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Shipping firm doubles car transport capacity from Shanghai to Persian Gulf amid rising exports

COSCO Shipping Car Carriers Co’s sea route from Shanghai to the Persian Gulf began operations on Saturday as an auto carrier loaded with Chinese-made vehicles departed, the company said.

The auto carrier carrying 3,859 vehicles will arrive at Dubai’s Jebel Ali Port and Saudi Arabia’s Dammam Port in 17 days. Two auto carriers will operate on the route each month, which will double the company’s transport capacity.

The increase in the company’s transport capacity comes as Chinese auto exports are surging. Chinese auto sales in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, reached about 200,000 in 2021, with the volume in the first half of 2022 reaching 150,000, the company said.

In order to meet surging demand in overseas markets, Chinese automakers have been expanding their investment in export supply chains and purchasing auto carriers to ship finished vehicles.

Shanghai-based SAIC Motor signed an agreement with China State Shipbuilding Corp on January 17 with CSSC Jiangnan Shipyard to build two liquefied natural gas dual fuel and low-carbon ro-ro (roll-on/roll-off) vessels for SAIC Anji Logistics Co, a wholly owned subsidiary of SAIC Motor specializing in auto logistics, according to a statement sent to the Global Times by SAIC Motor in October.

Leading Chinese electric carmaker BYD has also reportedly booked up to eight 7,700 car equivalent unit dual fuel LNG Pure Car Truck Carriers, with advanced talks being held with three domestic shipyards, China Shipping Gazette reported in July.

COSCO Shipping Car Carriers Co said that the company will start more shipbuilding projects in the second half of 2024. More than 15 auto carriers with capacities of 7,000 to 8,600 vehicles each will be built, to cover markets in Europe, South America, the Red Sea region, Mexico and Australia.

According to China COSCO Shipping Corp (COSCO Shipping)’s official website, COSCO Shipping Car Carriers Co is a joint venture established by COSCO Shipping Specialized Carriers Co, Shanghai International Port Group Logistics Co and SAIC Anji Logistics Co in August 2022.

China’s auto exports have been growing at a rapid pace since 2021. According to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), China exported 2.02 million vehicles in 2021, increasing by 101.1 percent year-on-year.

In the first 10 months of 2022, Chinese auto producers exported 2.46 million vehicles, up by 54.1 percent year-on-year. Exports of new-energy vehicles reached 499,000, rising nearly 100 percent from the corresponding period last year, according to the CAAM.
Source: Global Times

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