A cold-chain logistics train carrying 31 containers of meat and five containers of ice cream from Moscow arrived in Chengdu on Monday, the Chengdu International Railway Port told the Global Times on Wednesday.
It took the cargo of meat, weighing 830 tons, 15 days to arrive in Chengdu, capital of Southwest China's Sichuan Province, marking the first inbound China-Europe freight train since China resumed cold-chain imports following the optimization of epidemic controls.
By tapping the potential of cold-chain logistics, Chengdu has sent and received 24 batches of cold-chain cargo weighing over 1,000 tons so far this year. It would otherwise take 50-60 days for these shipments to arrive in Chengdu via traditional transportation models using both ships and railways.
Ning Wei, a manager with Chengdu International Railway Port, told the Global Times on Wednesday that the rail link saves 45 days in terms of time compared with shipping and saves 10,000 yuan ($1,391) per ton of cargo compared with air freight.
Using the transport line, Sichuan exported frozen eel products, edible mushrooms, fruit and plants.
The transport refrigeration units on the train are powered by diesel engines.
In the first five months, bilateral trade between China and Russia jumped 51.9 percent year-on-year, data from China's General Administration of Customs showed in June, amid a strong bilateral partnership, high complementarity between the two economies and local currency settlements.
Song Kui, president of the Contemporary China-Russia Regional Economy Research Institute, told the Global Times on Wednesday that such trade boosts the economic development of the two countries and improves people's livelihoods.
China-Russia trade and cooperation is deepening and expanding after a state visit by China's top leader to Russia in March, and cold-chain logistics offers a new channel to export Russia's meat and seafood products, Song said.
For the first time since 2021, China expanded market access for Russian meat by granting exports permits to five Russian meat producers, according to Russian news agency Sputnik.
Starting from June 1, China approved Russia's Vladivostok as a cross-border transit port for domestic trade shipments in Northeast China's Jilin Province.
Beijing established a direct China-Europe freight train link with Moscow in March.
China-Europe freight train service maintained strong momentum in the first half of 2023, with surging demand and higher transport volume. The trains have effectively underpinned foreign trade growth and the smooth connection of international industry and supply chains, China State Railway Group said on July 6.
In the first half, 8,641 China-Europe freight trains ran between China and Europe, a year-on-year increase of 16 percent, and about 936,000 standard containers of goods were transported, up 30 percent from a year earlier, according to the state railway operator.