China Creates a Bright Future For Freight Forwarding

Despite the global slowdown, China managed to show impressive growth in its logistics and freight transport infrastructure in 2009, according to the China Logistics Development Report 2010. This is a beacon of hope in a freight forwarding industry that has faced challenging times recently due to the difficult economic conditions worldwide. In particular, China has suffered from a decline in demand for Chinese imports in the United States, Europe and Japan. However, the long term prospects for China and international freight transport look promising, when seen as part of a long term trend and in the light of current levels of investment in freight services infrastructure.

The total figure for all logistics activity in China was nearly Yuan 90 trillion, which is more than four times the figure in 2000, showing growth right across the country.Investment by both the state and the private sector in freight transport infrastructure projects has given rise to new airports, railway stations, roads, container ports and logistics centres that set a new standard worldwide and have created advantage for shipping companies and freight services companies.

Examples of the steps forward to create a better future for freight forwarding in China include the new sea-rail inter modal service called the Coastal Express which has been set up by the Shanghai 国际海运物流 Railway Administration, Ningbo Port group and China Railway Container Transport Corp.. The service runs between Ningbo Beilun Port Area Station and Wenzhou West, running at 100 km/ hr and making the journey in less than four hours.

Indeed, rail is expected to become China’s most high profile freight transport mode in the coming years as China embraces high speed rail transport. This is now the subject of considerable government investment and many a shipping company and freight company are keeping a close eye on the developments. A Beijing scheme to build high speed links across the country will free up existing lines for freight transport, reducing freight forwarding costs for bulk cargo.

An example of this is the upgrade of the railway link between Jinhua and Wenzhou, which is to be upgraded to a high speed link over the next four years, with speeds reaching 200km/hr.

Meanwhile, the 189km Jinhua-Wenzhou line is exceeding its original projections for freight transport and is one of the most profitable joint venture railways in China.

For air freight transport too, there are many improvements happening right now in China.

FedEx has launched a new domestic transfer centre for freight services at Hangzhou Airport and UPS plans to create an Asia-Pacific transfer centre at Shenzhen Airport. What’s more, a new airport to be established at Kunming will create a major hub for international freight transport to South East Asia.

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