IN the first seven months of 2023, a total of 1083 million TEUs of freight have been transported between China and Europe, representing a year-on-year increase of 27%.

China National Railway attributes the increase in traffic to several initiatives it has implemented to increase capacity and make rail more attractive to exporters.

The number of 1520mm-gauge tracks at Erlian Railway Port has increased to 30, realising the objective of having broad-gauge and standard-gauge yards, together with wheel-changing and border inspection facilities, all in one place.

The new international freight yard at Manzhouli inland port on the Chinese-Russian border has been put into operation This has increased the daily reloading capacity of China Railway Express trains from 420 TEUs to 840 TEUs. In addition, a port cluster called Tongjiang Railway Port has been formed between the Manzhouli and Suifenhe inland ports.

The number of freight loading and unloading tracks at Xi'an International Port station has been increased from 19 to 29, and 12 tracks have been modified for direct departure. This has increased loading and unloading capacity by 30%.

Shenyang Puhe station opened in March. It is designed to handle 1500 China-Europe freight trains per year, and for the first time can share security inspection facilities between railways and customs.

The Xi'an - Duisburg, Germany, service has been stepped up from one train per week to two trains in each direction, with a transit time of 12 days.

China Railway Urumqi Bureau Group and Kazakhstan Railways (KTZ) have established a regular port railway transport consultation mechanism to notify each other of the departure, inspection and arrival time of trains in advance to improve handover.