In China not all consumers can be considered the same, since in China there is a large variety of people and they all have their different habits and living conditions, which influences their consumer behavior. As Thomas Wang from China Progress International explains: “What we've seen in recent years was that the living standards of East China are slightly higher than in other areas, for example when you compare it with North/West China. Therefore the sale of imported fruit is also higher in this region, because they can afford to buy more expensive fruits, since they have a high living standard, and thus also focus more on the quality of their fruits. East China is therefore an important market for imported goods.”
China Progress is a logistics company and has about 15 years of experience in the Chinese and international markets. “Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Guangzhou are the most important cities in China for importing fruits. Historically, the South of China was already a common place for foreign goods. Merchants from the South would leave China and return with goods they found during their trip, which they then sold in the domestic Chinese market. Therefore the import market in South China is well developed, because it has such a long history with importing goods. The biggest import market for fruits in China is the one in Guangzhou. Shanghai is also an important city, but most of the goods first arrive at the Southern cities before they reach Shanghai. ”
A lot of fruit first enters the port in Hong Kong and then goes through custom clearance to Shenzhen or Guangzhou. “This all takes two to three days and then it enters the market and it can be sold. In the fruit business, time is a very important factor. If a shipment is delayed, this has a direct influence on the market price and on the quality of the products. Therefore, reducing unnecessary delays in the shipment and logistics is important to save some time and money. The reason a lot of fruits are not directly shipped to Shanghai, but first to Hong Kong or Shenzhen is, because the import in Shanghai takes longer. It takes about four days longer than Hong Kong and, as I just mentioned, time is an important factor. So that is why a lot of fruits first go through Hong Kong and Shenzhen and then are further distributed to other cities like Shanghai. Our office is located in Shenzhen, it is close to Hong Kong and Guangzhou.”
Richard Tang (Executive Director) and Thomas Wang (Assistant to General Manager)
There are two main points China Progress International focuses on as logistics company: providing high quality customer service and working on a global scale. As Thomas explains: “When we help a company with their logistics, we do not simply receive the goods, provide custom clearance service and bring it to the market, but we try to do more. The most crucial part of a shipment is the middle part, where the goods leave the country of origin and are coming to China, because it is not always clear who is responsible for this part, so it is not managed that well. In order to run this part as smoothly as possible, we contact the foreign logistics company at forehand as well. We try to prepare the shipment together with them according to our own produced guideline and help them to provide all the right documents, so that when the goods arrive in China everything goes smoothly. This is the extra service we provide for our customers, they do not need to fear that something goes wrong, because we manage every part of the shipment, from the departure in the origin country to the arrival in the Chinese domestic market.”
“Therefore our global network is very important, we have a lot of experience of working together with foreign companies and understand their business culture very well. We invested a lot time in understanding foreign cultures and languages, because these are two factors that most of the time cause misunderstandings and no further collaboration between companies.
Since the beginning of our company in 2004 we started to build our global network and that is why our current global network is very strong and we found local trustworthy partners in many countries. Last year we created an alliance (World Fruit Logistics Association---WFLA) for all our global partners to work together. Also we set up new brand company --- Shenzhen Cool Chain Logistics company for specializing in a cold chain logistics service for all our clients. We help Chinese companies import their goods to China, but also foreign companies with exporting their goods to China. We hope to help more in the future.”