WUHAN, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province, also a shipping center in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River, will launch a direct shipping route to Osaka, Japan for containers within this year, local authorities said on Friday.
Wuhan Xingang Datong International Shipping Co., Ltd, a subsidiary of the Central China Logistics Corporation, signed a cooperation agreement with Ben Line Agencies (Japan) Ltd on Friday to jointly promote the direct shipping lines to Japan.
Through river-sea combined transport, a more economical shipping route from China to Japan is to be launched for the first time in the province, which will reduce the transport cost of foreign trade enterprises and promote the region's economic development, according to the Central China Logistics Corporation.
In recent years, Wuhan to Japan waterway express routes for containers and direct shipping routes for bulk cargo have been launched, which has greatly enhanced the economic and trade cooperations between the two, said Wang Benju, deputy director of the provincial transport department.
On June 12, Wuhan's first 500-TEU container ship to Japan, named "Central China Logistics Hanya 1," set sail on its maiden voyage. The ship will be put into operation by the end of 2019.
In 2018, the total import and export volume between Hubei and Japan reached about 4.16 billion U.S. dollars and more than 70 percent of the exported goods to Japan were transported by water.