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Europe-Asia freight train service resumes

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Reference:ChinaDaily | Updated: 19 February 2020

A freight train heading to Central Asia departed from Qingdao, a coastal city in East China's Shandong province, on Tuesday night.

It signified a resumption of Europe-Asia freight train service after the outbreak of new virus pneumonia.

The train left from a multimodal transport logistics center in Jiaozhou, which is part of Qingdao, local officials said.

According to Wang Zhenwei, a local customs official, customs approved 35 shipments of 206 standard containers of commodities, of which 100 were shipped on Tuesday and the rest would be transported over the following days.

All the commodities, including machinery and palm oil, come from Japan, South Korea and Southeast Asia, and are bound for Central Asian countries such as Kazakhstan, Wang added.

Wang said that strict measures for epidemic prevention and control had been taken and customs used remote video to monitor container transportation.

Wei Xuelun, a manager at the multimodal transport logistics center, said all five Europe-Asia freight trains were expected to resume service last week.

The Europe-Asia freight trains operate under the name "Qilu", another name for Shandong province.

The multimodal transport logistics center aims to become a new hub to connect Japan, South Korea and Southeast Asia to Central Asian and European countries.

The center was involved in 500 freight train trips in 2019 with a total of 670,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) shipped, a year-on-year increase of 25 percent, according to local media.

Its location is close to a demonstration area for local economic and trade cooperation between China and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which is aimed at creating a new platform for international cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative and expanding cooperation in areas that include international logistics, modern trade, two-way investment and business, tourism and cultural exchanges.

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