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Suzhou's "Virtual Airport" Opens for Import and Export "Direct Flight"

Singapore Airlines, in its global top-rating service, successfully carried the first batch of export air cargo of Andrew Telecommunication (China) Co., Ltd., SIP, by using Suzhou's "virtual airport" for a "connected land and air shipment" on Sept. 26. Handled by Danzas Z.F. Freight Agency Co., Ltd., the cargo was declared at SIP customs and delivered to the warehouse of Shanghai Eastern Logistics Co., Ltd. for loading, and the customs clearance took altogether less than 8 hours to complete. The "virtual airport" of Suzhou has thus entered into the stage of field operation in the true sense of two-way "direct flight" for export and import.

By "connected land and air shipment", which is the reversed form for "connected air and land shipment" mode, SIP is regarded as a virtual international airport with the IATA-assigned city code "SZV" for port of departure, and cargoes are delivered in Suzhou and customs declaration and inspection completed locally. The goods are then shipped to the nearby airport by "truck flight" for outbound transfer.

The "connected land and airport shipment" has been in the preparatory stage for years. Back in 2002, SIP, as the port of destination, started the import operation mode of "connected air and land shipment", which was favored by such multinational corporations as Nokia, Samsung, Solectron, L'Oreal, Bosch, and Delph, etc. for the equally efficient and cost-effective logistics operation as those of the port cities.

580 enterprises and 35 airline companies have so far participated in the "connected air and land shipment" in coordination with the "flight trucks" offered by land agencies at the airports in Shanghai Pudong, Nanjing Lukou, Hangzhou Xiaoshan, and Hong Kong. By September this year, the "connected air and land shipment" made a new monthly record of 523 tons.

Am important step was made this year to complete the functions of Suzhou's "virtual airport". On August 20, Civil Aviation Administration of China issued the document on "Approval of Service Experimentation of Connected Land and Air Shipment for SIP Comprehensive Bonded Zone", which stipulates that "Chinese and foreign airline companies, pursuant to law and statutory regulations and bilateral agreements between governments on aviation transportation, may establish representative offices in Suzhou, and sell cargo spaces of their own, and issue air cargo bills with the port of departure from Suzhou (coded SZV) for connected land and air shipment." On Sept. 26, Singapore Airlines extended its service from the nearby airports directly to SIP by making the virgin flight of "connected land and air shipment".

Along with the two-way connected shipment, Suzhou is now aiming to open up a "virtual seaport", based on the recently approved "SIP Comprehensive Bonded Zone", the first comprehensive bonded zone in China, to maximize the functions of the logistics platform of the Suzhou region to the expectations of enterprises in Suzhou and the whole of Yangtze delta and Jiangsu Province.

Oct. 8, 2007

   
 
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