Cosco boosts drive to develop inland logistics capabilities in Asia and Europe

COSCO Shipping Holdings, which groups together Cosco Shipping and
Cosco Shipping Ports, is pushing full steam ahead to develop its
landside logistics capabilities in Asia and Europe to tap
opportunities presented by China's Belt and Road initiative.

The group returned to profitability in 2017, with a recovering market
and freight rates pushing up revenue by 22 per cent compared to the
previous year to reach US$14.3 billion, plus generous government
subsidies helped the company achieve a $423 million net profit.

The carrier's volume in 2017 rose by 23.7 per cent to 20.9 million TEU
and Cosco Shipping Ports handled 100 million TEU, IHS Media reported.

Cosco Shipping Holdings said it had made progress regarding the
construction of logistics channels along the Belt and Road route. By
consolidating its global shipping networks, the company said it has
increased service frequency and efficiency along the ocean route, and
also connected the shipping routes with markets in the US, West
Africa, Caribbean and north Europe.

Cosco says that 62 per cent of its entire container shipping capacity
is deployed on the Belt and Road routes, comprising 180 container
vessels with a total capacity of 1.15 million TEU.

In China the group operates 150 sea-rail container transportation
routes, covering 100 major ports and hinterland stations across 27
provinces, autonomous regions, and centrally administered

It stated early last year: "The company will also increase its efforts
in construction of ancillary facilities in important logistic nodes in
the supply chain, and gradually achieve the transition from a shipping
carrier to a provider of comprehensive container logistics solutions."

Those efforts in 2017 began in January when Cosco Shipping Ports
entered into a strategic cooperation agreement with Qingdao Port
International, taking an 18.41 per cent equity interest.