More trains than ever are hauling freight from the busy manufacturing region of Guangdong province to Europe, Russia and Central Asia.
These trains mainly haul containers full of Chinese-made goods, although they may be adapted to serve breakbulk cargo customers as well.
Between January and November 2016 129 freight trains departed from a Guangdong logistics center at Dongguan carrying 57,000 tons of cargo worth a combined 2.07 billion yuan, according to a China Logistics Federation report. The tonnage level was up 64 percent from the same period 2015.
Customs officials take credit for some of the growth, saying they’ve streamlined the paperwork needed to process international freight shipments. Shipping cargo to Europe from Dongguan by train is said to take one-third as much time as a seagoing vessel, and cost nearly half as much as an air shipment.
Photo: Europe-bound freight train leaving Dongguan in 2015