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​Railway worker ensures express' success in Jinan

Qin Jin checks goods in containers at the Jinan South Railway Station in Jinan, Shandong province. PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY

On an ordinary workday in late February, Qin Jin walked through a narrow passage among densely arranged containers that would be shipped to countries in Europe and Asia from the Jinan South Railway Station in Jinan, capital of Shandong province.

She found the ones that contained goods including furniture, children's bicycles and roller skates.

After careful checks to confirm the goods were in line with the information provided on the shipping lists and that they had been properly secured as required, the 32-year-old took photos of the goods. Then the products were ready to be shipped to Russia via the Qilu China Railway Express service.

Checking the containers has been Qin's routine since the station started accepting express freight that runs to European countries in August 2017. She checked 53 containers on that day. Sometimes she needs to check more than 80 containers in a day.

"The number of freight trains departing from the station to European and Asian countries has been increasing," she said.

"It's my responsibility to do my part to ensure the goods will stay in good condition on their way."Qin had to work during this year's Spring Festival as the express service was as busy as usual.

The express, operated by Shandong High-Speed Group, extended its service to Finland for the first time during the holiday. Carrying epidemic prevention materials, automotive parts and grocery products, it departed from the railway station on Feb 13 and was scheduled to arrive in Helsinki, Finland's capital, last month.

Qin can now determine on her own whether big products such as machinery are fastened properly. To check containers carrying large equipment, she has to climb onto the machines and check every part that needs to be fastened.

"Because there's a long way to travel, the equipment has to be fastened properly to prevent any movement," Qin said.

She touches the ropes to feel whether the goods are fastened tightly. If any are loose, she will tell the shipment staff to fix it right away.

Qin said she's proud that more and more Chinese goods are being shipped to the European countries.

The Qilu China Railway Express ran 14 trips that departed from Jinan South to countries in Europe and Asia in 2017. Last year, there were 179 such trips from the station.

The higher level of security and lower logistics costs of the express compared with air transportation, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, have created new opportunities for businesses to deliver their products.

In January alone, the express made 118 trips from Shandong to the other countries, a year-on-year increase of 45.7 percent, Xinhua News Agency reported.

The express travels from Shandong to countries including Russia, Belarus, Poland, Vietnam and Thailand.

"The category of goods has been expanded from daily necessities, apparel and small goods to automobiles, home appliances, machinery equipment, laser-engraving machines and auto parts,"Qin said.

Last year, Qin checked special express shipments that delivered appliances produced by Haier and equipment produced by China National Heavy Duty Truck Group.

"Following the outbreak of COVID-19, epidemic prevention materials such as masks, medical protective gowns and beds and respirators used in hospitals are being shipped by the express," Qin said.



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