Fishermen unpack tuna before processing it into canned food and sashimi in Rongcheng city, Shandong province, Aug 16, 2015. (Photo provided to China Daily)
Shandong province has launched a one-stop seafood e-commerce platform, as it moves to bring the traditional fishery industry online while upgrading trans-regional cold-chain logistics.
Along with the B2B e-commerce site chinaaquatic.cn, authorities kicked off a week-long seafood sales campaign on Saturday in Rongcheng city, Shandong province.
"We aim to match demand with supply and take Shandong's seafood all over the world," said Zhao Yu, chief operation director of chinaaquatic.cn, adding that the company will organize offline promotions at the same time including in-store sales, product expos and seafood cooking contests.
More than 2,000 fishery companies have joined the 24-hour platform, displaying at least 6,000 products, said Wang Shouxin, head of the Shangdong provincial department of ocean and marine environment, at the launch ceremony.
"Chinaaquatic.cn, by marrying fisheries to the Internet, will serve as a modern seafood transaction platform and push the traditional industry to a higher level," said Wang.
The platform, founded last year to provide seafood price quotes and industry news, was sponsored by the Shandong provincial department of ocean and marine environment and managed under local leading news organization dzwww.com.
Seafood over longer distances
The development of cold-chain logistics, the very constraint to long-distance seafood sales, has become crucial, said Wang Guoli, deputy director of National Engineering Research Center for Agricultural Products Logistics.
"The scale of current cold-chain logistics is limited, as most e-commerce players only provide self-run intra-city delivery services of refrigerated goods, which hindered their online sales," said Wang.
The scholar revealed that the association is working with industry companies including Alibaba to experiment on ways to retain freshness, such as water-free preservation and mobile warehouses.
"Seafood e-commerce gives customers easy access to products. However, a fast and reliable delivery system is equally important," said Wang.
The seafood e-commerce week aims to spur exploration and innovation among fishery companies, said Wang, as the Internet Plus drive is expected to reshape marketing, sales, delivery and management within the industry.
"2015 marks the first year of the cross-border e-commerce era, and the winner will go to the logistics champion," said Wang.
By tapping into seafood e-commerce, the platform widens its scope into 71 percent more of the world's products.
"Barn on the sea"
The seafood e-commerce campaign came as Shandong province vowed to produce 10 million tons of marine products by 2020, with protein contents equal to 20 billion kilograms of grain.
The provincial government first put forward such a plan, with the ambition of "developing into China's barn on the sea" on January 5. To achieve the target, the yield of sea products will have to reach 100 kilograms per capita.
Rongcheng alone, located at the east end of Shandong peninsula with nearly 500 kilometers of coastline, produces 44 percent of the country's kelp, 16 percent of its sea cucumber and 9 percent of its abalone.
The city is home to 1,129 marine companies, whose combined revenue has reached 100 billion yuan, said Wang Hongxiao, vice-mayor of Rongcheng, at a press conference on Saturday.
According to the plan, Shandong province aims to support 100 leading fishery and processing companies and achieve an added value of 200 billion yuan by 2020.