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Maersk's cold chain express makes debut at SPG

|chinadaily.com.cn |Updated: June 19, 2020

The Hansa Coburg container ship, with a TEU (20-foot equivalent unit) capacity of 612, docked at Shandong Port Group's (SPG) Qingdao Port on June 13 after calling at Hochiminh Port, Port of Hong Kong and Dalian Port. The voyage signified that Maersk's new direct import route for cold chain transport started its maiden voyage.

It is the second cold chain route that SPG has opened recently after SITC Shipping Group's Southeast Asian cold chain express was launched May 3, as SPG has been ramping up efforts to promote its shift from being a port handling product cargo to a comprehensive port handling both consumption and product cargo. This transition will help to build a low-cost, efficient import logistics thoroughfare connecting Southeast Asian routes with China's Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) demonstration zone, which is of great immediate significance in stabilizing foreign trade, stimulating consumption and satisfying the daily needs of people living in Qingdao and Shandong. These changes will  boost the high-quality development of bilateral cooperation between Shandong and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries. 

The trend toward deglobalization has deepened due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. To prevent risks created by complicated supply chains, regional trade cooperation has gained more attention in the post-epidemic world, and the significance of the Belt and Road Initiative as a multilateral organization to promote win-win cooperation across the globe has become even greater.

Trade cooperation between China and ASEAN is growing. In the first five months of 2020, ASEAN became China's biggest trade partner, with total trade volume of 1.7 trillion yuan ($240 billion), representing a 4.2 percent increase, according to data released by the General Administration of Customs.

SPG actively followed the new opportunities presented by changes in the international logistics chain caused by the pandemic's impact. With the launch of cold chain express services, it has regained full strength to boost the upgrading of cold chain logistics and accelerate building a consumption distribution center in North China.

Serving as Maersk's direct import service in cold chain transport, this new route will directly deliver products from Hochiminh Port in Vietnam to Dalian and Qingdao. Various kinds of fruit and seafood imported from Southeast Asia, including dragon fruit, bananas and fish fillets can be shipped to Qingdao in only five days. Meanwhile, routes linking China and Vietnam will operate every Tuesday and Saturday to offer more options for customers to export products.

Recently, the national economy has evolved from being producer-controlled to consumer-controlled, from production-driven to consumption-driven. Facing this new trend and opportunity, SPG has set out to play a bigger role in North China through building a consumption distribution center. By doing so, it will promote economic and social development, improve residents’ consumption ability to satisfy supply and demand, unleash further consumption potential, and activate new drivers in the market.

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