Freight trains along the China-Europe route continued to deliver a wide variety of goods and products from countries along the Belt & Road to their final destination in China during the Spring Festival, providing consumers with more choices during the country’s most important traditional festival, Chinanews.com reported on Feb.17.
In recent days, the freight trains have transported foreign commodities, including pure milk, chocolate, and cold-chain foods all the way to Zhengzhou, the capital city of central China’s Henan province.
Transporting these foreign products to China’s market amid a worldwide pandemic is a difficult task. “We must strengthen epidemic control measures throughout the whole procedure while keeping the products fresh,” stated Li Ming, Deputy Station-Master of Putian Station on the Zhengzhou section operated by China Railway Zhengzhou Bureau Group Co., Ltd.
He added that the station had intensified measures in epidemic prevention and control. Those who enter freight operation areas, including clients, stevedores and drivers must have their body temperatures checked beforehand, wear facial masks, and leave immediately when they finish.
The China-Europe Railway Express has played a more important role since the onset of the pandemic last year, which saw a total of 12,406 trips made between China and Europe, a figure exceeding 10,000 for the first time.
Last year, Zhengzhou which serves as a central transport hub in the country saw 1,126 trips along its section of the China-Europe Railway Express, a year-on-year increase of 13 percent. The total cargo value amounted to roughly $4.3 billion, up by 27 percent, while the overall cargo weight grew by 31 percent to reach 721,100 tons.
According to Li, when combined with the land ports, the trains have brought a diverse variety of foreign imports to inland regions of China, while enabling products made in Henan Province, such as home appliances, daily necessities and local specialities, to seep into foreign markets, thus bringing China and Eurasia more closer together.
As a China-Europe rail freight assembly centre in central China, Zhengzhou is shaping up to become a bridge between central China and Europe.
“Since the beginning of 2020, our company has transported more than 46,000 tons of goods via the China-Europe Railway Express, up by 60 percent year-on-year. More than 8,000 tons were medical supplies such as masks and protective suits,” said Kong Weidong, general manager of the Zhengzhou branch of T.H.I. Group (Shanghai) Ltd., a freight and logistics enterprise.
He added that the signing of the China-EU Comprehensive Agreement on Investment will bring even more opportunities for bilateral trade, as well as even more choices for Chinese consumers.