|CRE Has Become a Stallion|
Since its establishment more than 20 years ago, Positec Technology (China) Co., Ltd. has relied on sea transportation for its export business. In April 2021, however, the company decided to choose a new export method – the China Railway Express (CRE) trains. Since then, the company has transported 35 TEUs of smart lawn mowers from Chongqing, Suzhou, and Yiwu to Europe by CRE trains. “Affected by the overseas pandemic, many shipping containers were detained at foreign ports. Containers were in short supply in China, available sea shipping routes were reduced, and shipping prices were soaring. Therefore, we chose a more stable and efficient way of logistics – the CRE trains,” said the person in charge of the company.
According to China State Railway Group Co., Ltd., the CRE trains ran a total of 12,400 trips in 2020, transporting 1.135 million TEUs, with a year-on-year growth of 50% and 56%, respectively. From January to May in 2021, the CRE trains operated 5991 trips and delivered 573,000 TEUs, an increase of 49% and 58%, respectively. By the end of May this year, China had 73 open CRE routes, reaching over 160 cities in 22 European countries.
“During the pandemic period, the largest advantage of the CRE over sea and air transportation is safety.” Qi Dan, general manager of Yixinou (Chongqing) Logistics Co., Ltd., said that the CRE trains adopt segmented transportation, changing drivers and train heads along the borders of different countries. Since the drivers do not cross borders, these trips do not involve personnel quarantine. In addition, the transit time of the CRE trains is only one-third of that of sea transportation, and their prices are similar. The safety and efficiency of the CRE have boosted its development during this difficult time.
Not only high value-added scientific and technological products, but also agricultural products, primary industrial products, and other goods that have long relied on sea transportation have begun to turn to the CRE trains. For example, on June 8, the Chunli Train, specially chosen for transporting tea products from Shengzhou and loaded with 100 TEUs of tea and related products, departed from Yiwu West Station to Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan. “In the past, we mainly counted on sea shipping, but the pandemic has hindered sea shipping and caused a serious backlog of tea for exports,” said Huang Chunjun, chairman of Zhejiang Chunli Tea Co., Ltd. He added that the CRE trains have solved the urgent transportation problem for the company and opened up a new channel of land logistics for tea exports.
From January to May this year, the CRE trains departing from Zhengzhou, Henan Province ran 614 trips, an increase of 86.1% year on year; the CRE trains departing from Chengdu and Chongqing operated 2435 trips, increasing by 62% year on year; in Zhejiang, a total of 906 CRE trains were operated, 2.7 times more than that of last year.
“The CRE trains will promote the development of dual circulation and provide Chinese strength for global economic recovery and development. It is also a significant achievement of the Belt and Road Initiative,” said Ruan Zongze, executive vice president of the China Institute of International Studies. (By Zhao Yufei– Xinhua News Agency, translated by Jin Haiqiong, edited by Kendra Fiddler)