Logistics sector booms as world trade expands
China's logistics sector reported rapid growth in the first half, boosted by thriving foreign trade, as the recovery of the world's second-largest economy continues to accelerate.
The country's foreign trade rose 27.1 percent year-on-year to 18.07 trillion yuan ($2.79 trillion) in the first six months, its best first-half performance ever, said the General Administration of Customs.
The record-breaking trade volume was also boosted by rising shipping demand among foreign trade enterprises.
"My firm needs to ship goods overseas every day, with over 10,000 containers sent every year," said Yang Nan, president of a foreign trade firm in coastal Jiangsu province.
As a major means of transport, rail freight also saw strong growth momentum. China State Railway Group Co Ltd said China-Europe freight train services saw 7,377 trips in the first half, up 43 percent from the same period last year, while goods transported totaled 707,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit containers, surging 52 percent year-on-year.
Air cargo orders also climbed. In the January-June period, China's air cargo volume rose 24.6 percent year-on-year to 3.74 million metric tons, said the Civil Aviation Administration of China.
China's sustained economic recovery is shoring up production and demand, which has laid a solid foundation for the growth of the country's foreign trade, said GAC spokesperson Li Kuiwen, adding that global economic recovery also played a positive role.
Despite the trade growth registered in the first six months, the future is not entirely rosy for foreign trade firms as they are faced with challenges including fluctuating exchange rates, rising transport costs and higher raw material prices, analysts said.
To further spur the growth of foreign trade, the State Council－the country's Cabinet－earlier this month released guidelines on accelerating the development of new forms and models of foreign trade to push forward its upgrade and foster new competitive strengths.
To plan for the future, enterprises should avail themselves of the opportunities presented by the new forms and models of foreign trade, sharpen their product and brand competitiveness and further expand their markets, said Zhuang Rui, a professor at the University of International Business and Economics.