Nearly 1,500 freight trains connecting with Europe entered and exited China at land ports in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region in the first quarter, an increase of 7.4 percent over the same period last year, according to customs officials in Urumqi.
More than 1 million metric tons of goods were delivered by the trains in the first quarter, representing growth of 45.1 percent over the same period last year.
Of the ports in the region, Alataw Pass remains the one with the largest number of transiting trains. A total of 791 trains with 538,100 tons of goods worth about $3.65 billion, have been delivered via the port to European countries.
In the first quarter, 691 freight trains passed through Horgos, another major railway port of entry in the region.
Because of the COVID-19 epidemic, the number of trains through Alataw Pass declined sharply at the beginning of February, with only four trains a day on average. A gradual recovery began at the end of the month, and March traffic grew to more than 10 trains on average per day.
To support the development of China-Europe freight train transport, customs officials in Urumqi have introduced 12 measures that have produced positive results.
Yu Song, a manager of a company at Alataw, said special counters had been set up for trains to clear goods at all hours. It takes only takes 20 to 30 minutes to complete customs clearance procedures for a whole train, reducing costs for enterprises.