First freight train across Laos to Thailand departs

By Li Yingqing in Kunming and Chen Meiling | | Updated: 2023-02-08 17:33
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The first freight train to run from China to Thailand by crossing Laos set off on Tuesday. [By Chen Chang/for]

The first freight train on the China-Laos Railway to run from China to Thailand via Laos set off on Tuesday. Shippers expect to save money and improve the efficiency of international trade.

The train, which departed from Kunming, Yunnan province, carrying 286 metric tons of fresh vegetables in cold-chain containers, will arrive at Bangkok in 55 hours. The new transport model is expected to shorten the trip by one day and decrease logistics costs by 20 percent, compared with the previous method that involved both rail and road transportation, according to the China Railway Kunming Bureau Group.

It will bring seasonal fruit to China from Thailand, such as longan and durian, on the return trip. The efficient and stable new cold-chain logistics channel is expected to promote trade cooperation between China and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the group said.

Cross-border cargo transportation on the China-Laos Railway has covered countries such as Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Singapore. There have been more than 3,600 train trips transporting 2.5 million tons of cross-border freight.

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