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Maersk marks opening of China cabotage market

Maersk Merete_Maersk_truck.jpg
Maersk has become the first foreign carrier to move international cargo in China’s cabotage market.

Merete Maersk loaded 27 containers from Canada en-route from Yangshan terminal in Shanghai to Tianjin.

Foreign carriers have been forbidden from carrying out international cargo moves between Chinese ports under cabotage rules, but in November 2021 China’s Ministry of Transport announced a trial to allow foreign carriers to relay cargo between Chinese ports through until 2024.

The scheme is subject to a raft of criteria including third country reciprocity; successful carries will be able to move international cargo between Shanghai Yangshan and ports in China’s north like Dalian, Tianjin and Qingdao.

The new way of working will remove the need for carriers to tranship via Singapore to avoid falling foul of China’s rules. Maersk said the development will improve transit times and reduce CO2 emissions.

AP Moller – Maersk CEO Sorek Skou, said: “We are proud to be the first foreign company that successfully implements international cargo relay in China. Transshipment in Shanghai allows us to improve services through optimised networks and could also address some of the factors behind the bottlenecks in Chinese supply chains, shortening transit times, reducing emissions and freeing up additional capacity for our customers.

“We appreciate this initiative by the Chinese authorities. It is an important step towards optimising relay regulations, and we hope it will serve as an inspiration in other geographies where restrictions on international relay still exist.”