The first international marine express center, after two years'construction, is inaugurated on June 21. [Photo/jiaodong.net]
A freight vessel carrying 1,815 commodities from Inchon, South Korea, including cosmetics, electronic toothbrushes and sneakers, arrived at Yantai port last Thursday.
The arrival of the vessel came on the same day as the city's first international marine express center was inaugurated, after two years of construction.
Yantai has become the third city, following Qingdao and Weihai, in Shandong province to launch marine express services, with destination countries including South Korea and Japan.
The maiden trip that set off from South Korea took around 16 hours, said Wang Yulei, who is in charge of the overseas operations of courier company Yunda Express.
Wang added that the goods, after customs clearance, will be distributed and delivered to clients nationwide within 72 hours.
In the past, international parcels to Yantai were usually transported by air or shipped by sea to Qingdao or Weihai first and then transported to the city, according to Li Chunlei, general manager of Shandong Hongcheng Logistics Co.
But now with the center in operation, it is hoped that more businesses will locate to Yantai and more capital in the sector will flow into the local economy, fueling further growth of the city's foreign trade.
Official data from the Yantai municipal bureau of commerce shows that the trade value of the cross-border e-commerce in Yantai soared 28.3 percent to reach $2.88 billion in 2017.
According to Li, customers will be the direct beneficiaries of the new services, with logistics costs being significantly reduced.
Marine logistics has great advantages over air cargo, in particular when it comes to short-distance trips, said Li.
Citing the routes to South Korea and Japan as an example, Li noted that the parcels shipped by sea from the two countries in the morning could reach Yantai at night, with the same travel time as being transported by air, but a 70 percent drop in costs.
That allows customers to "enjoy the efficiency of air transportation but at a price of marine express", he added.
Liu Xionghui, director of the local customs administration, said Yantai customs authorities shall roll out measures such as optimizing its services and shortening clearance periods to accelerate the growth of the marine industry in the city.
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