Freight links with Russia expanded further

Zhang Xiaomin
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China Daily, 05 25, 2018
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Four trucks, each carrying 12 to 15 metric tons of fruit, and two cross-border buses carrying dozens of passengers started their journey from Northeast China's Dalian, Liaoning province, on May 18 toward Russia's Novosibirsk, marking the official launch of TIR, the global customs transit system, in China.

"The Dalian-Novosibirsk route is currently China's longest international road transport route, connecting 19 cities in both countries," says Liu Xiaoming, vice-minister of the Ministry of Transport.

It is the first international road transportation route to have commenced trial operations since China joined the TIR Convention in 2016. The international system significantly reduces the time and cost involved in crossing borders.

The vehicles were expected to reach Novosibirsk on May 26, having traveled 5,500 kilometers - 1,800 km in China and 3,700 km in Russia.

Liu says the new route will promote the effective integration of China's Belt and Road Initiative with the Eurasian Economic Union as well as economic and trade exchanges between the two countries.

Umberto de Pretto, secretary-general of the International Road Transport Union, says the new route for international trade between China and Russia will encourage participation by other economies along the Silk Road Economic Belt.

Two Chinese transport companies and a Russian company participated in the first operations along the new route.

On May 17, they signed agreements at the Bangchuidao Hotel in Dalian for the trial operation of Dalian-Novosibirsk international road freight and passenger transport. Equipped with cold chain technology, the trucks will mainly transport fruit from Dalian to Novosibirsk and bring back cold drinks.

"It is door-to-door transportation. The trucks can drive to the gates of local supermarkets. It's more convenient than train transport," says Liu Shaobo, general manager of Heilongjiang Longyun Group. Due to different railway track standards in the two countries, train transport takes longer and costs more, he says.

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