China’s largest railway port on the border with Mongolia has seen a significant rise in international freight train services over the past decade, boosting connectivity between China, Mongolia and Central European countries.
By this month, Ereenhot Port in North China’s Inner Mongolia autonomous region, the largest land port on the China-Mongolia border, had facilitated more than 9,000 China-Europe freight trains since the first such train passed through in 2013.
Over the past 10 years, the port has witnessed a rapid increase in China-Europe freight trains.
In 2013, only two such train services were facilitated, while last year, the port saw 2,739 trains pass through. There are 57 routes connecting more than 50 cities in 22 regions in China and 44 stops in nine countries.
The trains have played an important role in smooth logistics and the stable supply of anti-epidemic materials for China and countries along the routes.
With the expansion of the China-Europe freight train network, agricultural and industrial products from all over China can be transported on outbound trains to be sold abroad. The inbound trains carry overseas goods, such as German beer and French wine, to China, benefiting Chinese consumers.
In addition to commodities and food, exports of high-value-added products, such as automobiles, motorcycles and solar photovoltaic modules, have also increased.
To increase efficiency, the railway port has improved its services by building a “smart border inspection platform”, offering customs clearance 24 hours a day and carrying out contact-free inspection in accordance with epidemic control protocols.
“The station has launched a series of facilitation initiatives such as priority inspection for China-Europe freight trains and special channels for epidemic prevention materials,” the station’s director, Amgalan, said. “Abiding by epidemic control protocols, we make every effort to ensure the safe and efficient passage of China-Europe trains and to boost the high-quality development of the economy in the border area.”
The 500th China-Europe freight train this year passed through the port on March 1, hitting that mark 18 days earlier than last year.
China State Railway Group has said a new national railway schedule will be operated from April 8, with more China-Europe freight train services scheduled to better serve international supply chains and improve high-quality opening-up.
By January, there had been more than 50,000 China-Europe freight train trips through all border ports.
The value of goods transported by the cargo services has skyrocketed from $8 billion in 2016 to $74.9 billion last year, an increase of more than 9 times, according to the group.