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Agricultural Development Bank of China
Industry

Leveraging CR Express to tap "Belt and Road" markets

May 09, 2018


Abstract : Companies not just in the western regions but also along China's coastal areas may need to consider the feasibility of the further rail transport to better tap into new markets along the Belt and Road routes and other overseas markets

中欧班列

Hong Kong, May 9 (Xinhua) -- Companies not just in the western regions but also along China's coastal areas may need to consider the feasibility of the further rail transport to better tap into new markets along the Belt and Road routes and other overseas markets, especially using the China-Europe Railway Express Line (CR Express), according to a report released by Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) recently.

The report is part of joint research series on Shanghai-Hong Kong co-operation in capturing Belt and Road opportunities.

The Yangtze River Delta (YRD) is one of the major economic engines of China. Many companies in this region have already established distribution channels in Belt and Road markets.Their business widely needs the support of transportation networks in the YRD, South China and even Hong Kong in order to improve international logistics efficiency and better tap into new markets along the Belt and Road routes and other overseas markets, according to the report.

"Companies in the YRD are actively making use of the sea and air transportation and logistics networks in the region to connect with overseas markets, and more and more companies are beginning to pay attention to the transport of goods by train as an alternative,"said in the report by HKTDC.

It is worth noting that thanks to the government support, CR Express can provide one-stop service in inspection, quarantine, customs declaration, customs clearance and other areas. The logistic companies responsible for shipping the goods will also monitor the complete shipping process, provide the consignors with customs clearance service, and make sure that the goods are delivered to the required warehouses after reaching the respective railway terminals. These services contribute to the development of CR Express.   

In April 2017, a collaboration agreement was signed by railway departments of seven countries involved in the operation of CR Express, including China, Belarus, Germany, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Poland and Russia. CR Express can expect steady growth in the future thanks to cross-border collaboration.The recent rapid expansion and increasing frequency of Europe-bound rail services, and the significantly shorter lead time of 10-12 days for the fastest routes, means rail transport has gradually become a viable alternative to sea and air transport for export and import businesses. 

These developments will effectively enhance the transport links between China and countries in Asia and Europe and strengthen the capabilities of related logistics providers of cargo transportation and distribution. Under such circumstances, companies not just in the western regions but also along the coastal areas may need to consider the feasibility of the further rail transport use to enhance their flexibility in expanding into Eurasian markets. 

The report argues that, furthermore, logistics operators can also strengthen partnerships and co-operation with the relevant railways, helping to connect them to logistics and transport networks in the YRD, South China and even Hong Kong and so enhance their advantage in the international transportation and integrated logistics business.

(Contributed by Zhang Huan, edited by Yang Yifan, yangyifan@xinhua.org)

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Keyword: Belt-and-road CR-express

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