A container train fully loaded with automobiles and steel pipes left Dalian Port on Monday. It will arrive in Moscow, Russia, within 14 days. The traditional waterways would have taken 45 days, said Xia Ting, a manager with the Dalian Port Container Development Co Ltd of Liaoning Port Group.

“As a Port City, Dalian has significant advantages in opening the China-Europe freight train route,” said Xia, since it costs less and can reach other regions more conveniently.

Dalian Port has opened 18 routes to European cities since 2013. Last year, the transport capacity of the port reached 28,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs).

“The development of China-Europe freight train at Dalian Port has effectively promoted the interconnection of railway facilities between Dalian and countries and regions along the Belt and Road Initiative, and has led to more investment and trade,” said Qi Yonghong, deputy director of the Dalian Municipal Development and Reform Commission.

In 2015, the National Development and Reform Commission of China and the Ministry of Commerce put forward “the Vision and Action on Jointly Building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road,” which emphasised the port construction of 15 coastal cities, including Dalian.

Over the past four years, Dalian has continuously improved the level of foreign exchanges and cooperation and actively integrated into the Belt and Road Initiative.

Dalian Port has established trade exchanges with more than 300 ports in more than 160 countries and regions around the world.

More than 98.5 percent of foreign trade containers, all of the commercial vehicles and more than 60 percent of imported crude oil in Northeast China have been transferred from Dalian Port, making it the largest port of foreign trade in the region.

On June 22, the world’s first smart very large crude carrier (VLCC) with a capacity of 308,000 metric tons was delivered to its owner in Dalian and left the port for Singapore on its maiden voyage.

Niu Shuhong, an assistant to chief engineer of DSIC, said it is the sixth-generation VLCC independently developed by Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co Ltd, and the 97th VLCC successfully delivered by the corporation.

DSIC currently has orders for 109 very large crude carriers, accounting for more than 15 percent of the world VLCC fleet.

Relying on industrial advantages and scientific and technological innovation, Dalian promotes the transformation of traditional manufacturing to intelligent manufacturing and encourages local enterprises to expand international cooperation, said Jiang Sijin, an official with the Dalian Municipal Science and Technology Bureau.

The establishment of the Dalian area of China (Liaoning) Pilot Free Trade Zone also promotes the city’s engagement in the BRI.

With innovations in administrative service modes and mechanisms, the area put forth China’s first regulatory system on bonded blend ore.

More than 15 million tons of offshore transshipments have gone to Japan and South Korea.

Zhang Hongguang, deputy director of the administrative commission of the area, said the bonded blend ore mode was listed among the experimental methods in the reform of free trade experimental areas which can be replicated in the whole country.