China’s transport regulators have bolstered steps to resume the smooth flow of logistics across the country, providing sufficient supplies for people and enterprises to areas hit by the novel coronavirus, officials said on Thursday.
Air logistics has gradually resumed with the number of weekly cargo flights maintaining steady growth, Liang Nan, director of the department of transport of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, said at an online news conference.
From April 18 to 24, China operated 5,250 cargo flights, an increase of 3.8 percent compared with the week before. Among them, 3,724 were international cargo flights, an increase of 4.1 percent compared with the number of flights handled the previous week, she said.
Major international air hubs operating normally include Beijing Capital, Shenzhen Baoan and Zhengzhou Xinzheng international airports. Shanghai Pudong International Airport has recovered quickly to handle international cargo flights.
In the recent week, Shanghai Pudong International Airport handled 3,972 metric tons of cargo and mail every day, an increase of 37 percent compared with early April. Some 2,173 tons of mail and cargo were transported out of the airport, an increase of 170 percent compared with the beginning of April. The airport handled 3,339 truck trips every day, an increase of 39 percent compared with the early days of this month, according to official data.
The international financial and logistics hub of Shanghai has been one of the hardest-hit regions during the latest COVID-19 outbreak. The stringent measures to contain the virus in Shanghai and nearby regions initially clogged up truck routes in the airport area, delayed imported cargo transfers and obstructed goods pick-up.
To tackle the logistics bottleneck, green channels have been established to transport specially needed materials such as imported semiconductor chips.
Strict COVID-19 curbs have also prompted road closures and hurt trucking services in many regions across the country in recent weeks.
To address the issue, the Ministry of Transport promoted the use of nationally recognized traffic permits on the roads. Twenty-four provinces have adopted the use of such permits for truckers. The permit has a unified format, is recognized by local governments, is easy to apply for and is valid at all checkpoints, said Zhou Min, deputy head of the emergency response office from the Ministry of Transport.
Other measures have been adopted such as establishing a “white list” for truckers, building more logistics transfer hubs, and setting up a system for trusted key industrial and supply chain enterprises, according to the ministry.