Port of Riga – essential logistics link for e-commerce development with China

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The forum “Cross-border E-commerce with China”, held under the international conference eCOM360, paved the way for a new partnership platform that will promote the progress of e-commerce between China, Latvia and other Eastern European countries. The Freeport of Riga Authority and the port company TFS Trans, which is the most advanced high-bay warehouse centre in the Baltics, also became the members of the Central and Eastern European E-commerce Centre Development Association. 

The purpose of the Central and Eastern European E-commerce Centre Development Association is to promote the progress of e-commerce in Central and Eastern European countries, improve the quality of e-commerce services and increase the synergy between the players on the e-commerce market in the Central and Eastern Europe. For Latvian companies, this would give an opportunity to join forces not only with one another but also with manufacturers from neighbouring countries and through the foundations laid in the e-commerce successfully enter the Chinese market. Representative of the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA) and the promoter of the idea about the e-commerce development centre Marta Ivaņinoka-Cjiņa explains:  “Currently Latvian goods are exported to China by using the traditional trade model. Unfortunately, this model is not suitable for the relatively small Latvian companies to enter and operate on the Chinese market successfully. Hand-made Latvian goods made of natural ingredients are of high demand on the Chinese market. Whereas due to the small capacity it is extremely difficult for them to enter China using the traditional trade model.” 

Cooperation in the area of creating a unified data centre, integration of logistics, supplies organisation and development of online payments is planned in the future to collectively meet the targets of the association and provide solutions for post-sales services. Solutions for appropriate e-commerce supplies and logistics play an essential role here. 

Due to well-established container traffic, container terminals, modern warehouses and the status of the free economic zone, the Port of Riga may become a base for e-commerce business with Chinese companies. After visiting the Port of Riga and modern warehouses of “TFS Trans”, this was also recognised by Chinese partners of the new e-commerce centre development association – representatives of the municipal government of the city of Ningbo and large retail companies, which already have experience in developing e-commerce trade in the U.S. and Europe. 

“We are now familiar with the Port of Riga and believe it has the potential of becoming an essential link in the logistics for the development of e-commerce. We are therefore interested in partnership. We are interested in the Port of Riga and its warehouses,” claims Qin Gang, Deputy Director General of Latvia E-commerce Hub LLC.