Full steam ahead for shipping giant

Updated 2017-06-22 10:35:16 China Daily
A worker connects loading hooks to goods from a COSCO Shipping freighter at Kotka Harbor, Finland.

A worker connects loading hooks to goods from a COSCO Shipping freighter at Kotka Harbor, Finland.

China COSCO Shipping is expanding its global reach as part of the government's Belt and Road Initiative

China's largest shipping group is beefing up its operations to compete against global rivals as it pursues business opportunities thrown up by the Belt and Road Initiative.

Earlier this month, China COSCO Shipping Corp snapped up a 51 percent stake of Noatum Port, a Spanish container terminal operator, for 7.81 million.

The deal extended its ports and terminals network to the Mediterranean region in Europe, and dovetails with its massive merchant fleet of 1,028 ships.

"This initiative provides numerous opportunities for Chinese companies to carry out the Going Global strategy, and the Belt and Road Initiative," said Xu Lirong, chairman of the State-owned company.

China COSCO Shipping is an ocean-going giant and was born from the merger of China Ocean Shipping (Group) Co and China Shipping (Group) Co in 2016.

It has already rolled out a port strategy along the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, which is part of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Included in this was the Noatum Port acquisition by COSCO Shipping Ports Ltd, a subsidiary of the parent company. It took a controlling stake in Noatum Port Holdings SLU from TPIH Iberia SLU of Spain.

"China COSCO Shipping will use its abundant overseas resources in this new project, and provide supporting services from our overseas shipping and ports networks," Xu said.

Naturally, this is all part of the company's Belt and Road Initiative blueprint, with Noatum Port, which operates container terminals in Port of Valencia and Port of Bilbao in Spain, a key link in the chain.

The group will also expand port services, logistics, industrial equipment manufacturing, and financial and shipping services.

"This will be in countries related to the Belt and Road Initiative, especially in Southeast Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe," Xu said.

One key acquisition made by the company's subsidiary, COSCO Pacific in Hong Kong, was Turkey's Kumport Terminal in 2015.

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