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    1. xi's moments
      Home | Industries

      Shipping troubles leave Yiwu exporters adrift

      By Zhao Shiyue | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-08-23 15:20

      Women talk in a stall that sells Christmas products at the Yiwu Wholesale Market, on May 10, 2019. [Photo/Agencies]

      "In the past, all the orders would have been shipped by the end of September, but the shipping is delayed this year and we don't know when everything will get back to normal," said Zhu Zhijuan, an employee of Yiwu Xinte'an Craft Factory in Zhejiang province, financial press Yicai.com reported.

      Due to the congested international logistics with its price soaring, over a million Christmas trees made in the factory could not leave for overseas in time, and Zhu had to spend another 2 million yuan renting temporary warehouse for storage.

      Statistics showed that Yiwu is the world's largest distribution center of Christmas decorations, producing around two-thirds of the global supplies. However, a large number of goods are stuck in this eastern city this year, waiting to be shipped to the foreign markets.

      Although orders are rebounding as COVID-19 pandemic eases in 2021, containers for shipment are in severe shortage with traffic prices surging several times.

      Freight pricing for 40' containers (FEUs) from China/East Asia to East Coast of North America has exceeded $20,000, increasing around 5 times year-on-year, according to Freightos Baltic Index, a gauge of the global container freight rates.

      He Jun, head of Yiwu Luochen Crafts Trading Co Ltd, said the company's orders rose 50 percent from a year earlier, but it's difficult for the products – a large amounts of Santa Claus' figures and dolls – to be delivered right away.

      To avoid traffic congestion, some Christmas decorations have embarked on their journey to Western markets much earlier than before.

      CCTV News reported that the peak season of export arrived in advance in the second quarter of this year for Yiwu and Ningbo ports.

      Exports of Christmas goods saw a steady rise from May, said Meng Yuefeng, an official of Cixi Customs at Ningbo in Zhejiang province.

      The increase in prices of raw materials also troubles the Yiwu manufactures. "Prices of Christmas tree materials have risen by 30 to 40 percent from the previous year," Zhu said.

      From Jan to July period, China's import and export volume hit record high to 9.68 trillion yuan, increasing 24.4 percent year-on-year, data from the Ministry of Commerce showed.

      However, the uncertainties and risks in global supply chain under the COVID-19 pandemic were also highlighted.

      "Instead of sea transportation, some goods to Russia or Middle East may be exported via land," said Qiu Xuemei, sales manager of Dongyang Weijiule Crafts Co Ltd, "and freight rates of China-Europe trains are also expected to double in September."

      "We are trying to deliver the goods to customers by all means and make them satisfied," Qiu said.

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