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DHL has set its sights on air and ocean freight shipments between China and the South Asia Pacific (SAP) region, an area which has shown the fastest growing intra-Asian trade by volume.

According to the Shipping Gazette, this insight was shared by DHL’s Global Forwarding division at a recent meeting in Shanghai where senior business representatives met to discuss emerging trends and opportunities in the region.

Air freight exports from China to Vietnam have registered the strongest growth of late, followed by Chinese exports to Nepal, New Zealand, Malaysia, and India.

In terms of China’s air freight import volumes from South Asia Pacific, Vietnam also registered the strongest growth, followed by Pakistan, Malaysia and Cambodia.

Similarly in ocean freight exports from China, volumes to Bangladesh registered the strongest growth, followed by India, Singapore, and New Zealand.  As for ocean freight imports, Thailand witnessed the highest growth, followed by Indonesia.

“In the past two years, we’ve seen robust growth in our China-SAP trade lanes,” said DHL North Asia CEO Charles Kaufmann, who went on to add that import volume from China to India alone was expected to grow by 16% per annum after 2015.

According to the report, growth in the trade lane is largely driven by the apparel, footwear, electronics, engineering, and manufacturing sectors.

DHL has accordingly set up six fashion and apparel centres across Asia to cater for these segments, and has already built dedicated facilities for the life sciences and healthcare sectors.

Air freight volume between SAP and North Asia Pacific is expected to grow at a rate of 9.6% a year come 2015, led by engineering and manufacturing shipments.

Ocean freight volume between the two regions meanwhile will see annual growth rate of 7 to 9 to nine% by 2015, led by chemicals and life science products.

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