With nearly three decades of experience as a trailer driver at Tianjin Port, Cheng Weidong has witnessed a transformative evolution in his job and the port itself. The incorporation of AI transportation robots has enhanced efficiency, allowing for the more swift and seamless transportation, loading, and unloading of goods from around the globe.
“In the past, a skilled trailer driver could only transport a few hundred tonnes of cargo a day. Today, goods from all over the world can be transported, loaded and unloaded much more efficiently owing to the intelligent port construction,” Cheng remarked.
Tianjin Port, home to the world’s first smart zero-carbon terminal and a demonstration area of port autonomous driving, stands as a testament to China’s shipping industry’s dynamism. This sector, marked by innovation and enhanced efficiency, has not only propelled global industrial chains but also contributed significantly to economic growth.
CONNECTING THE WORLD
The recently held Tianjin International Shipping Industry Expo 2023 aimed to further boost the development of the global shipping industry and marine economy. Jin Yu Cheong, Head of Baltic Asia, highlighted China’s leading position in the maritime world, acknowledging the country’s impressive advancements.
The Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Center Development Index Report indicates a significant rise in the Asia-Pacific region’s shipping centers over the past decade. As international shipping industry centers have shifted eastward, Chinese port cities like Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Qingdao now rank among the top international shipping centers, ensuring the stability of global supply chains.
Shanghai Port, leading in container throughput for 13 consecutive years, and the Port of Ningbo Zhoushan, with 300 shipping routes, including 248 international routes, contribute to China’s achievements in shipping, shaping the future of global trade.
BENEFITING THE WORLD
In Tianjin Dongjiang Free Trade Port Area, a container carrying wine from Italy arrives, marking another successful international trade transaction. The positive market response to imported Italian wine showcases the growth in consumer recognition, thanks to years of promotion.
Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao highlighted the role of the shipping industry in China’s solid strides toward high-quality development in foreign trade. China has maintained its position as the global leader in port cargo and container throughput, reaching 15.69 billion tonnes and 296 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), respectively, in 2022.
China’s comprehensive global cooperation in the shipping industry, covering logistics, trade, global ports cooperation, shipbuilding, and ship leasing, has been instrumental. China COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited (COSCO Shipping), one of the world’s largest shipping enterprises, owns over 1,300 ships, with a combined shipping capacity of 111 million deadweight tonnes, making it the world’s top-ranked company in this regard.
COSCO Shipping’s global shipping routes, spanning more than 1,500 ports in 160 countries and regions, contribute to an annual cargo volume of 1.3 billion tonnes. Notably, the company has transformed the port of Piraeus into a leading container port in Europe, making significant contributions to the local economy, culture, society, and finance of Greece.
The global impact of China’s shipping industry extends to shipbuilding, with Greek shipowners building half of their new ships in China over the last decade. The country’s policies and measures aimed at smoothing import and export logistics, facilitating cross-