Container train in Russia, source: Russian Railways (RZD)

China and Russia test delivery of seafood by rail

China and Russia have tested the interstate rail transportation of seafood. The first batch of frozen fish was delivered from the Russian port of Zarubino to the Chinese city of Hunchun on 2 August.

The trial train has delivered 200 tonnes of yellowfin sole originated from the Kamchatka peninsula. Usually, the fish is delivered to Zarubino by sea and afterwards by trucks to Hunchun. If the new rail freight service becomes regular, it will allow shippers to provide a better connection and eventually replace trucks in delivering seafood from Russia to China.

Red king crabs

The other potential type of seafood for rail transportation from Russia to China is the red king crabs also originated from the Kamchatka peninsula. Last year, China imported 10,000 tonnes of the red king crabs. Half of them were transported to the port of Zarubino by sea and then to Hunchun by trucks. This multimodal route was opened in 2016.

Hunchun is an important centre of the Chinese fishing industry. There are circa 100 companies in the city specialised in the processing of Russian seafood. The city of Hunchun is located just 71 kilometres from Zarubino. Therefore, it offers a good geographical opportunity to import seafood from Russia.

Author: Mykola Zasiadko

Mykola Zasiadko is editor of online trade magazines RailTech.com and RailFreight.com.

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