Global delivery company FedEx has announced plans to open a $100 million air cargo hub in China's commercial centre of Shanghai, betting on stronger growth in the world's second largest economy.
US-based FedEx Corp. on Thursday signed an agreement with Shanghai's airport operator to set up the international express and cargo hub to be completed in early 2017, according to a company statement.
"Demand for FedEx shipping services, both to and from China, is expected to increase," said Michael Ducker, chief operating officer of FedEx Express, the express delivery arm of the group.
"By expanding our infrastructure in Shanghai, we will be equipped to handle increased volumes in Asia," he said in the statement.
The hub will also help service trade between China's developed eastern coast and the United States and Europe, the statement said.
China, the world's largest exporter, has been hurt this year by weakness in overseas economies including debt-saddled Europe, a major trading partner.
In the first nine months of this year, overall trade -- both imports and exports -- was $2.84 trillion, up 6.2 percent from the same period in 2011, off the government's target of 10 percent annual trade growth for 2012.
The new FedEx hub at Shanghai's main international airport, Pudong, will triple the capacity of its current facility, by processing up to 36,000 items an hour, the statement said.
FedEx now serves Shanghai with 68 flights a week, it said.
Li Derun, president of Shanghai Airport Group Co. Ltd., said the venture will help Shanghai boost its role as a regional shipping and logistics centre, the official Xinhua news agency reported.