Tue, Oct 16, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Germany urges joint effort to boost logistics industry

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan and Germany should work together to boost their logistics firms, as both nations provide reliable port facilities that keep global supply chains running, the German Trade Office Taipei said in a report last week.

The office unveiled the report at a seminar in Taipei on the trends in the logistics industry in Taiwan and Germany.

Representatives and industry experts shared their views on industrial trends, with a focus on business opportunities in Hamburg for Taiwanese logistics companies.

Taiwan and Germany, which this year ranked 27th and first in the World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index respectively, have some of the world’s busiest port facilities, highlighting the convenience and efficiency of freight handling provided by the two countries, the report said.

The Port of Kaohsiung, the nation’s largest container port, was last year ranked the world’s 15th-busiest, handling more than 10 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU), the report said, adding that it was closely followed by Germany’s largest port, the Port of Hamburg, which ranked 18th, handling almost 9 million TEU.

That makes Taiwan and Germany natural partners in the logistics industry, and cooperation between the two sides’ logistics companies offers mutual benefits, German Trade Office Taipei executive director Axel Limberg said.

“As Germany is leading in logistics performance and Taiwan is looking to modernize its logistics infrastructure, exchange of experience will not only enable bilateral firms to learn from each other, but also strengthen the economic ties between Germany and Taiwan,” Limberg said, adding that Taiwan relies on a well-functioning logistics industry to drive its economy.

Taiwanese authorities have been promoting the nation’s logistics industry and have invested in its expansion, modernization and adoption of related infrastructure, the report said.

The industry is important for the manufacturing sector and plays a crucial role in meeting the rapidly growing demand to deliver products purchased online, it said.

The use of smart technology would gain prevalence to help reduce turnaround and delivery time, as well as facilitate tracking, it said.

As maritime logistics infrastructure has great significance in foreign trade for an island nation, harbors should be transformed into integrated transportation hubs if the government is serious about developing Taiwan into a regional hub in Southeast Asia, the report said.

Taiwan is Germany’s fifth-largest trading partner in Asia, while Germany is the most important trading partner for Taiwan in the EU, the report said, adding that bilateral trade last year reached US$15.6 billion.

Hamburg plays a vital role in Taiwanese-German trade due to its favorable location in central Europe and as a gateway to Scandinavia as well as the emerging markets in the Baltic region, it said.

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