Mainland freight forwarder and logistics service provider Sinotrans is struggling to hold up its profit margin as it is pressured on price because of strong competition. Although the mainland market is big enough to accommodate many players, price competition is intense among smaller operators, said president Zhang Jianwei. 'We feel the pressure in pricing, not from the big competitors but from the small to medium-size companies,' Mr Zhang said. 'I see the trend of reducing price and lowering profit margin. But Sinotrans is a big player and we have taken measures to cope with it.' Mr Zhang said that Sinotrans saw a 'steady and healthy growth' in the first half and the volume of its freight forwarding business rose 15 per cent year on year. The company's sea freight forwarding services last year handled 2.58 million teu (20-ft equivalent units), while its air forwarding service handled 159,100 tonnes. Its business volume from shipping agency and express service also jumped a comparative 32 per cent and 31 per cent respectively in the first six months. Last year, the shipping agency handled 4.65 million teu. Net registered tonnage of vessels handled by the agency was 155.4 million tonnes. Its express operations processed 9.54 million tonnes of documents and packages last year. He said the market share of its express business was about 30 per cent. If its joint venture operations with DHL Express Worldwide and United Parcel Services are included, the market share was as large as 60 per cent. Its revenue on express business last year was about 1.15 billion yuan (HK$1.08 billion). 'Although China was troubled by Sars, the economy is recovering. China's GDP will keep a growth rate of 7 per cent this year and the transport and logistics industry will keep up with the growth rate accordingly,' Mr Zhang said.