Cross-border trucking and container trades are expected to benefit from the Regional Comprehensive Partnership Agreement (RCEP) signed by 15 countries, including China, Japan and South Korea.
The pact will cut or eliminate tariffs, harmonise rules of origin regulations, and deepen regional supply chains. It's expected to begin in 2021.
Dynamar maritime analyst Jonathan Mummery said the agreement could generate an extra 2.2 million TEU in container volumes in the intra-Asia market.
'This corresponds to around 5.2 per cent of 2019 intra-Asia volumes of 42.7 million TEU,' said Mr Mummery.
He highlighted that the volume increase only applies to RCEP. Other agreements that are currently under negotiation could increase container volumes more.
The intra-Asia shipping market is the biggest globally, growing from 31.6 million TEU in 2014 to 42.7 million TEU in 2019.
'A key takeaway is the potential benefit for reefer trades: there will likely be boosts to trade for certain agricultural products, which is a key source of growth within intra-Asia container trades,' said Maritime Strategies International analyst Daniel Richards.
'China, in particular, has committed to cut many of its current import tariffs on Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) agricultural goods to zero from about ten to 15 per cent in general in the first year of the agreement,' said Mr Richards.