Ningbo: China increasingly rules the waves of commercial shipping, with central government very much focused on pan-maritime development. The People’s Republic ranks number one in terms of port throughput and shipbuilding volumes.
Dong Shanhua, general manager of the Ningbo Shipping Exchange, reckons the fast developing shipping industry is bringing more challenges to the shipping service industry in China. There is a big disconnect between the hardware and software of shipping in China, he says.
“China has been catching up with the advanced international shipping standards all these years and has made significant progresses, however, currently China’s shipping industry mainly stays at the transport part, the development of relevant shipping services including law, finance and insurance are very much lagging behind,” Dong said.
Dong takes London as an example. “Although the annual port cargo throughput of London is less than 100m tons, it occupies 50% of the tanker chartering business, 20% of the ship classification business, 23% of the total shipping insurance volume, and more than 50% of the shipping arbitration volume in the world, which has made it an important international shipping centre.”
China may well have more cargo going through its ports than anywhere else as well as the fourth largest fleet in the world, but shipping insurance business and shipping finance business only accounts for 3% and 5% in the international market, Dong notes.
“Ningbo Shipping Exchange was established with the aim of enhancing shipping service standards and creating value for our clients and promoting the development of the shipping service industry,” Dong says. It is one of a number of exchanges to sprout up along the Chinese coastline; there are other exchanges in Dalian, Shanghai and Xiamen for instance.
In the past year, the Ningbo Shipping Exhange has introduced six shipping indices and currently has more than 400 subscribers.
Ningbo Shipping Exchange is now developing an online international shipping transaction platform, which is the first national level online shipping transaction platform in China, and will establish an association to build connections between traders and shipping companies.
“Our goal is to achieve annual transaction volume of RMB50bn by 2020,” Dong says. [30/10/14]