Industrial Ulsan

By , April 5, 2012 11:52 am

Just this past week it feels like spring might be here. Might. Just maybe.  While the end of March was warm, the first week of April turned bitter cold and windy again.  It’s usually warmer than this in April. Anyway, I took advantage of a decent Saturday afternoon and rode the bicycle out to the coast.  This time, I took the industrial section and rode along side the Hyundai Motors automobile factory.  With a few other, smaller factories in the middle, it then runs along side Hyundai Heavy Industries, which is the massive shipyards.  It’s really tough to portray through pictures the awesome perspective of this place, where factories sprawl for miles on end.  But, being the geek that I am, I am inclined to try.  First, my route, as outlined by Endomono, the application I use on my phone to track my cycling workout. It uploads my path to the internet so I can see where I am, or like now, where I was.

my route, from home on the left. About 38km but with some serious hills on the southern end

I’ve marked on the map the four spots where I took photos.


The first place I stopped has always fascinated me. This is the loading area for Hyundai Motors, where the 1000s of cars they churn out every week are loaded onto ships for destinations around the world.  These ugly-ass, boxy ships are floating parking garages.  They are strictly car carriers and move, depending on size, from 1,200 to 8,000 cars per trip.  Hyundai Motors is  #4  in car production behind Toyota, GM and Volkswagon.

A Eukor vessel being loaded at the factory's seaside gate

teams of men drive cars in an endless stream onto the ship

While this ship is being loaded, other ships await their turn. I travel past this point on my motorcycle regularly and every day a different ship or sets are in port getting loaded. The number of cars  loaded and shipped seems mathematically  astronomical.

Three more ships wait in line to load cars


Meanwhile, across the highway from the bike path, the Hyundai parking lot is jammed with 1000s more autos, each awaiting their turn to being carried off. Although there really are a disproportionate number of white cars, this photo only makes it appear they ALL are white. Protective covering is laid on to hoods and tops and even parts of the sides to keep the sea salt and industrial pollutants in the area from tarnishing the vehicles before they ever hit the showroom.

This is a panorama view, so run your mouse across the image to slide it left and right.

Since this was a Saturday, traffic was fairly light. So was the bike traffic on which I rode. On a week day morning or evening, the paths are filled with bicycle-riding factory workers.


Just around the corner from the car factory, the shipyard sprawl begins.  Just beside the bike and walking path, enormous sections of hulls line the way.

A large hull section is waiting to be placed in a berth

The ships are assembled in chunks, with each chunk being built in smaller covered buildings and then carried by massive cranes to berths where they are welded, bolted, glued and otherwise attached to form a ship.

The berths, beyond this building, are where ships are laid out in chunks and assembled


To get those hull sections into place takes some massive gear. Enormous cranes carry hull sections, equipment and workers    around these incredibly large structures. Even on a Saturday, this place was bustling with workers, small trucks, jeeps, forklifts and equipment cranes.

These smaller cranes service the ships that are in for repairs or modification

These cranes, however, are the largest in the world, carrying 1,600 tons each as they drop hull sections into place




They didn’t really like me taking photos. In this panorama, the security guard tried to wave me off and tell me I wasn’t allowed to photograph. Being the butthead that I am, I merely told him I was on a public road. High walls surround other parts of the shipyard, but the truck traffic in and out at this gate is just too much to deal with to have large gates open and close constantly. I took a few shots and then rode on.

This still photo panorama was belies the amount of activity going on here. Trucks, scooters, forklifts and people swarm the area as raw materials are brought in, unloaded, stored and ships are built.

On the far southern tip, a huge sea wall encloses large parts of the shipyard. Partially for protection from the weather, partially to keep out prying eyes (like mine) and partially to just keep the sea out, the walls form a huge ring for miles. Just another public road at this point, as fishermen are plentiful on the seaward side, where large numbers of ships await business in port.

I rode a long way on this seawall. That's a lot of concrete.

Outside the seawall, Koreans fish while ships wait their turn in port.

Inside the seawall, more huge hull sections line the path as they await the cranes that will place them in a berth

I could have ridden for hours longer around this place, but I was 20km from home and the afternoon was getting cool. I took my photos and headed back around the peninsula, back adjacent to the car factory and across the river to home. A relatively short ride, but I hope to get some truly epic rides in this summer.

Comments are closed

Panorama Theme by Themocracy