(ECNS) -- A sea logistics channel between Qingdao in east China's Shandong Province and Osaka in Japan commenced operation on Saturday after the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) came into effect on January 1, 2022, for 10 members including the two countries.
Ro-ro ships, which can be directly boarded with loading equipment such as forklifts and trucks, are operated on this route, with shipping speeds almost twice as normal. Therefore, the entire voyage can be shortened by 24 hours, said Sun Xiaodong, manager in charge of the route.
The rapid customs clearance of goods with different priorities has been realized on this route. The overall shipping time is comparable to that of air freight with an even lower cost. In the future, the number of sailings may be increased to two to three times a week as the transportation demand increases, Sun added.
Together with the city's international airport, it helps Qingdao build a foreign trade system that combines sea and air transport, according to local officials.
The launch of the sea route comes seven years after the closure of the sea route between Qingdao and Japan's Shimonoseki.
The RCEP covers about 30 percent of the world's population, 30 percent of global economic output and 30 percent of global foreign trade. It came into effect on January 1, 2022, for its 10 member countries including China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Brunei, Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand and more. Tariff concessions are implemented among the 10 countries.