All roads on the Silk Road lead through Xiamen, China

China’s government is making the port-city of Xiamen, in the south-east of the country, one of the main nodes on the 21st Century version of the Silk Road. Pictured: Zhongshan Road runs through central Xiamen, which is 1,065 miles south-by-east from China’s capital, Beijing. (Photo: Shutterstock).

Cargo transport to/from Xiamen in the Fujian province of China received a boost this week when “Silk Road Shipping” was formally launched at Xiamen Port Haitian Terminal.

Silk Road Shipping is one aspect of China’s famous resurrection of the ancient “Silk Road,” a collection of trade routes connecting China, Europe and Central Asia.

On the day before Christmas, “Silk Road Shipping”, an initiative of China Ocean Shipping Group, Xiamen Port and Fujian Transport Group, was unveiled. Silk Road Shipping, operated by Fujian Silk Road Maritime Operation Co Ltd, will be used to help further the Silk Road concept and create container shipping networks along the coast and inland, along with a two-way rail trade to/from Europe.

According to various official sources, the new initiative has apparently received a “positive” response from 50 to 60 supply chain parties around the world and there are plans to establish an alliance secretariat in Xiamen, which is 1,714 km (1,065 miles) south-by-east from China’s capital, Beijing.

Exact details are somewhat unclear but it appears that Silk Road Shipping will help parties cooperate, enable joint construction, help domestic and foreign shipping and aviation enterprises to collaborate, organise events, forums and trade exchanges with countries located along the old Silk Road areas.

From the end of 2018 to the end of June 2019, Silk Road Shipping will help foster the creation of 16 overseas box line routes and an alliance will be formed. Silk Road Shipping will help improve infrastructure of intermodal transport, upgrade port areas, create/upgrade logistics parks and help improve the sea-rail system in Fujian province.

Logistics services will be developed so as to promote the efficient warehousing, distribution, inspection, quarantine and customs clearance of goods and generally create a standardised logistics service chain and customer services centre. There will also apparently be the creation of an international trade single window “to realise business co-operation and information sharing of logistics participants”.

Meanwhile, in other Xiamen-related news, Xiamen Port, Tianjin Port (a port near Beijing) and Zhonggu Shipping signed a framework agreement to strengthen business co-operation and a domestic Xiamen-Tianjin container shipping route. Tianjin is 153 km (95 miles) south east of Beijing and is 1,600 km (994 miles) north-by-west on a straight-line basis from Xiamen.

Finally, on (December 26, Xiamen was declared to be one of five national logistics hubs, one of two port-type national logistics-hub bearing cities, one airport-type national logistics hub and one of four business-service-oriented national logistics-hub hosting cities. The declaration was made by China’s National Development and Reform Commission in association with China’s Ministry of Transport.

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Jim Wilson, Australia Correspondent

Sydney-based journalist and photojournalist, Jim Wilson, is the Australia Correspondent for FreightWaves. Since beginning his journalism career in 2000, Jim has primarily worked as a business reporter, editor, and manager for maritime publications in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia. He has won several awards for logistics-related journalism and has had photography published in the global maritime press. Jim has also run publications focused on human resources management, workplace health and safety, venture capital, and law. He holds a degree in law and legal practice.