Freight trains to Europe set records in March as nation’s trade improves

By Tu Lei Source:Global Times Published: 2020/4/9 21:08:40

A China-Europe cargo train carrying 18 wheel loaders and one road roller made by Guangxi Liugong Machinery Co departed from Liuzhou, South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on Wednesday. It is scheduled to arrive in Kazakhstan in 18 days. It is the first China-Europe freight train from Guangxi since work resumption. Photo: cnsphotos

Chinese cargo transportation is on an upswing, with officials saying that the numbers of China-Europe freight trains and containers set records in March as the nation's imports and exports improved.

China-Europe freight trains made 809 journeys and delivered 73,000 containers in March, reaching record highs for a single month in both cases, the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said on Thursday.

Gao Feng, spokesperson of the MOFCOM, said that in the first quarter, 1,941 trains ran and 174,000 containers were shipped, up 15 percent and 18 percent year-on-year, respectively. 

"China-Europe freight trains have been operating safely and steadily since the beginning of this year," Gao said, explaining that compared with sea or air transportation, trains provide "contactless service", making them less affected by the pandemic.

With the resumption of production in China, the freight trains in many places have resumed normal operation.

Khorgas City in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region reportedly operated 691 China-Europe cargo trains with more than 32,000 containers in the first quarter.

The range of goods carried by China-Europe freight trains has expanded from original electromechanical products to clothing, electronic products and chemicals.

Gao said that China's imports and exports improved in March, and the recovery rate for more than 76 percent of the country's key foreign trade companies exceeded 70 percent. 

However, Gao warned that orders for some foreign trade companies were being delayed or canceled, and new orders were being cut, especially in the industries of textiles and clothing.

A note sent to the Global Times by Shanghai New Union Textra Import and Export Co said that its first-half sales would decline dramatically due to the spread of the epidemic around the world.

It said that there were no new orders currently, and it predicted that profit in the first half of this year might decline 50-60 percent. Whether the decline would slow in the second half depends on the overseas control of the epidemic, but "it is not very optimistic."

Shanghai New Union Textra is a subsidiary of Shanghai Textiles (Group) Co, and it has close business relations with 1,300 purchasing agencies and 900 suppliers from nearly 100 countries and regions around the world. Its annual sales revenue of import and export totals $750 million. 

Posted in: ECONOMY

blog comments powered by Disqus