The first rail freight service has opened between the Greater Bay Area in China and Southeast Asia yesterday, when a train loaded with around $100,000 of goods left Guangzhou for Hanoi, reports Xinhua.
The train, operated by Sinotrans, will take four days to reach the Vietnamese capital with 41 standard containers, mainly filled with raw materials and high-quality furniture.
The train left from the Zengcheng district in eastern Guangzhou, where a 900ha logistics hub is presently under construction.
Sinotrans is a subsidiary of the state-owned, Hong Kong-based logistics company China Merchants Group.
The company noted that the link will allow the creation of a trade corridor and cross-border supply chains, leading to greater economic integration between China and Vietnam.
China presently has two direct rail links with Vietnam, one from the Greater Bay Area and another from Yunnan.
A third link was proposed by the Vietnamese government in 2019, from the port of Haiphong to the Chinese border. This would be 390km long, with 32 stations, and its $4.2bn cost would be partly met with a loan from China. The route would follow an existing 1m-gauge railway, built during the French occupation of Vietnam in the early 20th century.
Image Â©GCR, illustration by Denis Carrier