China-ROK sea route for delivery resumes

Updated: 2015-07-22 21:30


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JINAN - A mail-delivery sea route between China and the Republic of Korea (ROK) was reopened on Wednesday, seven years after authorities shut it.

The route between China's coastal city of Weihai and the ROK's Incheon is the second such route between the two countries. The other connects China's Tianjin Municipality and Incheon.

A route between Weihai and Incheon was launched in 2005, but it was halted three years later due to "a lack of demand", said Zhang Yong, a Weihai customs official.

Customs staff with Weihai, Shandong Province, told Xinhua that the route will be used for express mail services.

"The delivery time will be the same as by air mail, but the cost will be at least 70 percent less," Zhang said.

Overseas parcels had to be delivered to Weihai via other ports after the old route was closed in 2008, a practice which was both expensive and time-consuming. "With the new route, we will be much more efficient," Zhang said.

Trade between China and the ROK is gaining steam, particularly after the signing of a free trade agreement in early June, fueling demand for delivery services.

According to China Post, 1,000 items of mail are sent from the ROK to Shandong every day, while about 350 travel in the other direction. Both are growing at an annual rate of 40 percent.

"Reopening the route will contribute to trade development between the two countries," Zhang said. "It will also boost businesses in Weihai by facilitating overseas purchases."