|Jinhua: International Logistics Hub|
At about 3 p.m. on November 3, in the loading and unloading area of the East China International Combined Transport Port (ICTP) in the Jindong District, containers filled with duct tapes from Haiphong, Vietnam were successfully loaded on the X9216/5 China Railway Express (CRE) train. The train departed on November 4, heading for Almaty, the largest city in Kazakhstan.
It would take more than 40 days for these goods to arrive at Almaty if transported through the traditional international logistics route: landing in Vladivostok by sea and then arriving in Central Asia by Trans-Siberian Railway. The new Haiphong–Zhoushan–Jinhua–Almaty route, however, helps to shorten the time by half—to only 21 days—and also greatly reduces the freight cost.
In 2021, the ICTP has been exploring the operation of cross-border international trains. With the opening of the cross-border international train from Haiphong to Almaty, a new international logistics channel for sea-rail multimodal transport has been opened. Jinhua has thus become a key node and transportation hub for the Central Asia–Jinhua–East Asia route.
According to the 13th Five-Year Plan for the development of a modern comprehensive transportation system, Jinhua has officially become one of 63 national comprehensive transportation hubs. At the end of 2018, Jinhua was listed as a national production service-oriented and trade service-oriented logistics hub city.
Jinhua now focuses on building itself as a global distribution center for goods. It is the departure city for both the Yiwu-Xinjiang-Europe Express (YXE) and the Yiwu-Ningbo-Zhoushan sea-rail multimodal transport. As an important city along the Belt and Road, Jinhua is developing as a rising and shining star.
Central Asian counties are located in the hinterland of the Eurasian continent, while most East Asian countries are along the Western Pacific. Such geographical conditions determine that the best way of international logistics between the two regions is sea-rail multimodal transportation. Jinhua’s advantageous location shows its potential to be a transportation hub for Central and East Asia. The rapid development of the YXE and the Yiwu-Ningbo-Zhoushan sea-rail multimodal train has made the potential hub a reality.
For international freight forwarding companies, the advantages of cross-border international trains lie in their short transportation distance, high efficiency, and low freight costs. Since cross-border freight requires the cooperation of different customs administrations, customs clearance efficiency has become a key factor. Zhou Shuguang, deputy chief of the Jinhua Customs Bonded No. 2 Section, said that under the new mode of “exiting before customs declaration,” companies only need to declare goods in the Single Window System before exiting the comprehensive free trade zone. This helps to reduce customs clearance time by five or six hours, thus reducing the customs clearance cost for companies.
By vigorously developing cross-border international trains and opening up international logistics channels, Jinhua is able to enhance its traffic capacity of sea-rail multimodal transport channels and expand its scale of trade hubs in the future. (Text by Xu Zhaohui, photo by Hu Xiaofei, translated by Jin Haiqiong, edited by Kendra Fiddler)