Maiden rail freight ser­vice leaves Dalian with goods for Rus­sia

China Daily (Canada) - - BUSINESS - By ZHONG­NAN in Bei­jing and ZHANG XIAOMIN in Dalian

A gi­ant “block train” left Dalian in North­east China’s Liaon­ing prov­ince on Wed­nes­day morn­ing, headed for the first time to Kaluga in Rus­sia.

The newin­ter­na­tional freight ser­vice was car­ry­ing 100 stan­dard con­tain­ers packed with goods pro­duced by Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics Co, which had ar­rived at Dalian Port from South Korea.

The train is ex­pected to take half as long as a con­ven­tional mar­itime ser­vice to reach its desti­na­tion. It will ar­rive at Manzhouli, a Chi­nese bor­der city in the In­ner Mon­go­lia au­ton­o­mous re­gion, on Thurs­day.

Of­fi­cials said the de­par­ture marked the launch of a newin­ter­na­tional lo­gis­tics chan­nel jointly de­vel­oped by China, South Korea andRus­sia, which will help di­ver­sify re­gional trade and multi-model trans­porta­tion.

Dou Guang­peng, deputy-gen­eral man­ager of Dalian Jiyi Lo­gis­tics Co Ltd, a sub­sidiary of Dalian Port Group Co, said even though the cost of the new sea-rail ser­vice is sim­i­lar to just mar­itime, it takes 20 days fewer to de­liver goods to des­ti­na­tions in ei­ther Rus­sia or Europe.

It is claimed that other ma­jor com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing Daim­ler AG, LG Elec­tron­ics, Toy­ota Mo­tor Corp and Honda Mo­tor Co, are al­ready lined up to use the ser­vice.

Dalian Port now plans to build three more such “sea-rail chan­nels” to al­low di­rect con­nec­tions to Europe.

“The port will not only con­nect with Pu­san Port in South Korea, but other ma­jor ports in­clud­ing those in South Korea, in Ja­pan, and some South­east Asian coun­tries, to de­liver this multi-model trans­porta­tion ser­vice,” said Dou.

Con­sid­ered North­east China’s cross-bor­der fron­tier en­try point, Dalian Port deals with 90 per­cent of the re­gion’s for­eign trade goods.

It ser­vices 107 do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional ship­ping lines that con­nect with some 320 ma­jor ports around the world. The port han­dled in ex­cess of 440 mil­lion met­ric tons of goods last year.

Lee June-young, ex­ec­u­tive vi­cepres­i­dent at Sam­sung’s pro­cure­ment team for vis­ual dis­play prod­ucts, said South Korea is pro­mot­ing its own Eura­sia Ini­tia­tive — sim­i­lar to China’s Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive — to en­cour­age mass en­trepreneur­ship and seek new growth mar­kets over­seas.

The Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive, pro­posed by China in 2013, is a trade and in­fra­struc­ture net­work that in­cludes the Silk Road Eco­nomic Belt and the 21st Cen­tury Mar­itime Silk Road. The planned net­work con­nects Asia, Europe and Africa and passes through more than 60 coun­tries and re­gions.

“With more prod­ucts and

parts ex­pected to be shipped to Rus­sia and Europe through this route, South Korean com­pa­nies can seek in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties and be more in­clined to es­tab­lish re­gional head­quar­ters, branches and man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ties in both China and Europe,” said Lee.

Alexey Laptev, deputy gov­er­nor of Rus­sia’s Kaluga re­gional govern­ment, said the new route will help the city be­come a ma­jor lo­gis­tics cen­ter, and that his of­fice is in talks with a num­ber of Euro­pean coun­tries to fur­ther ex­tend the route to other for­eign mar­kets.

Con­tact the writ­ers at zhong­nan@chi­ and zhangx­i­aomin@chi­

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