Number of China-Europe freight trains up 17% in the first four months

Data from the China State Railway Group showed that freight train traffic between China and Europe recorded solid growth in the first four months of this year, thanks to a steady increase in transportation capacity and efficiency.

A total of 5,611 China-Europe freight trains ran from January to April, up 17 percent year on year, and about 609,000 standard containers of goods were transported, up 32 percent year on year, the company said.

In April alone, China-Europe freight train journeys rose 25 percent year-on-year to 1,459, and the trains carried about 160,000 standard containers, up 45 percent year-on-year.

Ma Siwei, general manager of Heze-based Shandong China Post International Logistics Co., told the Global Times on Sunday that the company has seen a surge in freight trains to five Central Asian countries in recent months.

“Almost 60 percent of my goods were shipped to Central Asian countries, which is a huge increase,” he said.

Cargo transportation is currently on an upward trend, Ma said, explaining that the profit for a container has risen to 2,000-3,000 yuan (US$285-428) in the past month or two, while it was only a few hundred in the spring Yuan have been festival holidays.

In the first half of 2022, there were still no goods to be transported, but this year is very different and profits are also increasing, he said.

A logistics agent surnamed Yu told the Global Times that the company’s 10,000-square-meter warehouse in southern China’s Guangzhou shipped about 15 to 20 containers a day via the China-Europe Railway Express in May, while its Yiwu warehouse shipped about 10 containers a day.

“We also opened charter trains to Belarus and Russia. Now only a few containers are left for trains departing from Yiwu in late May. Each train carries about 55 containers, and a single trip takes 35 to 45 days,” Yu said.

By the end of April, the number of domestic departure cities of the freight train service had reached 109, offering connections to 211 cities in 25 European countries, China State Railway Group said.

During the just-concluded China-Central Asia summit on Friday in Xi’an, northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, China pledged to strengthen the construction of China-Europe freight rail hubs.

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