The amount of cross-border freight transported by the Laos-China railway has risen to more than 1.4 million tonnes, according to a media report.
The inbound-outbound freight transport figure relates to the amount of freight transported from the time the railway opened for service in early December 2021 until 1 Oct this year, China Radio International reported, citing Kunming’s Customs Office.
The value of freight transported totals more than 11.11 billion yuan (more than US$1.54 billion).
Since its inauguration on 3 Dec 2021, the Laos-China railway, which is part of China’s global infrastructure Belt and Road Initiative, has been a significant driver of landlocked Laos’ efforts to become a land link country.
Chairman of Vientiane Logistics Park Co., Ltd., Chanthone Sitthixay, the developer of the Vientiane Logistics Park and Thanaleng Dry Port in the Lao capital, said the railway has been an important gateway linking China and Southeast Asian countries.
The chairman said he is optimistic that Laos has the potential to become a new supply chain route, given the cost-effective rail transport now provided coupled with the Lao Logistics Link project being implemented by his company in partnership with the Lao and Vietnamese governments.
China and some South-East Asian countries, notably Thailand, have been trading through the Laos-China and Laos-Thailand railways. The two railways link up at the Thanaleng Dry Port, Laos’ first integrated dry port.
In the first nine months of this year, as many as 41,000 containers (import, export and transit) passed through the Thanaleng Dry Port, with many transported by rail.
Recently, the largest consignment of goods shipped by rail from Thailand’s Map Ta Phut made its way to China’s Chongqing railway station. The train was carrying 25 forty-feet containers holding thermoplastic granules, shipped via the Laos-Thailand and Laos-China railways through the Thanaleng Dry Port.
Through this route and the China-Europe rail network, goods from Southeast Asia can reach European markets within two weeks, much shorter than the time taken to travel by sea, which takes about 45 days, according to Chanthone.