Sino-Europe cargo trains gain popularity

Writer: Han Ximin  |  Editor: Holly Wang  |  From: Shenzhen Daily  |  Updated: 2020-09-14

The Sino-Europe freight train is loaded with electronic products produced in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and daily necessities. DT News

A Sino-Europe freight train loaded with electronic products produced in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and daily necessities left Shenzhen on Friday and started a 16-day trip to Europe.

This was the third train to Duisburg, Germany, from Pinghu South National Logistics Hub since the launch of the service Aug. 18.

In three weeks, a total of 1,130 tons of products, valued at 70 million yuan (US$10 million), had been transported to Europe in 136 carriages, statistics from Shenzhen Customs showed.

As the freight service to Europe is gaining popularity, the operator, Guangzhou Railway Cargo Center, has applied to operate the service three times a week and the schedule is awaiting approval from authorities, the customs said.

According to the operator, the train covers a distance of 13,438 kilometers by crossing the border through Alataw Pass in China’s Xinjiang and passing through Moscow in Russia, Minsk in Belarus, Malaszewicze and Warsaw in Poland, and Hamburg in Germany. It is one of the Sino-European freight trains that cover the longest distance and saves one-third of the time compared to ocean freight service.

The service is believed to be helpful to Shenzhen in expanding in the Russian, Central Asian and European markets.

The service gained attention from enterprises and cargo owners for its safety, convenience, low cost and limited constraints from the natural environment in the backdrop that COVID-19 pandemic that had battered world trade.

“The Sino-Europe trains bring us new experience and save about two-week time comparing to marine transportation. The fund efficiency of the company is increased. What is more, the transportation cost is about 10 percent of that of the air transportation,” Wang Hui, vice president with Qingdao Wanjia Group, said.

“Due to the simplified measures and high efficiency that generally takes four days from collection to loading cargo, many enterprises hope their products to be packed on a trip to Europe,” Song Haowen, vice general manager of Sinotrans Shenzhen International Logistics Co. Ltd., said at an interview.

The first train from Pinghu was inaugurated after only a 4-month preparation, thanks to the efficient coordination of different departments involving transportation, commerce, railway operators, logistics companies, and cargo yard operators, Shenzhen Customs said.

The customs adopts online reservation, on-site supervision and an automatic acceptance for inspection mechanism that enables enterprises to forward their cargos 24 hours a day to Pinghu.

According to a Xinhua report in August, the number of China-Europe freight trains reached record highs for five consecutive months due to increasing demand for Chinese medical supplies and limited air and sea transport during the COVID-19 pandemic.