Cold chain logistics train brings Russian meat, ice cream to Chengdu in southwest China
(Photo: China Railway)

A cold chain logistics train carrying 31 containers of meat and five containers of ice cream from Moscow arrived in Chengdu on July 12, the Chengdu International Railway Port told the Global Times.

The 830-tonne meat cargo took 15 days to reach Chengdu, capital of southwest China’s Sichuan Province, and is the first inbound China-Europe freight train since China resumed cold-chain imports after optimising epidemic control.

By harnessing the potential of cold chain logistics, Chengdu has sent and received 24 batches of cold chain cargo weighing over 1,000 tonnes so far this year. It would otherwise take 50-60 days for these shipments to arrive in Chengdu using traditional transport models involving both ships and railways.

Ning Wei, a manager at Chengdu International Railway Port, told the Global Times that the rail link saves 45 days compared to shipping and 10,000 yuan ($1,391) per tonne of cargo compared to air freight.

Sichuan has used the line to export frozen eel products, edible mushrooms, fruit and plants.

The transport refrigeration units on the train are powered by diesel engines.

In the first five months, bilateral trade between China and Russia surged 51.9 per cent year-on-year, data from China’s General Administration of Customs showed in June, amid a strong bilateral partnership, high complementarity between the two economies and local currency settlements.

For the first time since 2021, China has expanded market access for Russian meat by granting export permits to five Russian meat producers, according to Russian news agency Sputnik.

On 1 June, China approved Russia’s Vladivostok as a cross-border transit port for domestic trade shipments in northeast China’s Jilin province.

The China-Europe freight train service maintained strong momentum in the first half of the year, with demand rising and transport volumes increasing. The trains have effectively supported foreign trade growth and the smooth connection of international industrial and supply chains, China State Railway Group said on 6 July.

In the first half, 8,641 China-Europe freight trains ran between China and Europe, up 16 per cent year on year, and about 936,000 standard containers of goods were transported, up 30 per cent year on year, the state railway operator said.