Chinese ports, which continue to dominate the global shipping market, make the Chinese maritime market one of the world’s most important. The PRC owns over 2,000 ports, 130 of which are available to foreign ships. Due to China’s rapid economic development, the country’s seaports lead global rankings.
According to the World Shipping Council, many international ports in Asia rank above average in terms of growth, capacity, sales, and size. Four PRC ports are in the top five. Shanghai’s famous port is in the top position, with Singapore at number two. The Shenzhen, Ningbo, and Guangzhou ports follow, respectively.
Sea routes connect the Celestial Empire with a thousand port cities in one hundred countries around the world. China remains the EU's third-largest trading partner and a major provider of international maritime transport services. With 3 million square kilometers of coastal shelf and 18,000 kilometers of coastline, China enjoys a considerable geographic advantage. As a result, the country has been a leader in both sea cargo transportation as well as large and small shipping between ports.
“Transportation by sea has universal appeal, as it is suitable for the delivery of every type of cargo. For example, liquid and bulk, hazardous and refrigerated cargo can all be shipped this way. Due to the immense carrying capacity of container ships, heavy and oversized goods can all be accommodated. So can livestock, glass, steel coils, and other non-standard cargoes,” says Wei Boshui, a Forwarder in the AsstrA Operations Department’s Sea Freight Transportation Group. “The team from the Shanghai office responds promptly to each order. Over four years, we have helped our clients optimize their import and export supply chain management, simplify customs procedures, set up warehouse operations, and improve project insurance.”
In addition to the advantages of sea shipping, there is a downside. Compared to other delivery methods, this is a relatively slow mode of transport, since transit time also depends on weather conditions. However, in numerous projects where low unit prices are more important than fast delivery times, maritime supply chains are preferable. Therefore, wise clients choose a logistics provider that has close relationships with shipping lines as well as pre-carriage service offerings. This way, door-to-door services can all be available from one logistics operator.
“At the beginning of autumn, one of our clients approached our Shanghai office with an urgent order from Yantian to Klaipeda. At this time of year, cargo volumes increase significantly, space is extremely tight, and we need to confirm availability on a case-by-case basis. We tried our best to find space for our customer and guarantee on-time delivery by talking to every single agent we work with and looking everywhere on the market. However, the customer did not need to know what was going on “behind the curtain.” What mattered to them was peace of mind and being confident that the cargo would arrive safely on time, regardless of market fluctuations. That’s what we provide – and that’s why our customers come back to us and use our proven services again and again,” says Wei Boshui.