BEIJING, July 14 (Xinhua) -- China's logistics sector reported rapid growth in the first half of the year, boosted by thriving foreign trade as the recovery of the world's second-largest economy has continued to consolidate.
The country's foreign trade rose 27.1 percent year on year to 18.07 trillion yuan (about 2.79 trillion U.S. dollars) in the first six months, its best performance for the same period in history, data from the General Administration of Customs (GAC) shows.
The record-breaking trade volume entailed rising shipping demand among foreign trade enterprises.
"My firm needs to ship goods overseas every day, with over 10,000 containers sent every year," said Yang Nan, president of a foreign trade firm in east China's Jiangsu Province, an export powerhouse in China.
As a major means of transport, rail freight saw strong growth momentum. According to data from the China State Railway Group Co., Ltd., the China-Europe freight train service handled 7,377 trips in the first half of this year, up 43 percent from the same period last year, while goods transported totaled 707,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit containers, surging 52 percent year on year.
Air cargo orders also climbed as Chinese goods gained popularity among customers around the world. In the January-June period, China's air cargo volume rose 24.6 percent year on year to 3.74 million tonnes, according to data from the Civil Aviation Administration of China.
China's sustained economic recovery is shoring up production and demand, which has laid a solid foundation for the growth of the country's foreign trade, said GAC spokesperson Li Kuiwen, adding that global economic revival also has played a positive role.
Despite the trade growth registered in the first six months, the future is not entirely rosy for foreign trade firms as they are faced with challenges including fluctuating exchange rates, rising transport costs and high raw material prices, analysts have said.
To further spur the growth of foreign trade, China's State Council earlier this month released guidelines on accelerating the development of new forms and models of foreign trade to push forward its upgrade and foster new competitive strengths.
To plan for the future, enterprises should avail of the opportunities presented by the new forms and models of foreign trade, sharpen their product and brand competitiveness and further expand their markets, said Zhuang Rui, a professor at the University of International Business and Economics. Enditem