Eurasian freight train facilitates new energy vehicle exports

As global pressure to reduce carbon emissions and the energy crisis intensify, many countries are adopting policies to support the introduction of new energy vehicles (NEVs). Leveraging its advantages in the industrial chain, China’s export of NEVs has seen significant growth. In the first half of 2023, the country exported 534,000 NEVs, up 160 per cent year-on-year, according to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

Currently, the majority of cars transported through Horgos Port, one of China’s closest ports to Central Asia and Europe by land, come from provincial-level regions such as Chongqing, Sichuan and Guangdong, destined for countries along the Belt and Road, including Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

With a loud train whistle echoing through the air, a freight train carrying more than 260 NEVs slowly pulled out of Horgos Port in northwestern China, preparing to leave for Uzbekistan.

In the first half of this year, a total of 18,000 NEVs were exported through Horgos Port in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, mostly via the China-Europe freight train, an increase of 3.9 times compared to last year, according to Horgos Customs.

“The China-Europe freight train has opened up a new way for us to export cars,” said Li Ruikang, manager of Sino-Worlink Special Cargo Railway Logistics Co., Ltd.

Li added that 25 per cent of his company’s vehicles are exported by rail, with the efficient customs clearance process being a key factor in their decision to use the China-Europe freight train.

Based on the vehicle type, weight, dimensions and other details, Horgos Customs has formulated relevant facilitation measures for customs clearance, which significantly shortens the clearance time and lowers the costs for car manufacturers.

Launched in 2011, the China-Europe freight train service has provided a safe and reliable channel between Asia and Europe, transporting a variety of goods ranging from IT products and automobiles to wines and coffee beans.

More and more NEV exporters are turning to the China-Europe freight train service thanks to its stable and smooth transport environment, multiple routes and stops, said Lyu Wangsheng, an official with Horgos Customs.

In January, a freight train carrying 50 NEVs left the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou for Europe. It’s the first China-Europe freight train to depart from Guangdong province and is dedicated to Chinese-made NEVs.

Guangzhou Customs has opened a green channel for NEV exports to ensure smooth logistics and supply chains.