The launch of the EXP 1 service. Credit SITC Container Lines
The launch of the EXP 1 service. Credit SITC Container Lines.

Hong Kong-based intra-Asia carrier SITC Container Lines claims the launch of its e-commerce express service is a success and it is eyeing similar services after the 698 teu Phuc Thai completed just two trips.

The EXP1 was launched on 11 June as a shuttle service between Xiamen and Manila, with the turnaround in just three days, as SITC, which agreed a three-year deal with Xiamen to develop new services in September, targets Chinese online shoppers buying merchandise from the Philippines.

SITC chairman Yang Shaopeng said that, with the launch of EXP1, coupled with Xiamen’s business-friendly environment, he was confident the port city would see double-digit growth in cargo volumes.

He said: “SITC will continue to adhere to the concept of ‘win-win co-operation, common development, and shared results’ and jointly develop Xiamen Port’s high-quality comprehensive logistics services with the port and Silk Road Shipping members.”

Imports from Manila will be given exclusive berthing in Xiamen to expedite deliveries and SITC is also planning similar services between Xiamen and other South-east Asian countries that have busy e-commerce trade with China, such as Malaysia and Thailand.

The EXP1 is SITC’s first Silk Road e-commerce express line which specialises in time-sensitive cargo and enjoys exclusive berthing at Xiamen, an integral part of Silk Road Shipping, an alliance launched in late 2018 by ports, shipping companies and logistics service providers in countries along the Belt and Road initiative.

GlobalData estimates China’s e-commerce market, the world’s largest, grew 17% last year, as consumers increasingly shifted from offline to online, and could reach $3.3trn by 2025.

The launch of the EXP1 came after SITC signed a co-operation agreement with Xiamen Port Holding Group in September to work together to plan global routes and transit business, full logistics supply chain services and cross-border e-commerce logistics services.

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