Outstanding Transport System Springboards for Growth

Authors: China Daily

2018-08-31

Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province, is helping to spearhead increased trade with countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative through its advanced and integrated transport system, further advancing the opening-up of western China.
On August 2, a seemingly routine but nonetheless important China-Europe freight train, loaded with 1,742 metric tons of timber from Russia, arrived at Heilongjiang Provence's Suifenhe city on the border with Russia. Completing clearance procedures at Suifenhe customs, the train quietly pushed on to Chengdu station.
"Before the China-Europe train route came into operation, timber came to Chengdu mostly by ship, which would take over 30 days a trip," said Zheng Shuangli, director of Chengdu International Rail Port Investment and Development Group.
"Now, though, the cargo comes to Chengdu by regular railway container train, saving about half of the travel time and cutting the import costs of companies by a lot," Zheng said.
Another special freight train running to Russia from Chengdu began its journey on July 29, transporting cars made by the Dongfeng Motor Group worth more than $1.23 million.
China-Europe freight train
The international freight train between Chengdu and Moscow was officially launched in August last year. Goods transported have ranged from computer laptops, shoes, hats and clothes to auto parts.
Returning to Chengdu, its containers are filled with products such as sweets and chocolates, wood and compound floorboards, helping to boost trade between Sichuan and Russia.
According to Zheng, since June the freight train between Chengdu and Moscow does six runs in a month, three times the previous number. More importantly, the railcars are fully loaded with goods all the time.
Chengdu was included in the rail network initiated by the China-Europe freight train service five years ago. The cross-border network had linked 14 Chinese cities and 16 foreign cities by the end of July.
The Chengdu International Railway Port, part of the China (Sichuan) Pilot Free Trade Zone, is the backbone of the region's plan to establish a global logistics system and boom trade with countries along the route of the Belt and Road Initiative.
In the current year, the port has been expanding connectivity in every direction by building more railway routes.
To date, it has established four major international routes —— north to Russia, west to Europe and Central Asia, south to the countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and east to South Korea and the Americas.
According to one official, Chengdu is the largest airline hub among the cities in central and western China, providing convenient access to international routes across the globe.
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