In the morning of October 23, COFCO Group and China Shipping (Group) Co. jointly held a ceremony at the Beiliang Port in Dalian of Liaoning Province to launch grain cargo vessels. Panamax bulk carrier “COFCO 1” berthed at the Beiliang Port blew its steam whistle while its unloading equipment driven by the door machine entered the hold and set the grain sucker into rapid motion, sending a steady flow of soybeans from South America via the conveyer belt into the warehouse on the coast and symbolizing the official launch of shipping route for COFCO Group and China Shipping’s grain cargo vessels.
COFCO Group Secretary of the Leading Party Members’ Group & Chairman Frank Ning and China Shipping Chairman Xu Lirong attended the ceremony, which was hosted by assistant to China Shipping general manager Han Jun. Deputy mayor of Dalian Liu Yan, COFCO Group industry senior general manager Gu Lifeng and China Shipping deputy general manager Huang Xiaowen delivered speeches in succession.
By leveraging the specialized operation advantages of China Shipping’s bulk cargo fleet, the shipping route for COFCO Group and China Shipping’s grain cargo vessels is a bulk grain carrier transportation route customized by China Shipping for COFCO Group to import agricultural products. Before this tie-up, the two central enterprises maintained sound cooperative relations in several businesses such as transportation of agricultural products and food. This time China Shipping proposed the concept of innovating service based on the existing cooperation between two parties and meticulously deployed several environment-friendly Panamax carriers specialized in bulk grain transportation to form an international grain cargo fleet dedicated to providing safe and stable shipping service for COFCO Group’s agricultural products in South America. Named as “COFCO 1”, the first Panamax bulk carrier tasked to operate on this shipping route carried nearly 70,000 tons of soybeans from Argentina and Uruguay and sailed one month and a half along the previously optimized route before arriving at COFCO Group’s Beiliang Port of Dalian and successfully completing its maiden voyage. Its stable shipping schedule and premium service will help COFCO Group to achieve its whole value chain objective of “delivering grain to every part of the world through smooth logistics”.
China Shipping plans to put more quality transport capacity such as “COFCO 2” and “COFCO 3” into the shipping route in the future. It will try to launch four to five new shipping services before the end of this year to steadily increase the freight volume of imported grain. The synergy effect obtained from alliance between two major brands “COFCO” and “China Shipping” in building global grain supply chain will push forward the steady development of global strategic cooperative relations between two parties. With the expansion of shipping services, the trade volume of imported grain carried by China Shipping for COFCO is expected to gradually rise to over 3.5 million tons every year from the preliminary goal of nearly 1 million tons every year, further providing comprehensive and quality services for COFCO to build stable corridor to import grains and open up major passageway connecting global grain producing regions to Chinese consumers. Meanwhile, the flourishing shipping routes will also continue to consolidate the important position of Beiliang Port in the import-export of grain in Northeast region and transfer hub for the transport of grain produced in the North to the South, thus greatly promoting the economic prosperity of Dalian municipality.
The smooth launch of COFCO Group and China Shipping’s bulk grain cargo vessels not only embodies more concrete strategic cooperation between COFCO and China Shipping but also indicates a new phase of innovation and cooperation in the transport of bulk grain for two parties. Both COFCO Group and China Shipping hope that the launch of this shipping service will serve as a good beginning, where two parties will continue to apply the concept of innovation and cooperation to domestic and overseas network, supply chain, and more fields including financial, trade and e-commerce platforms, further promote the formation of “close circle” resulting from mutual strategic cooperation, push for the overall enhancement of both parties’ market position and comprehensive competitiveness, give full play to their respective advantages in resources and jointly boost regional economic development while speeding up the pace of “going out” and serving China’s “one belt and one road” strategy.