When you search or ask for recommendations of excellent natural stone factories in China, do you notice that almost all of them are located in the province of Fujian? Specifically, in the city of Xiamen?
This is because Xiamen has a stone industry cluster and a port of export with a large trading capacity. The Port of Xiamen operates in 10 zones and over 100 berths, allowing access to major shipping companies worldwide.
If you want to know more about Xiamen Port’s power in China’s stone trade, this article is the perfect resource.
Introducing the Xiamen City of China
With more than 4 million population, Xiamen is an economically prosperous city in the province of Fujian, China, and is a competitive market. It also has the status of a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) which serves as its ace.
But did you know that ⅓ of its exports are stones?
The city is a huge stone trading hub, and it is not only because of its rich natural resources. Fujian province is supported by the government in its stone processing centers and is technologically advanced in equipment.
Because of this, Xiamen stone factories can produce products that are not only durability-wise but also satisfy the design requirement put forward by the other sectors that use stone, such as in real estate or commercial buildings.
We at Xiamen can produce precisely-cut natural stones with complex shapes and styles to cater to different interior designs. We also perform it with speed since clients from all over the world are being supplied with a variety of stone products in large amounts.
What makes this efficiency possible in the city is also because of the presence of a stone industry cluster, established through the years to maximize the resources of the geographical location.
What Is the Xiamen Stone Industry Cluster?
To define an industry cluster is where a group of firms, businesses, and other stakeholders —located in close proximity or the exact geographic location—become interdependent to serve their interests in the same field. In this case, the area is in natural stone.
Going back to Xiamen, it has the following players in its stone industry cluster:
- 12,000 stone processing factories
- research and development for the stone industry
- advantages in logistics due to more access to maritime shipping (Xiamen Port)
In totality, China has 2,150 mines for 12 types of natural stones, including marble, granite, limestone, and slate. While there are no records that show the number of mines in Xiamen, we can assume that it is also rich in quarries because of its stone industry cluster.
Why Is the Port of Xiamen Crucial in the Stone Industry?
The Port of Xiamen, or the “Amoy” Harbor as its local name, has been facilitating trade as early as 1541, particularly with the Europeans. Now supervised by the Xiamen Port Authority, it has become the city’s (and even the province’s) main instrument for the natural stone trade.
1. It Has Access to Plenty of Port Zones
The Xiamen Port has 10 more zones which are:
- Haicang, Dongdu, and Xiang’an in Xiamen
- Dongshan, Gulei, Houshi, Shima, Zhaoyin, Yunxiao, and Zhaoan in Zhangzou
Port zones are the areas associated with the delivery locations and are crucial since we will ship the stone products from (or where we will receive them during importation).
The zones of Xiamen allow companies in the stone industry to save money from the cost of shipping because more than 50 percent of the product’s total cost is from the exportation processes.
2. It Has a Great Maritime Access
The Port of Xiamen has over 68 shipping routes, giving access to 50 countries, including the US, Spain, and Canada. Even the top 20 shipping companies worldwide perform operations in Xiamen, considering the port integral to global trade.
This is also why the Xiamen Port is the 8th busiest port in China and one of the most active in the World.
Because of this advantage, 60 percent of the Chinese stone trade comes from Xiamen, and the said port also accounts for 15 percent of the global stone trade volume.
3. It Can Handle Huge Amounts of Cargo
Aside from the maritime access that helps trade stones across different countries, the Xiamen Port can also simultaneously accommodate vast amounts of cargo.
It has 175 berths (allotted space for the ships), wherein 80 can handle cargo above 10,000 tons. Some can take more than 200,000 tons, like in the docks of Yuanhai and Songyu.
The same port is also 4th in China regarding handling sixth-generation container vessels. This is another benefit for the stone industry since stones are usually shipped in large capacities using container vessels, especially fragile ones like marble.
4. It Is Technologically Equipped in Its Operations
As we have mentioned, the government supports Fujian in improving and strengthening the stone industry; this is evident in the Xiamen Port.
In 2020, the Xiamen Container Terminal Group announced they would transform the Xiamen Port into a fully intelligent one. An example is the innovative terminal operating system (TOS) that will make the loading and unloading process of cargo more efficient.
The 5G technology is also utilized in the said port, particularly in the terminal. Tasks that usually involved manpower are now operated by computers such as:
- remote control port equipment
- autonomous driving
- cargo security
- intelligent cargo handling
5. It Has a Fast Turnaround Time
The Port of Xiamen has maintained a reputation for having a quick turnaround time for cargo, which will be further improved by the integration of technology and artificial intelligence.
A fast turnaround time is crucial in exporting and importing stones as it will affect the efficiency of the trading process; if the cargo departs or arrives late, it will affect the market supply and the costs associated with it.
6. It is the biggest port near ShuiTou Town
Any stone businessmen imported from China are familiar with ShuiTou Town, the biggest stone city in China and even the world. It is a magic in stone field. It has no quarry in this town, but it has all the stones from worldwide countries.
We import blocks from the original countries, cut them into slabs or process them into various products, then export them abroad. Sinodec Stone is one of the manufacturers in this town. We can make any stone design accurate here.
What Countries Import Natural Stones From China?
According to the data from 2019 or the pre-pandemic year, the top destinations for China’s natural stones are the USA, Japan, South Korea, Germany, and Vietnam.
Interestingly, the Port of Xiamen is the top port of export that provides the most value. The other ones are the ports of (in descending order): Shenzhen, Qingdao, Guangzhou, Tianjin, Fuzhou, Shanghai, and Wuhan.
Does China Also Use Their Natural Stones?
China, especially Xiamen, is a significant exporter of natural stones to other countries. Its exports of the said products amount to hundreds of millions and even billions. But does this country also use the rocks domestically?
The answer is yes. China has 3 main uses for natural stones which are:
- interior and exterior design and decoration for residential and commercial establishments
- construction of buildings and creation of gardens
- monumental and ornamental stones such as for carvings and tombstones
Xiamen is a city in the province of Fujian, China, that is thriving economically in different sectors. However, the sector that it is most known for is the stone industry. Since Xiamen is rich in mines, different stakeholders take advantage of this by concentrating on natural stones.
The city’s success is also attributed to the Xiamen Port. The latter has broad access to different export routes and can handle many stone shipments. This and technological advancements make Xiamen the top exporting port in China.