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Qilu freight trains bring the world to Shandong

Five Europe-Asia freight trains bearing the same name, Qilu, hissed out of Jinan, Qingdao, Linyi and Zibo on Oct 31.

The launch of the Qilu trains realized the integration of these Europe-Asia freight rail services, signaling the start of a new era for train services in Shandong province. The move is a response to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and offers strong support to the province’s opening-up.

The Europe-Asia freight train was positioned as “an important carrier to deepen economic and trade cooperation between China and other countries involved in the BRI and as a key driver to push forward the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative”.

Since Chongqing municipality took the lead in launching Europe-Asia freight trains in 2011, other provinces, such as Sichuan, Henan, Shaanxi, Zhejiang and Jiangsu, have followed. With a unified operation platform, supportive policies and a strong development mechanism, the model of the "Europe-Asia freight train +" has been shaped.

As a vital intersection of the BRI, Shandong’s nine cities – Qingdao, Weifang, Linyi, Binzhou, Jinan, Zibo, Weihai, Rizhao and Jining – have welcomed the Europe-Asia freight trains, with freight services totaling 800 since 2015. 

However, the Europe-Asia freight trains in Shandong have been subject to severe conditions. Without unified guidance and supportive policies, the situation of poor competition for merchandise resources has spread to other provinces and created serious problems. The Europe-Asia freight train system in Shandong is scattered and disordered. 

The Shandong provincial government has always attached importance to the development of the Europe-Asia freight trains. It held an executive meeting and released a document on Oct 17. 

According to the document, taking the replacement of old growth drivers with new ones as the guiding principle and high-quality development as the objective, it is supposed to focus on the optimization of transport organization, arrange the operating routes for freight trains and improve their operation in accordance with the principles of "government-led, overall integration, enterprise-oriented and market-operation".

The Europe-Asia freight trains will further unblock the international logistics channel which connects Shandong province with Japan and South Korea to the east, with Europe and Africa to the west, ASEAN countries to the south and with Russia to the north, consolidating the opening-up platform and creating a new pattern of international land and multimodal transport.

A spillover effect of "Europe-Asia freight trains +" will be achieved, which will advance economic and trade cooperation between Shandong province and other countries involved in the BRI.

Produced By 大汉网络 大汉版通发布系统