into Ongjin and Jeju. As the name suggests, Ongjin connects the Yeonan Passenger Terminal with various islands in Incheon, including Daeijakdo, Gulupdo, and Baengnyeongdo, and the trip to Jeju connects Incheon and Jeju.
After the Ferry Sewol disaster in 2014, no passengers were found in the building bound for Jeju. After the Ferry Sewol disaster, the license of Cheonghaejin Shipping, which operated Ferry Sewol (6825t) and Ohamana (6322t), was revoked. Since then, it has been necessary to find a new operator, but as the demand for passengers on the ferry has also decreased, there have been a series of cases in which public corporations and private passengers have given up their operations. In 2016, the Incheon Regional Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Agency failed to meet the evaluation standard score (80 points) due to creditworthiness and old age. In the 2018 re-public offering, Daejeo Construction was selected as a business operator and eventually gave up its operation due to dock operations. Only after re-publicizing the business in November 2019 did the Incheon Maritime Administration select Heidex Storage as the Incheon-Jeju route operator. The company held a launching ceremony for the Beyond Trust in December 2021 and began operations.
The key is whether passenger demand will increase, but Beyond Trust is still cruising. The number of passengers increased from only 3,919 in January 2022 to 4,133 (May), 5,940 (June), and 7009 (July). Cargo shipments, including vans, also recorded 17,194 tons in June alone and exceeded 20,000 tons in July. The target of more than 100,000 passengers per year does not seem feasible.
On the day the reporter visited, there was a long line in front of the gate when the check-in began at 5:40 p.m. at the passenger terminal. Passengers explain that the increase in rental car costs on Jeju Island is the reason why they got on the ship. It is cheaper to go to Jeju Island with my car than to rent a rental car in Jeju Island. For example, the average cost of renting a mid-sized car in Jeju Island is 170,000 won to 210,000 won per day during the peak season. This is nearly twice as high as before the spread of COVID-19. You have to pay an additional premium here. On the other hand, the cost of traveling to Jeju with a medium-sized car on the Beyond Trust is 520,000 won, so it is cheaper than a rental car when you stay in Jeju for more than three days.
Han Kyu (57), who met at the passenger terminal, said, “I heard that the price of a rental car in Jeju Island is expensive these days. I thought it would be more economical to just ride my own car because I was going to take a long vacation and stay in Jeju Island for a long time.” Kim Wang-ho (46) also said, “I wanted to ride my car when I was moving because rental cars can cause a lot of problems.” 제주도 놀거리
For the Beyond Trust to continue cruising in the future, safety issues must be addressed. The Beyond Trust stopped due to engine problems in January 2022 and was not able to operate again until May, 100 days later. On August 6, an abnormal phenomenon was detected, and the departure time was delayed by seven hours. In response, a Hydex Storage official said, “We are most concerned with safety when operating the Beyond Trust. “There have been some abnormalities, but all of them have completed safety measures,” he said.