Cargo truck tests route to S. Korea

By Zhao Ruixue in Weihai, Shandong| (China Daily)| Updated : 2023-12-22

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A cargo truck loaded with Chinese goods boarded a ferry at Weihai Port in Shandong province and left for Incheon in South Korea on Dec 19 in a test of a new freight route.

The ferry arrived at Incheon Port at noon on Dec 20 and the truck then went directly to Incheon Airport to unload the goods, which were transferred to international flights that day bound for destinations around the world, China's Ministry of Transport said.

The new route is the result of an agreement signed between Weihai and Incheon on Feb 24 aimed at facilitating swift cargo delivery.

The agreement allows cargo trucks from Weihai to proceed straight from Incheon's port to its airport without the need for separate clearance processes, the cargo will not need to be moved to local trucks. This streamlined process, which will also operate from Incheon to Weihai, will drive down costs and delivery times.

The direct route will shave nearly 5 hours off the time it takes to ship goods by sea from Weihai Airport to Incheon Airport, speeding up international logistics, Weihai's transportation bureau said.

It is also expected to reduce logistics costs by 30 percent compared with direct airfreight.

Through the direct route, cross-border e-commerce goods from Shandong and other parts of China can reach the global market faster, and Shandong's position in the Northeast Asian logistics network is expected to be enhanced, said Zhang Yuhong, deputy director of the Shandong Provincial Department of Transport.

The first passenger and cargo ferry between Weihai and Incheon was launched in 1990, establishing the first such route between China and South Korea.

In 2015, Weihai and Incheon were selected by the governments of China and South Korea as demonstration areas for local economic cooperation in a free trade zone to promote trade collaboration between the two countries.