1,269 China-Europe freight trains operated in Sep., congestion brings decline in volumes
(Source: New Silkroad Discovery)

1,269 China-Europe feight trains has been opreached in September, transporting 124,000 TEUs, a year-on-year increase of 10% and 16% respectively, and 97.6% of the containers were fully loaded. The China-Europe freight trains continue to operate at a high level. Meng Wei, deputy director and spokesperson of the Policy Research Office of the National Development and Reform Commission China, said on October 20 at a press conference when introducing the progress of the “Belt and Road” construction.

For 17 consecutive months, more than 1,000 trains were operated in a single month. From January to September, a total of 11,299 China-Europe freight trains carried 1.09 million TEUs, an increase of 29% and 37% year-on-year respectively, and 97.9% of the containers were fully loaded. Until the end of September 2021, a total of 44,948 trains have been operated between China and Europe, transporting 4.06 million TEUs of goods, and a total of 13.02 million anti-epidemic materials, totaling 100,000 tons.

Congestion at border crossings brings decline in freight volumes

As the chart from New Silkroad Discovery shows, since July the number of freight train traffic and freight volumes have declined for three consecutive months. Industry insiders believe that the congestion at the China-Kazakhstan border crossings are one of the most important reasons. As for the causes of border congestion, occasional confirmed cases of COVID-19, strict pandemic prevention and controll measures,  and continued instability of the ocean shipping supply chain are all possible factors.