Khorgos East Gate

Temporary stop at Chinese border does not affect Silk Road traffic

Photo: Kazakh government

A temporary stop of transloading trains has been issued at the China-Kazakhstan border crossings of Alashankou and Khorgos. The suspension started on Saturday 2 July and will last at least until Saturday 9 July. There is an exception for freight trains on the route between China and Europe. The suspension was called off by China National Railway Group.

The reason for the temporary loading stop is congestion at the China-Kazakhstan borders. “Since May, more than 25,000 import containers have been stacked at the border with Kazakhstan, while the transloading capacity is just one train(50 containers) per day. The backlog of containers occupies tracks and wagons, and this in turn impacts the wagon turnover”, explains Jacky Yan, CEO of New Silk Road Intermodal.

Not unusual

A temporary stop for transloading or even passing the border is not unusual, but in almost all cases excludes the traffic between China and Europe. This is considered a priority by China Railways. Also this time, the China-Europe Express will be permitted to stop and reload containers at the border stations.

“I believe the suspension will be extended after 9 July. This won’t impact the departure of the trains with a fixed slot, but it will definitely further reduce the slots and impact the trains with provisional slots. It will reduce the space available and cause delay at the origin terminal”, clarifies Yan.

Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is the editor-in-chief of, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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