Chongqing - During the peak season for durian sales, a considerable volume of durians hit the market in Southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, resulting in significant price fluctuations.
In early April, durian prices hovered around 100 yuan per kilogram. However, the cost of durians in fruit shops and supermarkets has since plummeted to about 20 yuan per kilogram. Today, one can purchase a whole durian for approximately 100 yuan.
Several factors contribute to this price reduction. Among them is the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC), which forms a link between western China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Thailand, boasting over 200 durian varieties, holds the record for the world's highest export volume of fresh durians. A significant portion of the durians imported by Chongqing originates from Thailand.
What's the best way to transport Thai durians to Chongqing? A local fruit importer explained that, traditionally, Thai durians were shipped by sea from local ports to eastern Chinese cities and then transported to Chongqing via domestic logistics. This process led to high transportation costs and extended delivery times.
However, a significant change occurred late last year when a new cold chain fruit transportation route, the Thailand-Laos-Chongqing route, was inaugurated on the first anniversary of the China-Laos Railway's opening.
On December 2, 2022, the inaugural inland cold chain fruit train of the China-Laos Railway set off from Vientiane, Laos, and crossed into China. It journeyed through Mohan Port, finally reaching Tuanjie Village Station in Chongqing, where the fruit was dispatched to various destinations.
This innovative route capitalizes on the benefits of the China-Laos Railway, substantially reducing transportation time. The trip from Vientiane, Laos, to the China-Laos border has been cut from two days to just three hours, guaranteeing the freshness of the fruit and simultaneously lowering logistics costs.
Chongqing is also hastening the establishment of the ILSTC fruit distribution center. "Thanks to the concerted efforts of all involved, we believe that the distance between inland China and ASEAN will continue to shrink. With the support of the ILSTC, Chongqing's residents can enjoy a broader range of high-quality, affordable Southeast Asian fruits," said a representative from the New Land-Sea Corridor Operation Co., Ltd.
According to figures released by Chongqing Customs District, Chongqing's import of Southeast Asian fruit hit 1.07 billion yuan in the first quarter of 2023, marking a 53.5% increase year-on-year.
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