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Shanghai operated import-substi- na’s second largest port at port city, Tianjin, are the two most helped soften the blow of the glo-
tution schemes as if they were sepa- Shenzhen. The PRD depends on important cogs in a third economic bal financial crisis for the industry.
rate countries. Unravelling this tan- exports and thus experienced a region, the Bohai Rim, that pros-
gled mess has been a major chal- sharper reduction in growth than pers from trade with nearby Japan Precipitous fall
lenge for Beijing, which often has every other region in the country and South Korea. Container traffic growth - a huge
to deal with intransigent local offi- during the financial crisis. In addi- Inland China has long lagged component of China’s economic
cials and widespread corruption. tion, rising labour costs have caused behind the coastal region in eco- miracle - fell precipitously during
In the meantime, many of some producers to look elsewhere nomic terms, even after the gov- the financial crisis, the report notes,
China’s economic regions have as a base for operations. ernment’s “Go West” strategy re- particularly in Shenzhen.
established closer economic ties Nonetheless, the PRD is not ceived official endorsement nearly Other ports in China were
with foreign countries than with expected to lose its status as Chi- a decade ago, but, the CIO report only slightly less battered, causing
each other. na’s pre-eminent economic en- says, there are signs this may be Beijing to step up its promotion
gine anytime soon, the report says. changing. South West China has of domestic consumption as well
Export dependent Further up the coast is Shang- greatly upgraded its transport in- as trade with other developing
The most economically prosper- hai, the nation’s largest city and the frastructure and has sought deeper economies. Despite seeing consid-
ous of these regions is the Pearl home of the Yangtze River Delta, ties with South East Asian nations,
Like most container terminals in the Pearl River Delta Shekou Container
erable improvement in volumes
River Delta (PRD), abutting China’s second key economic re- with which China has established
Terminal relies on exports and was hit hard by the global economic slowdown
over 2009, shippers and terminal
Hong Kong and including Chi- gion. The capital, Beijing, and its extensive economic cooperation. operators are still expressing cau-
The resource-rich provinces in ter several years of operation in tion at rising levels of unemploy-
the far west are critical to China’s the Philippines. ment in the US and remain wary
supply of natural gas and crude oil, Elsewhere, a new airport in the that jobless recovery might not be
much of which flows from the cen- south-western provincial capital of the silver lining everyone was hop-
tral Asian nations to its west, while Kunming, scheduled to open this ing for as 2009 drew to a close.
North East China, the region once year, will be a major freight hub The report says that China’s
known as Manchuria, has become for South Asia, South East Asia, and most high-profile transport mode
China’s gateway to a resurgent South West China. in the coming years may well be
Russia, with dry ports such as The report notes that road lo- rail, the subject of enormous gov-
Manzhouli benefiting greatly from gistics firms in China buckled un- ernment investment. A Beijing-led
the rapprochement between the der the weight of price fluctuations scheme to build high-speed rail
two former adversaries. in crude oil, a phenomenon that networks across China will free up
plagued the world economy for existing lines for freight transport,
Modernisation moves much of 2008, while a new fuel reducing logistics costs for bulk and
Even without greater domestic ag- tax law passed by the Chinese gov- other cargoes.
glomeration, the report says that ernment and implemented in Janu- The high-speed network also
China’s economic integration with ary 2009 has brought renewed pres- will facilitate development of Chi-
its neighbours and the world be- sure on the industry. na’s interior, as cities thousands of
yond indicates recognition of the On the other hand, a reduction kilometres from the coast will soon
importance of a vibrant, modern in inter-provincial tolls augurs well become linked to major ports via
logistics industry. In each major for greater economic integration the new intermodal network.
facet of the industry, government and higher fuel taxes are likely to In conclusion, the report says
investment has accelerated logistics encourage road haulage providers that in contrast to some of the more
development, with consequences to begin using more fuel-efficient optimistic pronouncements ema-
certain to outlast the present eco- vehicles, the report says. nating from the global media, there
nomic malaise. China’s express delivery sector is reason to suspect that the global
In air transport, FedEx has likewise suffered from declining de- economic slowdown will persist
launched a new domestic trans- mand from the developing world, well into 2010 with many predic-
fer centre at Hangzhou Airport, as the major industry players all re- tions indicating that recovery will
a key hub city in the Yangtze ported a net profit drop in their Q3 be a largely jobless one in the US,
River Delta region, while its main and Q4 2008 financial reports at least in the interim period. Nev-
rival, UPS, plans to establish an stretching in to 2009. However, the ertheless, the long-term outlook
Asia-Pacific transfer centre at rise of the e-commerce industry - for China’s logistics industry re-
Shenzhen Airport in the PRD af- and its star company Taobao - mains unquestionably bright. ❏
Port traffic on the up again
Xiamen, Zhanjiang and the river
ports of Jiangyin on the Yangtze
and Huizhou in the Pearl River
Delta joined the ranks of Chinese
ports with an annual throughput
of 100 mt or more last year, boost-
ing their number to 20.
A Shanghai government official
said river transport is one of the
focuses of the Ministry of Trans-
Welcome to the World of Advanced Brake Technology
portation. Beijing plans to increase
traffic on tributaries of the Yangtze
and Xijiang rivers and the Beijing-
Hangzhou Canal this year and sup-
The Port of Huizhou on the Dong River in the Pearl River Delta is one of the
latest Chinese ports to record a throughput of over 100 mt a year
port the development of Wuhan export orders in the lead up to the
and Chongqing as shipping hubs. Chinese New Year in mid-Febru-
A Ministry official said ary strained capacity at the port.
throughput at China’s ports would Throughput at Shenzhen, Chi-
reach 125M TEU this year, up 2% na’s second-largest container port,
on the 2009 figure, as the coun- rose 2.2% year on year to 1.8m
try’s trade gradually recovers. To- TEU in January, while Ningbo, the
tal throughput is estimated to country’s fourth-largest port, saw
grow 13% to 7.8Bt. growth of 19.9% to 968,000 TEU.
China’s exports jumped 21% to ● The Shanghai government has
US$109.47B in January this year - revealed that the China State Ad-
a growth rate that was back to pre- ministration of Taxation and
financial crisis levels - while imports China Customs have devised an
soared 85.5% to US$95.31B com- export tax rebate scheme, which
pared to January 2009. But econo- will start a trial run in the Yangshan
mists say it is too early to celebrate port area of Shanghai.
a solid recovery. At present, cargo originating
China also overtook Germany in China can only receive tax re-
to become the world’s largest ex- funds after reaching its destination,
porter last year, when it shipped causing many shippers to choose
US$1.2 trillion worth of goods transhipment through Pusan in
overseas, beating Germany’s South Korea to speed up repay-
US$1.1 trillion. ments. The new policy will
The robust January trade was shorten exporters’ waiting time,
reflected in throughput at China’s said Shanghai Urban Construc-
major ports. Volumes at Shanghai, tion and Transportation Commis-
the country’s largest port, rose sion spokesman Shen Xiaosu.
17.9% year on year to 2.24M TEU, Wen Xuexiang, deputy direc-
although this was 6.5% lower than tor of Shanghai Customs, said the
in December 2009. new measure could attract around
Shanghai’s overall cargo vol- 3M TEU/year from northern
umes rose 59.4% year on year to China, which previously went
37mt in January, its highest monthly through Pusan, to tranship over
throughput ever, but the surge in Shanghai. ❏
26 February 2010
26_pos30_WCN_Feb.indd 1 01/03/2010 20:57:03
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