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Zim has launched a sea-rail service to carry electronics and other consumer goods from Yiwu, in China’s Zhejiang province, to Ningbo-Zhoushan port, in Zhejiang, from where they will be shipped to the US west coast.
The service will be operated in collaboration with China Railway and Ningbo-Zhoushan port.
Claimed to be the first of its kind, the sea-rail service transports goods purchased from Yiwu, home of the world’s largest consumer goods e-commerce wholesale market.
Previously, product was trucked to either Ningbo-Zhoushan or Shanghai, taking six to eight hours, which rail can halve.
The inaugural service, carrying 100 20ft containers departed Yiwu on 1 July to coincide with the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Chinese Communist Party.
A Zim spokesman told The Loadstar every day one to three trains departed Yiwu for Ningbo-Zhoushan, each carrying 15-50teu.
He said, “To cater for the growing needs of our customers, Zim came up with a unique solution, arranging dedicated block space on the train from Yiwu to Ningbo in order to connect to our e-commerce Central China express service to LA.”
China’s Ministry of Commerce said e-commerce sales had increased significantly, many more Americans and Europeans buying goods.
This had resulted in rapid growth in Yiwu’s international e-commerce sales, with Q1 21 figures showing the city’s cross-border e-commerce exports grew 21%, year on year, to nearly $3bn, it added.
“Behind the prosperity of international e-commerce, efficient logistics infrastructure is needed. In this context, China Railway’s Shanghai bureau and China Railway Container Transport Corporation’s Shanghai branch co-ordinated with Ningbo-Zhoushan port and shipping companies, to create a cross-border e-commerce special train for sea-rail transportation, helping Yiwu expand its e-commerce trade channels.”