Shekou strives to become South China's leading port for fruit imports
CHINA Merchants Group's deputy general manager Chen Boqi has unveiled some of the future development plans for Shekou port that include the goal of turning the gateway into the largest fruit import port in South China
CHINA Merchants Group's deputy general manager Chen Boqi has unveiled some of the future development plans for Shekou port that include the goal of turning the gateway into the largest fruit import port in South China.
'Currently, there are 147 services arriving at Shekou port every week (99 from Asia, 12 from Europe and Mediterranean, 11 from the Middle East and the Red Sea, nine from South America, seven from Africa, five from North America, and four from Oceania), Mr Chen was quoted as saying in a report by FreshPlaza, Netherlands.
'In general, the port receives large volumes of fruit from Southeast Asian countries, such as Vietnam, the Philippines and Thailand. With the support of the customs policy, the efficiency of our customs clearance is on par with Hong Kong, and the supporting facilities have also been improving each year.'
From April 2018, Shekou port began to implement the customs clearance model that enables companies to declare in advance and get cargoes released when arriving in Hong Kong. From August 24 2019, the port started to pilot the customs clearance model of the 'two-step declaration'.
Previously, when declaring cargoes, companies had to wait until all the information had passed a customs' review before they were released. With the new model, they don't need to submit all the information all at once and only need to fill in nine items. After the cargo is released, it can be picked up from the dock. Once the cargoes arrive at their destination, the company can then submit other information and pay taxes.
In terms of cost, the national inspection fee for containers arriving at Shekou port is CNY1,080 (US$154) if cold treatment is required, or CNY580 (no cold treatment required), and the trucking fee from the port to Guangzhou Jiangnan market is CNY2,500. 'We calculated that the operating cost for entering through Shekou port for a 40-inch container is about $370 lower than that of inland ports such as Shenzhen Bay.'
In terms of supporting facilities, there are 106 reefer checkpoints in the port and 3,124 reefer charging points. In 2018 the volume of reefer containers arriving at Shekou port was 46,300 TEU, up 43 per cent year on year. Not only have the categories of imported fruit entering the port been increasing year by year, but the imports of each category have also been rising rapidly.
'We hope that more import companies will see the strengths of Shekou port, and we are also communicating with importers and exporters in order to continuously improve our services, reduce operating costs, and provide better services to our customers,' said Mr Chen.
He added that there are plans in the pipeline to commence an exclusive service that allows cargo to be shipped from Thailand to Shekou in four days, 'saving time and costs for durian importers and exporters,' said Mr Chen.