Finnish transport company Nurminen Logistics on Monday launched a new rail freight route between Finland’s capital Helsinki and Chongqing, a major city in Southwest China.
The new route also includes a branch line connecting the Norwegian town of Narvik and Chongqing via Helsinki.
Nurminen Logistics said in a press release that it is expanding its fast and reliable railway connections between China and the Nordic countries. The new route will mainly be used for cold storage transport of Norwegian salmon to China, but other freights are also planned, said Marjut Linnajarvi, Nurminen’s vice-president for sales.
Nurminen Logistics already operates a rail container route between Helsinki and Hefei in southeastern China. The new route to Chongqing is meant to meet the growing demand for freight services, the company said.
According to Nurminen Logistics, the travel time for the temperature-controlled reefer containers is 14 days from Chongqing to Helsinki and 17 days to Narvik.
The company has operated more than 100 container trains between Helsinki and Hefei since its launch in November 2018. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the volume of rail freight between China and Finland operated by Nurminen Logistics has hit a record high.
Often booked solid, Nurminen’s container trains carry industrial supplies, cellulose and food to China, and bring back various goods, such as health care supplies and vital components, for Finnish companies, Linnajarvi was quoted by the Finnish national broadcaster Yle as saying.
Meanwhile, southeastern Finland’s Kouvola railroad hub has also been rising in importance as the Finnish end of a rail freight route to and from Xi’an in Northwest China’s Shaanxi province.
With the opening of the new route to Chongqing, the volume of rail freight transport between the two countries is expected to double next year to at least 170 trains annually, Yle said.
A functioning rail connection to China is important for the safety of supply of Finland’s companies, Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari has told the local newspaper Kouvolan Sanomat.