Maritime freight transport increases in China

2023-07-12 08:17:17China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Vessels across China hoisted their flags and honked their horns for one minute on Tuesday to celebrate the country's 19th National Maritime Day.

To mark the occasion, maritime museums, exhibition halls and maritime science education bases across the country were open to the public.

On the same day, the Ministry of Transport released the 2022 China Shipping Development Report.

According to the report, China sped up major water transport infrastructure construction last year, with investment in fixed waterway assets increasing by 10.9 percent from 2021.

Furthermore, the volume of freight transported via waterway last year increased by 3.8 percent compared with 2021.

The container throughput at ports increased by 4.7 percent, and the volume of rail-water multimodal transport routes increased by 16 percent year-on-year.

"By the end of last year, the Chinese fleet reached a carrying capacity of 370 million deadweight tons, double the volume of 10 years ago," Vice-Transport Minister Fu Xuyin said at a forum on Tuesday.

He also noted that the nation was now ranked No 2 in the world in terms of fleet carrying capacity, following Greece.

He said that about 95 percent of Chinese cargo shipments in global trade were handled via ocean freight, strongly supporting China's economic development and international trade.

China's ocean freight and services network now reaches around the world, he added.

Over the past 10 years, China has established a maritime freight and service network with more than 100 countries and regions, covering all coastal countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, Fu said.

Last year, China's ports handled about 15.7 billion metric tons of cargo, up 33 percent from 2012, and nearly 300 million containers, an increase of 56 percent during the same period.

According to another forum at the event, by the end of last year, China was home to over 1.9 million registered sailors, up 5 percent over 2021 and more than any other country in the world.

One million of them are river ship sailors, and the rest are mariners, the data showed.

Last year, 127,000 Chinese sailors worked on foreign vessels across the world.

According to the ministry, it took steps to protect the safety and legitimate rights and interests of the sailors.

National Maritime Day celebrates the first voyage of Zheng He, a renowned navigator during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), who went on to make six more journeys.

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