CAOFEIDIAN, April 30 – The port of Caofeidian (曹妃甸), once claimed as a ghost city in northern China, is on the way to become an international hub to take advantages of the “Belt and Road” initiative to connect between Central Asia and Europe by its superior geographical location. On April 26, Caofeidian industrial zone’s promotion conference was attracted nearly 400 merchants, investors and local authorities from China, Mongolia, Japan and South Africa at Hebei province.
Mongolia Asia Logistics Co., LTD (reclaimed by LandEX in Mongolia) was signed agreement for the logistic trade projects with Caofeidian Port Corp. —it was also among the 37 projects settled in Caofeidian with a total investment of over 45 billion yuan, during the conference. A month earlier of that conference, Caofeidian, a unit of Tangshan port, had launched a new dedicated rail freight link to the Ulaanbaatar with 51 containers of raw materials, furniture and electrical appliances to Mongolia via the border crossing at Erenhot, said Sun Gui Shi, member of standing committee of the Tangshan municipal Communist Party of China.
The new link would allow not only Caofeidian to implement its ambitious plan for becoming an international hub and but also landlocked Mongolia to turn into land-linked trade hub by 2-3 times lower cost and faster route for exporters in Europe. Value of cargo sent between China and Europe by rail quintupled in last four years, according to the Economist’s report. Transit freight via Mongolia, for instance, was tripled in the first quarter of this year, accounting for about 10 percent of the container shipping between China and Europe, according to the statistics.
“The increasing demand of transit freight urges us [Mongolia’s logistic companies] to open up new trade way, and currently Tianjin and Hong Kong’s ports are playing a major role for the flow of the goods with long queue lines,” said Amarbayasgalan.R, CEO of the Silk Road Mongolia Co., LTD.
China and Mongolia had reached an agreement to enhance the cooperation of maritime ports in Northern China, during the Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit in Mongolia, in 2014.
Mongolian authorities have been considering to develop the partnership with Caofeidian port, said Amartuvshin.D, a director of Administration and Management department, Mongolia Maritime Administration.
Chinese energy giants like CNOOC, Sinopec, PetroChina and Huadian Power and have some of their energy bases in Caofeidian, which widely considered to be the principal coal and energy port in China. Even Caofeidian has a less than a decade history, it has already considered as one of the top 20 ports worldwide, according to the analysis of IHS Markit Maritime and trade data of its total annual cargo throughput. Caofeidian has seen its yearly throughput volumes rose 70.45% from 170 million tonnes in 2011 to 289.7 million tonnes last year, said Daniel Clemenson, senior analyst, Ports&Terminals MMA. Its trade volume is expected to grow by 70 billion RMB in 2018 and surged up to 270 billion RMB within the next 5 years, according to the speeches of Zhang Gui Bao, a head of Caofeidian district.