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Wuhan-Yangshan shuttle now more reliable, says shipper

23 May 2012
Wuhan government’s efforts to prioritise the reliability of shuttle services between Wuhan and Shanghai’s Yangshan terminal are bearing fruit, according to major shipper TPV, which has a manufacturing plant in Wuhan. The company has recently experienced a significant decrease in its containers missing scheduled liner services in Shanghai.

According to Robert Hu, logistics manager of the world’s second largest OEM computer monitor manufacturer behind Foxconn, 90 per cent of the shuttle services depart Yangluo terminal and arrive in Yangshan on schedule. Journey time is four days maximum, he told Yangtze Business Services. As a result, the monthly proportion of the company’s containers missing their scheduled liner services has been halved to 10 per cent.

Mr Hu attributes the improved reliability to a Wuhan government incentive package announced last June. The package included higher government subsidies for barge operators running shuttle services, priority for customs clearance and cargo inspection, and priority for container trucks on the three ring roads.

The subsidy for barge operators was raised from Rmb50,000 per call to Rmb60,000, and an extra bonus of Rmb20,000 for those reaching Yangshan within 48 hours. Under this new arrangement, barge operators now have to bid for their licences.

The measures were announced by Wuhan Mayor Tang Liangzhi in conjunction with the city’s move last summer to merge its two major container terminals, one at Yangsi and the other at Yangluo.
Yangsi, located in Wuhan ETDZ and now vacated for a new development, is closer to TPV than Yangluo. The local government agreed to compensate shippers such as TPV for their increased trucking cost resulting from the merged services.

However, according to Mr Hu, government subsidy only covers one-third of the increased trucking costs for his company. Trucking the distance to Yangluo terminal costs Rmb750 per trip, compared with Rmb450 to Yangsi, he said. He predicts that it will increase by another Rmb200 due to rising fuel prices.

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