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COSCO SHIPPING’s Presence at Beijing International Automotive Exhibition Highlights Its Role in Facilitating Chinese Car Exports with Customized Services

Date:2024-04-29 Read times: font size:[ L M S ]

The 2024 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition, themed “Driving to Smart Mobility”, is scheduled to take place from April 25 to May 4 at Shunyi and Chaoyang Pavilions in the China International Exhibition Center.

During the event, COSCO SHIPPING has displayed its innovative transportation solutions for the automotive industry. The company focuses on three distinctive modes of vehicle transportation: Ro-Ro transportation, container transportation (one container with three vehicles), and foldable frameworks for commercial vehicle transportation. Additionally, COSCO SHIPPING highlights its extensive global route network, port services, digital supply chain management, as well as specialized logistics for auto parts and lithium battery transport, recycling, and other value-added services. These displays  aim to provide a safe, efficient, and seamless end-to-end customizable, digital and visual supply chain experience for automotive clients, significantly facilitating Chinese brand cars in their journey to international markets.

China’s automobile exports have been on a steady rise in recent years, with the export of nearly 5 million finished vehicles in 2023, propelling China to the position of the world’s largest automobile exporter. As Chinese automobiles accelerate their international expansion, challenges such as tight shipping capacity have become apparent. To address these transportation bottlenecks for exporting vehicles, COSCO SHIPPING, as the world’s largest integrated shipping enterprise, has collaborated with its specialized subsidiaries to establish a dedicated team for the complete vehicle export supply chain. Leveraging the group’s comprehensive resource strengths, COSCO SHIPPING has built a unified and integrated marketing service platform, innovated business models, and worked diligently to ensure the stability of the global automotive industry’s supply chain. These efforts are crucial in supporting the global presence of Chinese brand cars.

Container Transportation of Finished Vehicles

At the 2024 Beijing Auto Show, within the COSCO SHIPPING exhibition area, a container holding three commercial vehicles captivates onlookers. This innovative setup is part of COSCO SHIPPING’s suite of vehicle export supply chain solutions tailored for automotive clients—container transportation of finished vehicles. Utilizing COSCO SHIPPING’s proprietary container bracket technology, customers have the flexibility to load two, three, or four cars into a single container. This method maximizes space efficiency by leveraging the unique advantages of containers, significantly reducing the footprint in storage yards and enabling a staggered, three-dimensional arrangement on ships, resembling a robust “sea apartment” for vehicles.

This solution sets itself apart from conventional Ro-Ro shipping methods. It offers an all-encompassing service that spans the finished vehicle transportation lifecycle, including booking, customs clearance, vehicle packing and unpacking, insurance, and real-time cargo tracking. As digital technologies continue to advance, this service enables transportation visualization, ensuring customers experience a seamless and high-quality delivery and pickup process. The container transportation solution not only serves as a vital alternative during peak periods when Ro-Ro capacity may be constrained but also boasts a global network, reliable delivery times, and considerable cost benefits. These distinctive features have garnered recognition from large and medium-sized domestic automobile manufacturers. As of December 2023, COSCO SHIPPING has successfully transported 185,900 finished vehicles with containers, including 87,100 new energy vehicles.

Foldable Frame for Commercial Vehicles

At the opposite end of the COSCO SHIPPING booth, an intriguing structure resembling a three-dimensional parking garage and a “semi-finished container” without a box surface captured the attention of visitors. This is COSCO SHIPPING’s second innovative vehicle transportation solution—a specialized foldable frame designed for commercial vehicles.

In August 2022, addressing the challenge of “difficulty in going global” faced by domestic automobiles, COSCO SHIPPING independently developed a specialized foldable frame tailored for commercial vehicles. This frame is compatible with various ship types and is meticulously designed to accommodate the mainstream dimensions and high-quality transportation requirements of commercial vehicles. By integrating with the cargo hold structure of multi-purpose pulp carriers and adopting a 48-foot length, the frame allows finished vehicles to be stacked into four layers, similar to a “stacked arhat,” achieving up to eight layers within the ship’s cargo hold. Surprisingly, a single vessel can transport over a thousand commercial vehicles at once, matching the capacity of a small dedicated automobile ship. To date, COSCO SHIPPING Specialized Carriers, a subsidiary of COSCO SHIPPING, has deployed a fleet of 43 ships for the “frame-based transport of commercial vehicles,” including 27 multi-purpose pulp carriers. In 2023, COSCO SHIPPING transported 143,600 commercial vehicles using this specialized foldable frame for commercial vehicles.

Ro-Ro Ship (PCTC) Transportation Solution

At the COSCO SHIPPING booth, another innovation in vehicle transportation is the Ro-Ro ship (PCTC) transportation solution. Since its establishment in 2003, COSCO SHIPPING Specialize Carriers has pioneered as the first shipping enterprise in China to venture into the professional domestic and international trade logistics of automobiles. In a significant move in August 2022, COSCO SHIPPING Specialized Carriers collaborated with SIPG Logistics and SAIC Anji Logistics to found Guangzhou Yuanhai Car Carrier Co., Ltd. This joint venture specializes in the international carriage of automobiles via Ro-Ro ships, offering automotive clients comprehensive logistics services that include maritime transport, warehousing, port pickup, distribution, and delivery.

Embedded within the global integrated logistics supply chain ecosystem, COSCO SHIPPING has seamlessly connected data links and business operations encompassing ports, shipping, logistics, and terminals, and created a sophisticated digital platform for the automotive supply chain, underpinned by a diverse array of service offerings such as “Ro-Ro + Container + Frame Container.”

Each vehicle is assigned a distinct “identity number” within the system, enabling end-to-end tracking from the manufacturing plant to storage yards, through ports, during transit by sea, and finally to the destination port. The entirety of the export chain’s data is synchronously uploaded to the platform, providing clients with intelligent and visual digital solutions, along with value-added services that ensure the automotive supply chain remains fully “visible.”

The recently launched COSCO SHIPPING Ports Automotive Supply Chain Digital Platform stands as the industry’s first comprehensive solution for full-chain dynamic visualization. It employs the vehicle frame number as its fundamental unit of management, establishing an efficient and collaborative visual representation of the entire process—from pickup and vehicle inspection to loading, container transport, unloading, and final delivery. This enables comprehensive recording, oversight, tracking, and analysis of each vehicle by the platform, granting both domestic and international automotive end-users timely access to their goods’ status.

In 2023, COSCO SHIPPING transported over 440,000 finished vehicles, marking a substantial increase of 183.7% from the 141,000 vehicles handled in 2022. This significant growth ensures the global reach of Chinese brand vehicles, with COSCO SHIPPING’s every delivery fulfilling a pledge that extends beyond volume and technical capability.