A containership is berthed at Nansha Port in Guangzhou, Guangdong province. (Photo/CHINA DAILY)
A cargo vessel departed from a container terminal of Nansha Port in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, to Brazil on Monday, marking the first regular direct shipping route from the South China port to eastern South America.
It was also the fifth international marine route newly designated from Guangzhou port to BRICS countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — in 2023, helping to further expand trade channels between enterprises in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and South America, the port authorities said.
The vessel, operated by COSCO Shipping Specialized Carriers Co Ltd, was loaded with China-made high-value-added goods including automobiles, engineering machinery and home appliances.
The vessel is scheduled to dock at ports in the Brazilian ports of Victoria and Santos, before heading to the Port of Lazaro Cardenas in Mexico, they said, adding that at least eight multipurpose vessels will be put into operation on the route, providing two-way direct import and export services between China and South America.
The vessel, equipped with refrigerated box plugs, will ensure high-quality cold chain logistics for fruit and meat from South America to Guangzhou, said its operator COSCO Shipping Specialized Carriers Co, a unit of shipping giant China COSCO Shipping Corp Ltd.
The new route, seen as an important channel to facilitate trade between the GBA and other BRICS member economies, will be operated on a regular biweekly shift in the future, the vessel operator said.
Currently, as many as 40 maritime routes have been opened from Guangzhou port to BRICS countries.
Nansha Port has so far opened more than 150 foreign trade routes to more than 300 ports in over 100 countries and regions, local authorities said.
In the first seven months, Guangzhou's imports and exports to other BRICS countries amounted to 46.85 billion yuan ($6.42 billion), a year-on-year increase of 46.5 percent, according to Customs data.
China's trade with other BRICS countries also grew significantly, reaching 2.38 trillion yuan, up 19.1 percent year-on-year, in the same period, said the National Bureau of Statistics.
The value of China's trade with other BRICS countries accounted for 10.1 percent of the country's total foreign trade from January to July, up 1.6 percentage points year-on-year.
Opening the new route marked another stage for Guangzhou port's layout of the global route network, said Shen Jiayu, deputy director of the business promotion department of Nansha Phase I and Phase II of Guangzhou Port.
"Utilizing its comprehensive advantages and complete support functions, the port has become an import base for domestic and foreign carriers to promote their shipping services," Shen said.
The opening of the direct route to South America has helped shorten shipping time by at least five days, compared to the previous transshipment transportation route, further reducing logistics costs and times for import and export enterprises, Shen said.
"More typical products from South America, especially fresh agricultural products, are soon expected to be shipped to the domestic market, following the opening of the new route," said Shen.
To facilitate trade via Nansha Port, various related departments have continuously optimized Customs clearance and the business environment in the port area.
For example, Customs authorities in Nansha district have actively communicated with port departments, shipping companies and trade service enterprises to help them standardize the declaration process of shipping operations on new routes, clarify requirements and time limits, and fill in data of declarations.