China-Laos Railway brings Yunnan into a new era of container transportation


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High speed, low cost, and large traffic volume.

Chen Zhiguo from Chengdu, Sichuan, opened a flower shop in Laos ten years ago, selling flowers from Yunnan to Laos. Last year, his shop was hit severely by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the operation of the China-Laos Railway rekindled his hope. "I used to transport flowers from Yunnan to Laos by air or use cold-chain freight by land, which cost a lot in a small amount. But the railway makes a huge difference that flowers can be transported in large amounts with less time and less damage."

With the high expectation for China-Laos Railway, KBI Thailand and HORECA with business in Thailand, Cambodia, and other ASEAN countries, also seized the Kunming Area of China (Yunnan) Pilot Free Trade Zone to set up a new company in Kunming.

Vientiane Saysettha Development Zone is a key intergovernmental cooperation project between China and Laos. At present, more than 100 enterprises have settled in this zone. The opening of the China-Laos Railway will constantly attract companies to invest in Vientiane Saysettha Development Zone. It will propel Laos's deep integration into the global supply chain and promote products made in Laos to enter the international market greener and more efficient, said Wang Dengtao, the assistant to general manager of Yunnan Provincial Overseas Investment CO., LTD.

Informatization, facilitation and fast customs clearance.

According to the needs of China-Laos Railway freight transport, Kunming Customs had rolled out a series of customs clearance convenience measures, such as the informatization management of import and export cargo supervision operations and advanced equipment added at Mohan railway port.

With these measures, companies can handle the declaration formalities of railway inbound and outbound goods in an integrated manner. Zhang Yong, deputy director of the Comprehensive Business Department of Kunming Customs, said that for example, goods are shipped from Kunming to Laos, and companies are only required to complete relevant procedures for declaration and inspection in Kunming. As the freight train arrives at Mohan port, companies can submit digital data to achieve rapid customs clearance after a few checks of containers and seals.

According to the relevant person in charge of Kunming Customs, they had also given full play to the construction of smart customs, smart borders, and smart sharing in their work to inspect trains, containers, and goods.

Excellent service, Internet +, and rapid growth.

"The opening of China-Laos Railway will enormously facilitate Yunnan's container transportation," said Li Ting, a Yunnan Academy of Commerce researcher. Under the background that the China-Laos railway had been opened and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) will take effect on January 1, 2022, container transportation will become one of the important means for efficient customs clearance.

Kunming Wangjiaying West Container Center Station is the starting point for the international freight trains on the China/Kunming-Laos/Vientiane Railway. Li Ting also suggested that Yunnan should strengthen the utilization of internet of things technology in the field and station to upgrade infrastructure and build "Internet +" stations to enhance the comprehensive service capabilities of the central container station.

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(Editors: Ines, Christine)

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