A total of 1.02 million tonnes of goods have been transported via the Laos-China Railway since the rail link became operational eight months ago, Xinhua reported on Wednesday, Aug 10. The total value of these goods was about 9.14 billion yuan (about US$1.35 billion).
The customs department of Kunming, the capital of southwest China’s Yunnan Province, said on Tuesday that it handled 1,996 international freight trains on the rail link during this period.
Zhang Xianzhou, manager of an international logistics company based in Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan, was quoted as saying that the variety of the company’s imports and exports had increased after the launch of the railway service.
The company’s business volume increased, while customs clearance time was significantly reduced, Zhang said.
Kunming customs said it had rolled out a series of efforts to guarantee the efficient operation of international freight trains on the Laos-China Railway. These measures include optimising supervision measures and improving port functions.
Being part of the China-initiated Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – a global transport infrastructure network – the Laos-China Railway is an important gateway between Southeast Asian counties and China and beyond.
Chanthone Sitthixay, the Chairman of Vientiane Logistics Park Co, based in the Lao capital of Vientiane, said recently that he is optimistic the cost-effective services of the railway will support Laos’ efforts to become a new important supply chain hub.
The logistics park and its Thanaleng Dry Port, which contain extensions of the Laos-China and Laos-Thailand rail links, have registered increases in the volume of transport services.
Over the first five months of this year, as many as 13,000 containers passed through the dry port and most of them were transported by the railways.
China, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore are shipping goods through the route.
The President of Thailand’s Kaocharoen Train Transport Co., Ltd. Panya Paputsaro, told the Vientiane Times recently that it now takes less time to export goods to China and costs have been cut considerably.
Through the railways and the China-Europe rail network, the cost of exporting goods from Thailand to Europe has been cut by as much as 40 per cent compared to transport by sea, Panya said.