Port throughput seen surging in January, in strong start to 2024 for China's foreign trade
Published: Feb 03, 2024 09:53 PM
The photo taken on January 8, 2024 shows Ningbo-Zhoushan Port in East China’s Zhejiang Province. Photo: VCG

The photo taken on January 8, 2024 shows Ningbo Zhoushan Port in East China’s Zhejiang Province. Photo: VCG

The container throughput in many Chinese ports surged on a yearly basis in January, showcasing a strong start for China's foreign trade in 2024, industry insiders said.

Ningbo Zhoushan Port in East China's Zhejiang Province, a major export hub, is estimated to have completed a throughput of 4.12 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in January, up 17.4 percent year-on-year, with an expected cargo throughput of 102.67 million tons, up 12.0 percent year-on-year, according to statistics the port released on Saturday.

Shenzhen Port in South China's Guangdong Province, another major export hub, completed throughput of 1.39 million TEUs in January, an annual increase of 21 percent. About 5,000 cars were exported, the Shenzhen Port Group said on Friday.

"Our company had a good start of the year. We had to continue production even during the New Year's Day holidays to complete the orders," Zhu Qiucheng, CEO of Ningbo New Oriental Electric Industrial Development, an exporter of pet furniture and home furnishing products, told the Global Times on Saturday.

Zhu said that goods from his company would have contributed to the exports from Ningbo Zhoushan Port.

The trend of recovery in orders in December 2023 was already obvious, but it is generally believed that March is a peak season for foreign trade in the first half of the year, and more orders are expected, said Zhu.

In the first quarter of 2024, about 500 enterprises and 1,200 businesspeople from Wenzhou in Zhejiang are expected to participate in overseas exhibitions to secure new orders, the Global Times has learned.

Zhu said that his company will continue to target the Southeast Asian, African and South American markets, which contributed to the increase in orders last year.

"Our company has granted an early holiday for everyone to return home in advance for the Spring Festival. The production and exports of our orders from the end of last year have essentially been completed," a sales manager surnamed Sun at a Shenzhen-based smart home appliance manufacturing and research and development company, told the Global Times.

After the Spring Festival holidays, the company will mainly work on product updates and prepare for the spring session of the Canton Fair in April and May, said Sun.

"Our old customers will start to explore our new products starting in March. Then they will come and see the real products in April and May at the Canton Fair, and then place orders," Sun noted.

Xu Baoshuang, a production manager at Dingtao Wanli Knitwear Co in East China's Shandong Province, told the Global Times that orders for the first quarter of 2024 have already reached the firm's maximum production capacity, totaling 1.35 million units.

"Our company produces knitted clothing. Out products are sold to the US, Spain and other European countries and regions," said Xu.

Foreign trade is among the three major driving forces for economic growth and plays an important role in boosting economic development, according to analysts and industry insiders, and favorable conditions have accumulated for China's foreign trade in 2024.

Since the beginning of 2024, relevant departments and local governments have released supportive policy measures such as accelerating reform and innovation, unblocking logistics channels, and continuously optimizing the business environment, laying a solid foundation for stabilizing the country's foreign trade this year.