Truckload carrier Schneider National recently headed a three-day forum in Shanghai, China, in cooperation with the Logistics Institute at the Georgia Institute of Technology to explore China’s impact on supply chains throughout the world’s economies.
Shanghai is the world’s largest port in total tonnage and is ranked third in container traffic, after Singapore and Hong Kong. U.S.-China marine trade is expected to increase 12% to 15% annually, and by 2010, 35% of the world’s containers will be shipped from China, said Chris Lofgren, president & CEO of Schneider.
Lofgren also noted that whole China has built more than 20,000 miles of expressways over the past 20 years, conference attendees agreed that the development of China’s logistics industry has lagged behind the country’s expanding economic output and surging foreign trade.
“China’s logistics industry has clearly reached an inflection point, where advances in both infrastructure and the demands of the market require a higher level of cohesion among global players in the supply chain,” he said.
“Modern supply chain management is needed to consolidate resources and optimize the efficiency of the circulation of goods in China,” said Liu Zhi, general director for Industrial Policy at China’s National Development and Reform Commission. At present, spending on logistics and transportation accounts for 18% to 20% of China’s gross domestic product (GDP), compared to 8%t to 10% in the U.S., he noted.
Lofgren said that while the transportation infrastructure is improving, development of the logistics industry is uneven across the large, fragmented market. He added that Schneider and the China International Marine Containers group plan to jointly sponsor another series of conferences on logistics in Beijing in 2007.