The number of China-Europe freight trains entering and leaving via Horgos Port in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region exceeded 4,720 in 2020, a record high despite the impact of COVID-19, customs authorities said.
The number represents a 43-percent increase as compared with 2019.
China-Europe freight train services have been favored by an increasing number of companies during the pandemic thanks to their low prices, large transportation capacity, and great stability and connectivity, said Long Teng with the Horgos Customs.
Miao Xiaochang, manager of a Horgos-based transportation company, said his firm had witnessed an increase in both imports and exports last year. In 2021, Miao said his company expects to further expand businesses, with an aim of dealing with 1,500 China-Europe (Central Asia) freight trains, up from 800 trains of last year.
Horgos Port launched the China-Europe freight train service in 2016 and has since witnessed a steady rise in the number of trains passing through it. At present, 21 lines are running through the port.
To meet the demand and ensure smooth international transport services, Horgos customs has optimized the handling process, shortened the loading time and streamlined customs clearance.
Horgos, literally meaning “a place where caravans pass,” used to be a trading post along the northern route of the ancient Silk Road.
The Belt and Road Initiative proposed in 2013 has provided Xinjiang with a significant opportunity to open up and boost economic cooperation between China and other countries thanks to its geographic advantages.