Yantian Terminal brings benefits, says Safmarine

Jul 19, 2005
Author: P&S

Safmarine says that the recent addition of a second direct call at the Yantian Terminal in the Chinese port of Shenzhen has been of benefit to South African importers.

The call was introduced to the Safari Service between South Africa and the Far East in April and according to Alex de Bruyn, Safmarine’s trade executive, direct access to Shenzhen has brought significant cost savings for South African importers.

“The South African retail sector in particular has benefited from the improved schedule integrity and reduced lead times. These allow retailers to better plan their product releases and promotional campaigns,” he says.

Prior to the Yantian call all products from China’s Guandong Province in southern China had to be road-freighted into Hong Kong at increased cost, increasing logistical management and delaying shipments.

Safari (a joint service between Safmarine and Maersk Sealand) was the first shipping service to introduce a direct call at Yantian Terminal but has since been followed by other operators.

Safari has reduced the number of port calls as part of its recent service improvements which aims at streamlining the service. The rationalisation became possible this year with the transfer of the four Safmarine-operated ‘Big Whites’ to Safari – the container ships (SA Sederberg, SA Winterberg, SA Helderberg and Maersk Constantia) that previously served the South Africa – Europe trade (SAECS).

De Bruyn explains that the larger and faster vessels brought much needed capacity onto the growing trade between South Africa and the Far East while the direct call at Yantian gave South African retailers the chance to buy direct from suppliers and ship directly out of China’s Pearl River Delta area.

"The Pearl River Delta area of China - comprising Hong Kong, Macau, Shenzhen, Yantian, Guangzhou and rest of Guangdong Province - accounts for approximately one third of Chinese gross domestic product (GDP). The area produces a wide range of consumer goods - from garments to toys, electronics to footwear and 'everything in between' and is home to some of the world's most cost-efficient production facilities."

Safmarine has maintained its leading role within the Safari service since its inception in 1981 and today sister company Maersk Sealand and Safmarine are the sole Safari member-lines, as well as jointly providing all the ships.

The port rotation on Safmarine's fixed day Safari service is as follows: Shanghai, Yantian, Hong Kong, Tanjung Pelepas, Port Louis, Port Elizabeth, Durban, Port Louis, Tanjung Pelepas, Kaohsiung, Shanghai. Cargo to and from smaller ports is transhipped at Tanjung Pelepas or Kaohsiung.


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