Chi­nese ex­per­tise boosts con­tainer ter­mi­nals and lo­gis­tics sec­tor in Spain

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - Business - XIN­HUA

VA­LEN­CIA, Spain — Look­ing out the win­dows of his of­fice near the Port of Va­len­cia, Spain, Sun Kai can clearly see the huge “arms” of bridge cranes stretch­ing out into the sky.

“Ev­ery day, while look­ing at those cranes, I see my com­pany’s busi­ness ex­pand in con­crete steps,” said Sun, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Noa­tum Ports SLU.

Head­quar­tered in Va­len­cia on the Mediter­ranean coast, the com­pany op­er­ates con­tainer ter­mi­nals in the Port of Va­len­cia and the Port of Bil­bao on the north­ern At­lantic coast, and rail­way ter­mi­nals in Zaragoza and Madrid.

Last Novem­ber, COSCO Ship­ping Cor­po­ra­tion Ltd, a Chi­nese ship­ping gi­ant, ac­quired a ma­jor­ity stake in the Span­ish com­pany.

The in­vest­ment was ac­com­pa­nied by ad­vanced man­age­ment, know-how and global re­sources, en­er­giz­ing Spain’s trans­port and lo­gis­tics in­dus­try.

“China has ac­cu­mu­lated abun­dant man­age­ment ex­pe­ri­ence in run­ning con­tainer ter­mi­nals. Af­ter the ac­qui­si­tion, we’ve grad­u­ally in­tro­duced an ad­vanced op­er­a­tion process and man­age­ment into Noa­tum, and im­proved ef­fi­ciency,” said Sun.

With the help of the Chi­nese man­age­ment team, the com­pany has es­tab­lished an op­er­a­tions de­part­ment to in­crease ef­fi­ciency at the ports and rail­way ter­mi­nals. A new health, se­cu­rity and safety de­part­ment has been set up to en­sure the com­pany meets the high­est safety stan­dards.

It has also es­tab­lished a rail­way ser­vice unit to im­prove in­ter­modal trans­port be­tween Spain’s coastal ar­eas and hin­ter­land, and is work­ing on a project to up­grade the op­er­at­ing sys­tem of the two ports.

From Jan­uary to July, con­tain­ers han­dled by the com­pany reached 2.08 mil­lion twenty-foot equiv­a­lent units, with an an­nual in­crease of 13.2 per­cent.

Sun said he ex­pects the com­pany to han­dle 3.7 mil­lion TEUs this year, up by over 12 per­cent from 2017.

“We are in the best po­si­tion now,” said Elvira Gal­lego, gen­eral man­ager of Noa­tum Con­tainer Ter­mi­nal Bil­bao.

“The cur­rent man­age­ment is more ef­fi­cient ... I think we have a good ex­ec­u­tive man­age­ment team at the head­quar­ters, and we have ev­ery­thing up­dated,” she said.

“COSCO is a huge in­vestor, we now have COSCO’s ship­ping lines that will help us to get big­ger, and we have a big por­tion of the trade be­tween Spain and China. I think it’s the best mo­ment,” she said.

The Port of Va­len­cia is a main gate­way to the Ibe­rian Penin­sula. It han­dled 4.83 mil­lion TEUs last year, mak­ing it the largest port in the Mediter­ranean re­gion and the fifth-largest in Europe in terms of con­tainer traf­fic, ac­cord­ing to port of­fi­cials.

“China is a strate­gic coun­try for the Port of Va­len­cia, given that 50 per­cent of for­eign trade be­tween Spain and China passes through it,” said Francesc Sanchez, gen­eral direc­tor of the Port Au­thor­ity of Va­len­cia.

More than 55 per­cent of Spain’s gross do­mes­tic prod­uct comes from the area within a 350-km ra­dius of the port, he said.

The Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive has boosted cul­tural ex­change apart from goods ex­change, he said. “It is an op­por­tu­nity for both Chi­nese com­pa­nies and the Span­ish econ­omy.”

“This im­por­tant in­vest­ment ef­fort from China in Bil­bao means a sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment in the ef­fi­ciency of the lo­gis­tics sys­tem as well as more ship­ping lines,” said Ri­cardo Barkala, chair­man of the Port Au­thor­ity of Bil­bao.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Argentina

© PressReader. All rights reserved.