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Maersk debuts international relay shipments in China

A.P. Møller – Maersk has become the first foreign carrier to successfully implement an international cargo relay in China.

With 27 containers from Vancouver, Canada, being loaded onto the Merete Maersk, the first batch of Chinese coastal relay of international cargo started its last leg of ocean transportation on May 31, en-route from Shanghai’s Yangshan terminal to Tianjin.

The breakthrough in Yangshan is a result of the China State Council’s 2019 overall plan to boost the development of the international shipping center in Shanghai. In November 2021, China’s Ministry of Transport announced that international cargo relay would be allowed on trial until the end of 2024. Based on third-country reciprocity conditions and meeting several additional criteria, qualified carriers can use their vessels to carry out international cargo relay between Shanghai Yangshan and northern Chinese ports, including Dalian, Tianjin and Qingdao.

In China, international cargo relay shipments between two Chinese ports have historically been considered cabotage and therefore strictly prohibited for foreign carriers. Instead, these carriers use Busan, Singapore and other international ports for transshipment.

“Transshipment in Shanghai allows us to improve services through optimised networks and could also address some of the factors behind the bottlenecks in Chinese supply chains, shortening transit times, reducing emissions and freeing up additional capacity for our customers. We appreciate this initiative by the Chinese authorities. It is an important step towards optimising relay regulations, and we hope it will serve as an inspiration in other geographies where restrictions on international relay still exist,” remarked Soren Skou, CEO of A.P. Moller – Maersk.

Adis Ajdin

Adis is an experienced news reporter with a background in finance, media and education. He has written across the spectrum of offshore energy and ocean industries for many years and is a member of International Federation of Journalists. Previously he had written for Navingo media group titles including Offshore Energy, Subsea World News and Marine Energy.
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