As we continue to expand our services, we can also build the relationship with our customers by being closer to them.
The continued strong growth in China’s northeast region convinced WWL that the time was right to return to the port of Dalian—China’s northernmost ice-free port, and one very much on the edge of the Asia-Pacific region. Eric Liu, Sales Manager for WWL at the new Dalian office, talks about this growing region.
Why has WWL opened office in Dalian?
The port really is the gateway to northern China, and is one of just four ports licensed by the Chinese government for the import of finished vehicles. The Chinese manufacturers, BMW Brilliance, Chery, FAW, Hafei and Huanghai Bus are all based here, while international companies like Liebherr, Nissan and John Deere all have major factories in the region. As we continue to expand our services, we can also build the relationship with our customers by being closer to them.
How do you expect the Northeast China market to develop ?
There has been very strong growth in the region’s automobile industry, especially since 2009. Some three million automobiles are produced annually in the region now, which is about 15 percent of the total market. Dalian’s roll-on, roll-off (RoRo) terminal handled 230,000 vehicles in 2012, and we expect this to increase to 560,000 units by 2015. So we see growth ahead, and as Northeast China is the traditional home of heavy industry in China, we believe there are also excellent opportunities in breakbulk cargo with manufacturers like CNR, China First Heavy Industries and the Shenyang Machine Tool Group.
What are the typical logistics challenges customers have in Northeast China?
The winter weather here means cold and fog, so getting the cargo to port safely and in good condition is an issue that we hope to answer through shorter inland transportation. There also is a lack of ship capacity for international trade, so our goal is regular port calls to Dalian in the future.
What logistics solutions can you offer your customers and which customer segments will you serve?
We currently sell Northeast China customers the full scope of outbound logistics services—supply chain solutions, inland distribution, ocean transportation, terminal services and technical services. Today we provide inland distribution to Shanghai loading on WWL vessel and we also have inducement calls to Dalian port depending on customer requirement.