A China-Europe freight train is seen in this photo. (Photo/xjdaily.com)
Nearly 9,000 freight trains between China and Europe were operated from January to July, a slight increase amid sporadic COVID-19 outbreaks in China in the first half of the year, national railway operator China State Railway Group said on Tuesday.
The group operated 8,990 trains and delivered 869,000 20-foot equivalent units of goods, posting a year-on-year increase of 3 percent and 4 percent, respectively.
Among the trains, 1,517 were operated in July and 149,000 TEUs of goods were outbound, up 11 percent and 12 percent year-on-year respectively. Both figures are historical highs.
According to the group's freight department, the company has implemented the central government's demand to stabilize the nation's economy this year, enhancing the development of freight train services between China and Europe and promoting the services' high-quality development.
The convenient and economical cross-border logistics service has ensured the smooth flow of the international industrial supply chain and provided strong support to the high-quality development of the Belt and Road Initiative.
To boost the service's development, international railway cooperation, such as the cooperation mechanism from seven countries, has been improved to expand overseas routes. Diverse transport modes, such as railway-and-port joint transport, have been promoted. The service's network has now reached 200 cities in 24 countries in Europe.
The company has developed its international logistics business, explored new sources of overseas cargo, optimized overseas container management, increased the number of returned trains, and promoted the balanced transportation of two-way trips. About 12 percent more trips are made to Europe than to China.
The railway ports bordering neighboring countries, such as Manzhouli in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region and Alataw Pass in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, have improved facilities to enhance transport capacity and efficiency.
The group will continue to promote China-Europe freight trains, strengthen infrastructure construction, enhance international cooperation, improve the quality and efficiency of train operations, and contribute to stable economic and social development, the company said.
On Monday, a train full of automobile parts, including windshields and tires, departed from Changchun, Jilin province, and is scheduled to arrive in Nuremberg, Germany, after 26 days, according to local media reports.
It was the first special China-Europe freight train filled with automobile parts tailored for export from enterprises in Jilin, and carried parts worth about 15.4 million yuan ($2.3 million).
Jilin is one of China's industrial hubs with world-class automobile manufacturing enterprises.