In recent years, China has firmly established itself as one of the most strategic global markets for automotive manufacturers. In 2013, vehicle sales in the world’s most populous country approached 22 million units, making it the number one market for new car sales, well ahead of the US, which racked up 15.6 million light-duty vehicle sales.
Although China’s GDP growth, which has been among the highest in the world in the past two decades, is predicted to slow to around 7 percent this year, it is still enjoying a high level of consumer confidence – not least due to a continuing increase in middle-income earners.
Nowhere is this tendency more apparent than in Tianjin, China’s third most populous city. Over the last few years, Tianjin has enjoyed a growth rate that is almost double the national average, second only to Inner Mongolia. Meanwhile, ongoing infrastructure spending is continuing to buoy its economy. All of which is why WWL recently opened a new vehicle processing centre (VPC) in the city.
“It’s no coincidence that WWL has decided to invest in a VPC in this part of China,” says Joanne Zhang, Head of WWL Tianjin.
“Tianjin is a key hub – with excellent shipping connections to large parts of Asia, along with continuously improving road and rail links to the nearby capital, Beijing, and the rest of Northern China.”
Tianjin Port, the highest-grade artificial port in the world, is the main hub connecting Northeast Asia with Central and West Asia. It enjoys trade relations with more than 500 ports in over 180 countries and regions, serving 14 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions that cover 52 per cent of China’s vast territory.
The new VPC, which is a joint venture between WWL China Ltd and Tianjin Port Group (TPG), is a natural continuation of the existing collaboration between the two companies.
“This is the next milestone in our partnership with TPG, after WWL acquired a minority share in the Tianjin RoRo terminals back in 2008,” she says, adding that Tianjin’s two RoRo terminals allow for very efficient loading and discharge operations.
“Furthermore, its location within the bonded port of the Dongjiang Free Trade Zone allows customers to take advantage of the opportunity to withhold duty payments until their products leave the free trade zone, thereby improving their cash flow.”
WWL’s new Dongjiang VPC is an excellent complement to its two existing VPCs in Shanghai and Guangzhou. The company can now offer vehicle processing capabilities at the three leading automotive ports in China. With 140,000 square metres of storage space, the Tianjin centre offers a complete range of processing services, from inspection and customs clearance, vehicle shuttling, storage of bonded and duty-paid vehicles, pre-delivery inspection, washing, repairs and delivery to customers.
The facility will also have a Chinese Import Quality (CIQ) station on site, allowing all cars to pass through the strict CIQ inspection process without needing to be moved to an off-site location. According to Zhang, WWL’s VPC is currently alone in offering this service at Tianjin Port.
“The local government predicts that the number of vehicles discharged at the East Port will reach at least 100,000 per year going forward,” she says. “Last year, 127,000 units were discharged here and the forecast for 2015 is around 150,000 to 170,000 units.”
About WWL in China
Established in 1998, WWL China Ltd., offers high quality import and export, storage and logistics services in one of the world’s fastest growing markets. With offices in Beijing, Dalian, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shanghai and Tianjin, it has also invested heavily in the ports of Shanghai and Tianjin, both of which are vital hubs for automotive and rolling equipment customers in the region. WWL operates three modern, full-service VPCs in China – strategically located close to the ports of Haitong (for Shanghai), Guangzhou and Tianjin. The company also provide trucking to dealerships across China.