August 2016 Industry News

I would like to inform you that G20 2016 China Summit will be in Hanghzou Zhejiang on 4th September and 5th September.

Some factories will be closed from the beginning or middle of August and the traffic in some areas will be controlled from middle of August to 1st of September.

It is estimated that most of the shipments located in Hangzhou and the surrounding areas will be affected during this period.

And 1st September to 7th September is the public holiday period in Hangzhou for G20, all companies/factories will be closed and return on 8th September.

If any urgent shipments please inform ITM as early as possible to try and complete all operations before 15th August.

As Vietnam’s exports boom, Cai Mep box terminal prepares for shipping alliance shake-up

Like many container terminal operators in Asia and Europe, the major players in Vietnam face some uncertainty as a consequence of the new network plans of two rejigged alliance groupings, but will also be challenged by the country’s astonishing export growth.

Container throughput at Vietnamese ports grew by 8.1% in the first three months of this year, compared with 2015, to 2.5m teu.

Moreover, the signing of a free-trade agreement with the European Union in December will considerably improve market access to the member states when tariffs are dismantled after ratification.

In 2015 the EU jumped to become the third-ranked FDI (foreign direct investment) partner for Vietnam, behind the other ASEAN bloc states and South Korea.

Trade with the EU soared to $1.55bn from $587m the year before, as Vietnam’s mobile phones, electronic products, clothing, footwear and coffee became in demand in European stores.

Meanwhile, Vietnam has overtaken its ASEAN partners to become the region’s biggest exporter to the US and has attracted investment from the likes of Samsung, Nike, Adidas and Timberland, due to low and stable labour costs in comparison with China’s continued cost escalation.

Most European and US export containers are loaded at the deepwater Cai Mep terminals, where throughput increased 38%, year on year, in Q1, to 417,000 teu. More than half of these boxes were handled at the APM Terminals 49% joint-venture facility, Cai Mep International Terminal (CMIT).

CMIT’s throughput soared 131% in Q1, over Q1 15, to 277,000 tea, and this followed 80% year-on-year growth in 2015. The successful bid for a further Ocean 3 alliance loop in October and winning a CKYHE string in April are behind the impressive growth.


China joins TIR scheme

A fast-trucking service between China and Europe will begin next year after the country became the 70th to join the TIR scheme.

The move will enable trucks to drive the Silk Road to Europe, through central Asia, without being opened at each border. Trucks will take less than two weeks to arrive, offering a considerably faster service than sea freight – albeit at a higher cost.

The UN’s TIR Convention, administered by the IRU, allows goods to be sealed in load compartments, the contents outlined in a TIR Carnet. Customs verify the carnet and check the seals on the compartment, with no need for physical checking of the contents. Trucks need only spend an hour at borders, rather than several days.

Also signed up to TIR are Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Russia and Tajikistan, while Pakistan ratified it last year and is currently implementing the scheme.

China’s membership is expected to boost trade along the Silk Road, which amounts to some $1 trillion. At the moment, less than 10% of Chinese exports to the EU go by road; sea and air are the most popular options, although rail is growing.

“China’s accession to the TIR Convention will open new efficient and faster transport opportunities and routes between China and Europe,” said UNECE executive secretary Christian Friis Bach.

“It can become a real game-changer for international trade and will be a strong contribution to the Chinese vision for the Belt and Road Initiative.”

China replaced Russia as central Asia’s largest trading partner in 2008, and its trade with the five central Asian states has risen to some $50bn, according to Stratfor. By 2025, the annual volume of trade between Silk Road countries is expected to be worth $2.5 trillion.

One of the deterrents to using rail has been concern over theft, which is also likely to be a problem on a long road journey. According to TAPA, the majority of cargo crime is from trucks, especially those stopped at unsecure parking locations.

The TIR scheme is continuing to expand outside of Eurasia, with Qatar and Saudi Arabia considering joining, as are Argentina and Brazil.

The TIR Convention in China starts on January 5 2017.

Hong Kong opportunities for Australian trade


Australian businesses can use Hong Kong to leverage benefits from new trade routes linking China with the West, according to a speaker from the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC).

Director for the HKTDC in Australia and New Zealand, Bonnie Shek, addressed a seminar at Melbourne University recently, an event organised by the Council and the Supply Chain and Logistics Association of Australia.

Among the themes addressed by Ms Shek was the so-called Belt and Road (B&R), a project initiative that aims to reinvigorate the old Silk Road (or roads) with new infrastructure, cultural exchanges, trade and investment.

This was not just in terms of land routes but maritime routes also, with Ms Shek noting that these trade routes covered some 60% of the world’s population and 30% of the world’s merchandise trade, stretching from China through Asia and all the way to Europe and even Africa.

She also noted the China Investment Corporation (CIC) was one of the entities supporting the Brookfield bid for Asciano, with that company reportedly interested in Asciano’s logistics’ expertise.

Ms Shek also described the crucial role Hong Kong played in importing foods and other goods from Japan and the United States and then re-exporting them to other destinations via its vast container terminal and airport.

“Hong Kong is the largest export market for Japan,” she said.

“Every year we import millions of dollars of Japanese food and then add value to it and then export to others parts in Asia.”

Ms Shek noted container trade continued to grow while also observing the island’s special attributes such as common law; open and transparent government; strong anti-corruption culture; and free flow of information and capital in and out of Hong Kong.

“In actual fact Hong Kong has been voted the freest economy in the world… for over 20 years.

“A couple of months ago, it has been announced that Hong Kong has edged out the US as the most competitive economy in the world.”

She talked of how companies in mainland China were using Hong Kong as a base to manage overseas investments.

The HKTDC is one of the organisers of the Asian Logistics and Maritime Conference being held in Hong Kong on November 22-23 this year, with an expected heavy representation of issues relating to Australia and Australian business.

Australia has more exporters than ever before


The total number of exporters of goods and/or services in 2014-15 was 51,228, an increase of 4,160 (9%) from 2013-14. The number of goods exporters increased by 3,947 (9%) and the number of services exporters increased by 260 (8%).

The increase to the number of exporters was driven mainly by those exporters exporting less than $1m. Of this group, the number of goods exporters increased by 3,632 (9%) and the number of services exporters increased by 162 (8%).

The number of goods exporters increased in each of the main industry divisions presented in this publication. The largest increase in the number of services exporters was to Telecommunication, Computer and information services, up 127 (19%).

In contrast to the increase in the number of exporters, the total value of goods and services exports decreased by $13b to $318b (-4%) from 2013-14. The decrease was due to the value of goods exports decreasing by $18b (-7%) to $255b. This was partially offset by an increase in the value of services exports, up $6b (10%) to $63b.

The decrease in the value of goods exports was mainly driven by the Mining industry decreasing in value of by $21b, following significant falls in commodity prices.

Top export destinations by numbers of exporters from Australia are:    

Destination                           Numbers of Exporters in Australia



New Zealand 


United States of America




Hong Kong (SAR of China)


China (Excluding SARs & Taiwan)



Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics