Rail freight traffic between China and Europe exceeds last year figures
The export freight traffic from the land port of Urumqi via the China-Europe international freight railway line in April exceeded the similar figures of the last year. This is even after the coronavirus pandemic, when supplies fell by 35 percent.
“A lot of the highway and road transportation has shifted to railways, even if land ports are slowly reopening, their recovery is slow. And air freights were disrupted internationally, so the railway has also been taking on international postal services that used to be carried by air,” said spokesperson of Xinjiang International Land Port Group Zhou Kai.
He is confident that demand for rail transportation on this branch that passes through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus and other countries will continue throughout the year.
“The routes to Central Asia, to Russia and Europe proved to be quite stable. Meanwhile, the commodities on these routes are must-haves and that demand won't be swayed by the pandemic,” said Zhou Kai.
Other export-oriented Chinese companies also try to adapt to the new conditions. Many of them have already reduced the cost of transportation and now plan further steps.
“Our main export business slumped almost 20 percent in the first three months of this year. So, we're actively coping and adjusting our strategies. We now focus more on Southeast Asian countries where conditions are more stable. We are also planning to set up overseas warehouses to offset future risks,” commented spokesperson of the Xinjiang Zhongtai Import & Export Company Xu Junfeng.
China expects the export recovery in the next few months. A total of 1,200 freight trains are planned to be sent via the China-Europe express line this year which is more than in 2019.