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Shanghai Targets Cruise Supply Chain Development

AIDAbella in Shanghai

Seeing some 1.5 million passengers in 2017, Shanghai’s Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal (WSK) has become China’s central cruise hub. The entire country saw 2.39 million passengers last year, giving Shanghai close to 60 percent of the market.

WSK resides in Shanghai’s Baoshan district, which has been designated as an experimental cruise development zone, encompassing the entire supply chain. Over the next three years Baoshan will receive over $15 million in funding to make it happen.

Part of the project has started with transforming the water front: less cargo operations and more recreation is the task, with six parks set to open.               

Service Centers

Baoshan has also set up a Shanghai Cruise Tourism Service Center, extending port services; allow guests to check-in at home or their hotels. One has even been opened at Hongqiao, the main domestic flight and train hub in Shanghai. Another has followed at a nearby train station, allow guests to check-in and even check their luggage, and then board a bus to the ship.

Duty free shopping is another growth item, as WSK has set up a duty-free zone in a mall near the port. Passengers can buy items while waiting to board, and pick up their purchases on disembarkation. The port hopes this also puts less emphasis on shopping shore excursions on cruises sailing from Shanghai.

Traffic Flow

Like many other ports, WSK is contending with traffic growth, both in ships and cars. It welcomed its first triple-call in March, with ships in port from Costa, SkySea and Norwegian.

To handle traffic flow pierside, WSK has instituted a “smart police, smart transportation” system to manage cars, busses, pedestrians and traffic lights, also working with local GPS companies to provide real-time traffic data.

In the bigger picture, Shanghai sees itself a globally competitive city when it comes to cruise vacation

The local government has partnered Royal Caribbean to launch an online check-in system, streamlining monitoring of passengers entering the port.

he Baoshan Inspection and Quarantine Bureau has announced that it is putting in place various standards as well with the aim of speeding up ship clearance times.

Another deal has WSK working with a Norwegian classification society to see the port meet international standards.

The government also wants the cruise companies to operate their shoreside offices out of Baoshan, and has offered various tax breaks and incentives.

Procurement

One more target: procurement. Baoshan plans to gradually set up a cruise distribution center to service not only China but ships in the Asia-Pacific region.

Supply chain issues remain a major concern in China, with high operating costs and an unclear regulatory framework. Currently, none of the 12 international cruise ports in China have become procurement centers.

Baoshan has assembled a team to provide a plan to build Shanghai into a procurement hub, bringing together key players and government groups to streamline the process.

Already, by simplifying customs and safety inspection clearances, cruise cargo can now come in seven days in advance instead of the previous 15 days.

And there are shipbuilding plans too as China State Shipbuilding Corporation is setting up its own industrial complex in Baoshan to build cruise ships.

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