HELSINKI, April 7 (Xinhua) -- Railway freight volume between China and Finland has hit record high by the end of March, as container trains has become the only way for many companies to transport goods due to the restricted air transportation amid COVID-19 pandemic, Finnish national broadcaster Yle reported Monday evening.
Container trains between Finnish capital Helsinki and Hefei, capital of eastern China's Anhui Province, were fully booked a few weeks ago, Marjut Linnajarvi, Business Manager at Nurminen Logistics, told Yle. Nurminen Logistics is a Finnish company responsible for container train transport to China.
"The container trains export industrial supplies, cellulose and food to China," Linnajarvi was quoted as saying.
On the return train, health care supplies, such as protective masks, are brought to Finland, she added. In addition, trains also carry components that are vital to many Finnish companies, whose production would even come to a complete halt without those components.
Linnajarvi said that the companies' emergency is real, when international transport is facing real challenge and air cargo does not run normally due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Currently, container trains run to China and back every two weeks. Nurminen Logistics' goal is to obtain a weekly connection from May.
Some companies may permanently switch from air freight to train transport, as the travel time of container trains between China and Finland has accelerated. On average, the one-way trip takes a week and a half, according to the Yle report.
Linnajarvi estimated that Nurminen Logistics has operated about 100 container trains between Helsinki and Hefei since the company launched the service in November 2018. Last year, 26 container trains went to China and the same amount returned to Finland, according to Yle.