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Ningbo-Zhoushan port jumps on postal trend

Ningbo-Zhoushan Port in China's Zhejiang province has teamed with China Post to create an express channel to facilitate the shipping of mail and parcels in containers, by fast-tracking customs clearance.

The port, part of the Zhejiang Seaport group, has teamed with China Post’s Zhejiang branch to create what has been termed “Express Sea Delivery”.

Both sides completed a pilot run on 25 May that saw containerised shipments of epidemic prevention goods moving from Ningbo-Zhoushan to Osaka and Kobe in Japan. The cargoes were shipped on New Mingzhou 16, a 1,042TEU vessel operated by Ningbo Ocean Shipping, another member of Zhejiang Seaport Group.

Under a “two in, one out” strategy, the idea is to facilitate the movement of raw materials and semi-finished goods into the villages and into the factories, and then the export of the finished product via sea.

Airlines have slashed flights in response to depressed demand, creating logistical bottlenecks for postal services. However, demand for medical products, as well as consumer goods purchased through e-commerce remains strong. To overcome the logistical bottlenecks, the Chinese postal service is turning to container shipping.

The expedited customs clearance also caters to shippers whose volumes are less-than-container load (LCL).

As e-commerce retailers tend to be shipping small quantities of goods, they tend to arrange shipping through a freight forwarder, which can still be LCL, and the paperwork submitted for each individual part-shipment tends to prolong customs clearance.

A Zhejiang Seaport official told Container News, “The successful pilot run of this project not only guarantees unimpeded export channels of epidemic prevention materials, but also innovates overseas parcel delivery, which effectively reduces the cost of express international postage.”

Zhejiang Seaport and China Post are now looking to implement a similar service to move postal items from Ningbo-Zhoushan to the US.

By Martina Li
Asia Correspondent

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