Strengthen trade links with the Middle East! Quanzhou’s first Persian Gulf container shipping service has been launched!
Quanzhou launches its first container shipping service to the Persian Gulf, strengthening trade links with the Middle East
Business Dialogue has learned that the port city of Quanzhou in China has opened its first container shipping route to the Persian Gulf. The new liner, Global Field Line (GFL), began operating the Qingdao-Busan-Ningbo-Quanzhou (Shihu)-Nansha-Jebel Ali route on May 25.
The service uses the leased 1,510 TEU Star Source ship, built in 1998. The ship left Qingdao on May 17 and arrived in Quanzhou on May 25.
When leaving Quanzhou Shihu Port, Star Source was loaded with 66 20-foot containers containing clothing, shoes, and bone materials.
In recent years, Quanzhou has strengthened its trade ties with the Middle East, importing oil and gas from the region and exporting finished products. In 2022, Quanzhou’s trade volume with Jebel Ali, UAE, reached $800 million.
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Quanzhou municipal officials said the route could be extended to Russia. “We hope to reach other important countries in the Middle East. At the same time, extending the service to Russia will create a second sea logistics channel between Quanzhou and Russia,” the officials said. This will deepen economic and trade cooperation between Quanzhou and countries along the Belt and Road Initiative.
Yu Yang, General Manager of GFL and one of the company’s shareholders, revealed in detail that the service also has a synchronous second voyage involving another ship sailing from Dubai to the port of St. Petersburg, Russia.
“The first stop will be from Quanzhou to Dubai. The second stop is from Dubai to St. Petersburg. The route is designed like the maritime Silk Road of the Song and Yuan dynasties a thousand years ago. We hope that through this route, we can help local customers in Quanzhou, especially Russian and Middle Eastern customers, to export directly and greatly reduce their costs,” Yu said.
GFL was registered and established in Hong Kong in March 2022. It is owned by four Chinese citizens, Feng Chun (24%), Yu Yang (22%), Hu Wei (22%), Song Xiaoning (22%), and Shu Haijing (10%), all of whom have worked in other Chinese container shipping companies. GFL is one of the opportunistic newcomers in the liner market targeting the Russian market and already operates nine other vessels in services connecting Russia with Asia, India, and the Persian Gulf.
BusinessDialogue understands that Quanzhou, located in the southeastern province of Fujian in China and the starting point of the ancient maritime Silk Road, is one of the fastest-growing regions in China. This new service hopes to contribute to the development of the “Belt and Road” initiative.
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