Measures taken to boost freight capacity

BEIJING: China is boosting its international freight capacity and stabilising cross-border logistics amid the novel coronavirus pneumonia pandemic with a slew of measures, a Ministry of Transport official said.
The spread of the disease around the world has left China’s international freight sector facing a backlog of international mail deliveries and difficulties transporting daily necessities, production materials, medical supplies and consumer goods to other countries, Li Tianbi, the ministry’s safety director, told a news briefing on Saturday.
The ministry and other departments, including the ministries of foreign affairs, commerce, and industry and information technology, have established a mechanism to make sure international logistics runs smoothly, Li said.
“We have been coordinating the cooperation between China Post Group and China Shipping Company to provide international mail shipping service,” he said.
China Cosco Shipping has delivered mail containers to countries such as Japan, New Zealand and Israel, he said, adding that the ministry would expand the number of routes to increase freight capacity. Hou Yanbo, deputy director of the State Post Bureau’s market monitoring division, said China has also ramped up support for civil aviation and logistics providers’ air cargo operations and has added more chartered flights to enhance its international airfreight capacity.
With travel restrictions imposed around the world as a result of the pandemic leading to a plunge in international passenger flights, the volume of cargo carried in passenger planes’ bellies has plummeted. China, which has a limited freighter fleet, has been grappling with an unprecedented challenge in transporting international mail and packages, Hou said.
To ease the freight bottlenecks, Shandong Airlines recently transformed three of its narrow body aircraft-Boeing 737-800s-to freighter planes by taking out their seats. The airline said the cargoonly flights can carry 20 metric tons of freight, three times more than before.
The bureau has lowered logistics costs and created a priority “green channel” for air delivery businesses by making overseas transfers easier, speeding up customs clearance and opening air routes, Hou said.
– The Daily Mail-China Daily News exchange item