This Day, That Year
Item from July 3, 1989, in China Daily: A Chinese cargo ship left Shanghai’s port for South America on June 28. This is the first time that China has opened a regular ocean shipping route to the region.
Chinese shipping companies have been expanding overseas networks amid rising demand, driven by the country’s fast economic growth in the past few decades.
In addition to the traditional shipping lines between Asia and Africa, and China and Southeast Asia, major lines between Asia and Europe, and Asia and North and South America have also opened.
In April, China COSCO Shipping Corp, the country’s largest shipping group, opened a new container service connecting ports in Northern Europe and in the Mediterranean Sea.
It is part of growing intraEurope trade, which saw an annual increase of 70 percent in the past two years.
COSCO is also expanding its container fleet — it plans to add 14 vessels at a cost of $1.78 billion in the next two years.
The new ships will take the group’s operational capacity to more than 2 million TEUs, or twenty-foot equivalent units, by the end of 2018. The group owns more than 46 container terminals across the world, with close to 200 berthing spaces.
Last month, COSCO snapped up a 51 percent stake in Noatum Port, a Spanish container terminal operator, for $228 million.
The deal extended its ports and terminals network to the Mediterranean region.
The Spanish company operates container terminals in the Port of Valencia and the Port of Bilbao in Spain, a key link in the chain.