Chinese New Year traffic peaks, but freight flows remain stable


Preparations for the Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) in China are in full swing. The festive period that will peak on Sunday, 22 January, is traditionally the busiest transport period in China. This year, even more, since more passengers will take on trains to travel back home after the relaxation of the Chinese government’s Covid-19 policy. However, despite the rush on the railway network, China Railways reassures that freight traffic will not be affected.

The Chinese state news agency Xinhua informs that this year’s passenger rail traffic will be unprecedented. While quoting the Chinese ministry of transport, the outlet underlined that «the total number of passenger trips for the year’s travel rush will reach 2,1 billion, almost twice as much as last year».

Cargo flows unhindered

Experience from past years shows that during the Chinese Spring Festival, when large parts of the Chinese population decide to travel, passenger services might occupy most of the railway network’s capacity. However, this year this is not the case. Increased demand for Covid-19, festival, and energy supplies, as well as food-related products, meant that China Railways could not afford less cargo on rail.

«Unlike the previous Spring Festival, when transport was characterised by more passenger trips and less cargo volume, transportation demand for specific cargo types was on the rise this year. Currently, all is going well, major traffic arteries and hubs are running smoothly, and key logistics indicators keep improving,» noted the Chinese vice minister of transport, Xu Chengguang, to Xinhua.

As a matter of fact, the arrival of the first inbound train from Kazakhstan in Xi’an proves the commitment of China Railways to keep rail freight running without slowing down. The train that arrived at the International Port of Xi’an on Friday, 13 January, was loaded with 1,300 tonnes of flour destined for use during the festive period.

Analytics on topic
Will China Railway Express boom in 2020?
During the month of December we have celebrated the fifth anniversary of the first cargo train Yiwu-Madrid (China Railway Express). In November of 2014, the Chinese and Spanish Governments both witnessed the longest railway route in the world being born. By then, the company responsible of the initiative, Yixinou, was able to manage one train to one destination. Five years later, we are confident to reach a total number of 500 trains operating to 11 different worldwide destinations departing or arriving in Yiwu, East China’s Zhejiang Province.
Source: Global Times
Development of transit potential in conditions of integration of the Republic of Kazakhstan into the world transport system
The article considers the current state of the transport infrastructure of the Republic of Kazakhstan, its integration into the international network, and also notes the further development of the transport and logistics infrastructure as a catalyst for the economy.