China Railway Express

Steady growth of rail freight volumes China

China’s rail freight volumes increased by 10.1 per cent year on year in October. The pace of growth accelerated from a rise of 9.7 per cent in September and 6.7 per cent in August.

These figures were announced by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), a government body in China. According to the institute, the volumes in October amounted to 355 million tonnes.

Rail transport

During the first ten months of 2018, 3.33 billion tonnes of cargo was moved by rail in the country, indicating an increase of 8.2 per cent from a year earlier. The country’s total freight volume climbed 7.3 percent during the January-October period to 41.37 billion tonnes.

Rail traffic is increasingly gaining importance in China, especially since the launch of the Belt and Road initiative (BRI). China is planning to invest over 300 billion Euros in this project over the next few years, resulting in new routes between China and Europe almost every month.

China’s railway network

The government initially focussed on the east coast, and later on the south-east of the country for the development of rail transport as these regions are most active when it comes to trade with the west. However, it is now also focussing on the central provinces, with the aim to establish a centrally located hub from where all other destinations in China can be reached. According to Letty Zhu, who works as a lecturer at the Breda University of Applied Sciences, the province of Henan has been selected to fulfill this function.

Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is editor of, online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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