Okinawa export increase anticipated through new sea route connecting Naha and Ho Chi Minh

Okinawa export increase anticipated through new sea route connecting Naha and Ho Chi Minh

January 13, 2018 Ryukyu Shimpo

Shanghai Hai Hua Shipping Company (HASCO), a Chinese maritime transport company, has begun operating international container ships on a route between Naha Port and Ho Chi Minh Port in Vietnam through Keelung Port in Taiwan. On January 18 the first ship to take this route will come in to Naha Port. This is the first direct distribution route that links Naha and Vietnam. Okinawa Kokusai Kaiun Company (OKK), which is based in Ishigaki City and acts as a shipping agent for HASCO, issued the following statement: “With the market expansion we anticipate from a direct route with Vietnam, we can bolster the advancement of Okinawan enterprise in East Asia.”

In 2005 HASCO and OKK opened a route connecting Shanghai, Naha and Taiwan. However, this new route extends operations of the 2005 route on the mainland China end to Lianyungang Port in Jiangsu Province, and on the south end to Vietnam. In addition, three cargo ships were added to the operations on this route, which goes from Lianyungang, to Shanghai, to Naha, to Keelung, to Ho Chi Minh, and then returns to Shanghai. The ships on this route come into Naha Port every Thursday.

According to OKK the demand in Vietnam for used paper and used construction machinery exported from Okinawa is high, and the leading imports will be clothing and miscellaneous goods. Before this route extension it would take about two weeks for Okinawan exports to be transshipped through a main port such as Shanghai and arrive in Ho Chi Minh. Through the direct voyage the shipping period of Okinawan exports to Ho Chi Minh Port is shortened to five days.

This is also the first time that Lianyungang Port in Jiangsu Province, China, has been connected by a direct route with Naha Port. Lianyungang produces agricultural goods, so Okinawan vendors are making inquiries about the import of fruits and vegetables.

The assistant manager of OKK’s Naha branch office said, “Now that Naha will be receiving northern regions’ goods from Shanghai, I also want to propose that we make use of the direct route with Vietnam to create a trend advancing Okinawan enterprise in Southeast Asia.”

(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)

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