The U-Freight Group – (www.ufreight.com) – the Hong Kong-headquartered international freight services and logistics group, believes that China’s growing thirst for French wine will be a major boost for the company’s specialist wine logistics services.
The recent Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Fair revealed high volumes of French wine being imported into Hong Kong and mainland China.
Earlier this year, following a detailed examination of official documentation and an on-site audit, one of U-Freight Logistics’ facilities in Hong Kong was officially approved by the Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency (HKQAA) for the provision of commercial wine storage.
HKQAA has partnered with the industry to develop the HKQAA Wine Storage Management Systems Certification Scheme for wine storage companies and wine retailers, which is the first of its kind in the world. The scheme has been championed by the industry and a significant number of wine storage facilities have already been awarded the certification. U-Freight Logistics is pleased to be joining them.
The certification means that U-Freight Logistics (HK) Limited is officially able to provide commercial wine storage services within the company’s warehouse at Kwai Chung.
At its landmark logistics centre at Pudong Airport, Shanghai; the U-Freight Group also offers a sophisticated wine tasting suite where buyers and sellers can sample wine; as well as comprehensive wine storage facilities with sophisticated temperature and humidity control mechanisms.
Comments the company’s CEO, Simon Wong: “The accreditation in Hong Kong and the development in Shanghai came at just the right time for us to support China’s burgeoning wine market and to help French imports into the Chinese market. We have seen robust growth of wine-related business activities in Hong Kong and mainland China since approval from HKQAA, which partnered with the industry to develop the HKQAA Wine Storage Management Systems Certification Scheme for wine storage companies and wine retailers. The fact that this was the first of its kind in the world is all-important to us.
“China and Hong Kong are now hosting world-class wine shows to bring the best of New and Old World wines to Chinese restaurants, clubs, retailers, auction houses and consumers who want to taste the best the world has to offer.
“We have just had the Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Fair, which demonstrates how significant wine is to the city, now. In the past, 95 percent of wines consumed in mainland China were produced domestically. Now, a quarter of all wine is imported. This facility puts us in pole position when importers are considering the safe importation of wines from around the world.”
The growth of wine consumption in China is partly a result of the 30 million people who join the middle class every year in China. French wine is particularly sought after by this group.
The way in which wine is sold in China is also changing. In the 1990s, imported wines were only available in first tier cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen and sold almost exclusively to foreign hotels and retailers.
In 2011, however, imported wines are entering second-tier cities and are primarily sold through restaurants and large supermarkets and department stores.
Simon Wong concludes: “It is one of life’s pleasures to open a fine bottle of wine to accompany a fine meal or to share with friends. Chinese connoisseurs can now enjoy French wine that they can be sure has been handled expertly and professionally by the U-Freight Group as it comes into the country. I’ll drink to that!”