Chongqing- Departing from a Hami melon planting base 40 kilometers away from Turpan, Xinjiang, six cold chain shuttle buses set off to Bangkok, Thailand, via Southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality, on June 9.
Loaded with 150 tons of Xinjiang Hami melon, the first batch of cold chain shuttle buses will take only eight days to reach the Bangkok market. This makes up for the shortcomings of Xinjiang’s cold chain logistics, which guarantees the melons and fruits’ quality and boosts the export of Xinjiang’s real-estate agricultural products.
In recent years, the demand for local products from Xinjiang in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) regions has increased yearly, particularly under the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement. However, Xinjiang’s inland location and poor logistics make many high-quality fruits unable to sell at reasonable prices.
“The hot weather makes Thai people prefer melons and fruits, and the Hami melon from Xinjiang is very famous in Thailand,” said Jaruwan Udomsab, who is from Thailand and now is a doctor of the Yunnan Intelligence Union Program.
“Although the melons were popular, they were not accessible to the Thai people due to inconvenient transportation logistics and high price,” she said. “Now the cold chain via land transportation can be shipped to Bangkok in 8 days with a cheaper cost so that the Hami melon can stay fresh and we can buy and keep it longer at home.”
She also added that Thailand is a fruit exporting country, but it is challenging to cultivate vegetables because of the hot weather. So fruits and vegetables can be complementary products of imports and exports for China and Thailand.
Since this year, the New International Land-sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC) has achieved more than 20 first trains, stretching several new logistics routes between Chongqing, Ningxia, Gansu, Hunan, and other places with the ASEAN countries such as Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia, Thailand, said Liu Wei, director of the Coordination Center for Logistics and Operation of the ILSTC.
The ILSTC is a new international land-sea trade channel built by China’s western provinces and ASEAN countries. With Chongqing as the operation center and other western regions as crucial nodes, the corridor can reach overseas by various types of transportation. Amid the ILSTC joint construction, the areas along the route, like Xinjiang, will play a significant role in the cross-regional comprehensive operation platform, innovating the cooperation model of train, hub, trade, logistics, and platform.
In the next step, the relevant parties will play a role in the ILSTC Chongqing Dry Port project to normalize the operation of cold-chain shuttles and expand the cold-chain rail-sea intermodal trains. While increasing the export of melons and fruits in Xinjiang, the ILSTC will actively integrate into the national unified open market, making new ground in China’s greater opening-up.
(Wang Yuxuan, as an intern, also contributed to this report.)
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