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China-Europe train traffic soars

By Xie Chuanjiao | (chinadaily.com.cn) | 2022-11-14

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Customs officers inspect a China-Europe freight train. [Photo by Zhou Shichao/For chinadaily.com.cn]

The total number of China-Europe freight train trips operated by a multimodal transport center in Qingdao, Shandong province, soared up 36.3 percent year-on-year to 620 from January to October, playing a significant role in stabilizing supply chains and foreign trade, Customs officers said recently.

The multimodal transport center is located in the China-Shanghai Cooperation Organization Local Economic and Trade Cooperation Demonstration Area, or SCODA.

According to Jiaozhou Customs, which is administered by Qingdao Customs, a total of 366 trips departed from the center, which was 59 percent of the total.

Return trips numbered 254, or 41 percent of the total. The inbound goods were mainly sheet materials, soybeans and wheat bran pellets.

On Wednesday a batch of cross-border commodities placed in 86 twenty-foot equivalent units completed customs inspections in the multimodal transport center.

The commodities, including artificial flowers, Christmas lights, Santa hats and toys, will be aboard a special train for cross-border business and is expected to arrive in Minsk, Belarus, in 17 days.

"As year's end approaches, the export of festival goods and electrical household appliances is on the increase, and clients are badly in need of orders and delivery," said Lu Junlin, general manager of Oushunhang Cross-Border Business Co.

"Overseas buyers have great potential to purchase goods for everyday use and electrical household appliances through online platforms amid the raging COVID-19 pandemic around the world," Lu said.

According to Jiaozhou Customs, the stable and highly efficient China-Europe freight train service has induced more businesses to choose railway logistics and tap into the growing market.

Jiaozhou Customs inspected Shandong's first special train for cross-border business in June last year. The train service, operated by SCODA, has been offered once every month, alleviating the contradiction between strong export demand and insufficient international transport capacity.

Xu Yuejing, deputy director of Jiaozhou Customs, said customs officials have made great efforts to cut clearance times and simplify procedures to boost the development of China-Europe freight train service.

"The SCODA has operated a host of new routes since the beginning of this year, including those heading to Mannheim, Germany, and Serbia, continuing to improve the train service's capacity and expand its lines," Xu added.