Maersk carries out its first international relay shipments in China

Photo Credit: A.P. Moller – Maersk

Maersk announced today that implemented successfully an international cargo relay in China, being the first foreign company to do so. 

With 27 containers from Vancouver, Canada, being loaded onto the container vessel ”Merete Maersk”, the first batch of Chinese coastal relay of international cargo from a foreign carrier started its last leg of ocean transportation, en-route from Shanghai’s Yangshan terminal to Tianjin.

In a statement Maersk mentions that this move marks a milestone in China’s opening of its cabotage market to foreign carriers.

The CEO of A.P. Moller-Maersk, Soren Skou, said that Maersk is the first foreign company that successfully implements international cargo relay in China.

Transshipment in Shanghai allows the company to improve services through optimised networks and could also address some of the factors behind the bottlenecks in Chinese supply chains, shortening transit times, reducing emissions and freeing up additional capacity for the customers, the chief executive said today. 

The breakthrough in Yangshan is a result of the China State Council’s 2019 overall plan to boost the development of the international shipping center in Shanghai. In November 2021, China’s Ministry of Transport announced that international cargo relay would be allowed on a trial until the end of 2024. Based on third country reciprocity conditions and meeting several additional criteria, qualified carriers can use its owned vessels to carry out international cargo relay between Shanghai Yangshan and northern Chinese ports, including Dalian, Tianjin and Qingdao.

In China, international cargo relay shipments between two Chinese ports have historically been considered cabotage and therefore strictly prohibited for foreign carriers. Instead, these carriers use Busan, Singapore and other international ports for transshipment. As it is mentioned by the company, this initiative can also strengthen Shanghai’s role as an international maritime center, with more throughput and revenue occurred. The network optimization and shorter transit time will also reduce the CO2 footprint of the ocean transport involved.

Source: A.P. Moller – Maersk

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