On March 9, Gao Xingfu, Deputy Governor of Zhejiang Province who holds concurrently the posts of Party Secretary and Director of the Zhejiang Provincial Sea and Port Development Committee, announced the official opening of the container liner route from Wenzhou Port to Southeast Asia. As a new bridge for Wenzhou to open its door to the outside world, the container liner route can shorten transport time and effectively reduce logistics costs as products made in Wenzhou can now be shipped directly from Wenzhou Port to Southeast Asia.
At 11 o’clock on yesterday morning, 121 containers fully loaded with light industrial products made in Wenzhou were lifted and placed on board the container liner “Haifeng Laem Chabang” for the maiden voyage from Wenzhou Port to Southeast Asia. At present, the vessel on the week-long container liner route will call at ports including Shanghai, Ningbo, Wenzhou, Xiamen in China, Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam, Bangkok and Laem Chabang in Thailand, and Manila in the Philippines. Transit services via the ports of Ho Chi Minh and Laem Chabang to 16 other ports in Southeast Asia including Sihanouk, Batangas, Jakarta, and Lycra are also available on the same route.
Wenzhou has been a vanguard at the forefront of China’s reform and opening up. With the in-depth implementation of the national “Belt and Road” Strategy, the City’s trade with the Southeast Asian countries has become increasingly frequent. Last year, Wenzhou’s exports and imports to ASEAN increased by 15.8% and 71.6% in volume. However, in the past, the city relied on transit services at Ningbo Port or other ports to ship goods to and from the Southeast Asian countries. As a result, the logistics costs were relatively higher and the transportation time relatively longer. After the opening of the direct container liner route, the average cost of transporting a container may be reduced by 100 to 150 US dollars, suggesting the significant overall benefits as there is no more detour. According to reports, the new route may enhance the developmental vitality of Wenzhou Port, make Wenzhou more closely related to ASEAN and other economies. Therefore, it will play a positive role in further strengthening and upgrading Wenzhou Port, and accelerating the optimization of the Province’s port development layout .
Zhang Geng, Deputy Secretary of the Wenzhou Municipal Party Committee and Mayor of Wenzhou, said that the opening of the first container liner route between southern Zhejiang and Southeast Asian countries has provided Wenzhou with a more convenient, efficient and low-cost logistics channel for foreign trade and it will surely put the development of the bilateral trade on the “fast lane”. As the rise of the Port will lead to the boom of the city, the municipal government vows to fully support Wenzhou Port to seize the opportunity and take advantage of the situation to speed up its integration into the overall development of the ports in Zhejiang Province.
Officials from the Provincial Sea and Port Development Committee, and the Zhejiang Seaport Investment and Operation Group as well as Deputy Mayor Chen Jianming also attended the maiden voyage ceremony.