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Chinese exporters cope with soaring ocean freight rates challenging global trade


Chinese exporters cope with soaring ocean freight rates challenging global trade


Chinese exporters cope with soaring ocean freight rates challenging global trade

2024-05-16 22:57 Last Updated At:05-17 00:57

Freight rates on key global shipping routes have risen dramatically, prompting foreign trade companies in China to seek innovative solutions to manage costs and ensure timely deliveries.

With some routes experiencing nearly five-fold increases, industry insiders are adapting strategies to mitigate these financial impacts.

Freight costs from Asia to Latin America have jumped from around 2,000 U.S. dollars to between 9,000 and 10,000 U.S. dollars per 40-foot container, while costs to Europe and North America have almost doubled.

To cope with surging shipping costs, exporters in China have rapidly adjusted their strategies.

In east China's Zhejiang province, a Ningbo-based exporter that manufactures window and door components recorded a 50 percent increase in orders for European and Middle Eastern markets over last year.

However, due to the spike in shipping costs and limited shipping space available, they have delayed shipments of four containers by nearly a month.

"Now, even our factory gates are piled with goods. We've bought extra containers to store weather-sensitive items to avoid rain and sun exposure," said Ding Yandong, general manager of Ningbo Rollmax Shutter Component Company.

Ding noted that the cost of shipping a forty-foot container to Saudi Arabia has risen from 3,500 U.S. dollars to between 5,500 and 6,500 U.S. dollars.

To mitigate the financial impact, Ding's company has explored alternatives such as air freight and the China-Europe railway, and even recommended using taller containers to reduce costs.

In southern economic and trade hub Shenzhen City, an exporter has doubled its production lines to cope with these challenges, shortening production times at the front end.

"We used to rely solely on fast sea freight, but now we choose slower conventional ships, extending our goods' transit cycle to cut costs. We've also taken necessary measures to reduce costs on the operational side, such as planning shipments earlier and storing goods in overseas warehouses before moving them to U.S. warehouses," said Luo Qian, operations director of Shenzhen Hanlin International Trade.

To ensure timely deliveries, some companies started shipping their second-half year orders as early as May and June.

"We estimate that this situation is expected to last another two to three months. With the traditional shipping peak seasons in July and August, and the e-commerce boom season in September and October, we anticipate a prolonged busy period this year," said Tang Qianjia, vice president of Shenzhen Tianxingyun Supply Chain Co., Ltd..

Chinese exporters cope with soaring ocean freight rates challenging global trade

Chinese exporters cope with soaring ocean freight rates challenging global trade

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Japanese seek diversified investment options as yen devalues

2024-07-14 12:04 Last Updated At:12:37

The Japanese people are eyeing diversified investment options at a three-day wealth management exhibition which started on Friday in Tokyo, as the depreciation of their fiat currency yen goes on.

Since July, the retail price of gold in Japan has repeatedly hit new highs, and the price per gram rose to 13,612 yen (about 86 U.S. dollars) on Thursday.

As inflation continues in Japan, precious metals are increasingly popular as a way to beat it.

In addition to paper gold, rare precious metal coins have gradually become one of the new financial investment favorites in Japan in recent years.

"The gold content of coins determines their value as precious metals. But as collectibles, their price on the auction market will go up," said Mitsuru Hayama, an exhibitor.

In addition to traditional financial products which include real estate, there is a trend of diversification at this exhibition.

For example, for investment products such as agricultural blueberry gardens and mushroom farms, investors can choose to make investment only, or they can participate in specific business operations.

Investable wines and whiskies are also a big draw at the expo. Among them, wine investment has an online trading model, where investors can view the latest prices of wines on their mobile phones in real time and conduct transactions .

"You buy it when it's cheap and drink it whenever you want. This is the prime pleasure of investing in the wine. Even if you don't drink it yourself, you'll be happy if its price rallies," said Eiji Odawara, an exhibitor.

According to the latest data released by the Bank of Japan in June, as of the end of March this year, the scale of Japanese household financial assets inched up 7.1 percent compared with the same period last year, reaching 2,199 trillion yen (about 13.9 trillion U.S. dollars), hitting record highs for five consecutive quarters.

Among them, cash and deposits accounted for 50.9 percent, much higher than other advanced economies such as the United States and some European countries.

Japanese seek diversified investment options as yen devalues

Japanese seek diversified investment options as yen devalues

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