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Chongqing Welcomes First ILSTC China-Laos-Thailand Cold Chain Train in Year of the Dragon

By RAN ZHENG|Feb 26,2024

Chongqing - Chongqing recently marked the arrival of the first cold chain train from Laos in the Year of the Dragon via the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC), signifying the establishment of a consistent cross-border cold chain rail service with ASEAN countries.

The first China-Laos-Thai cold chain train of the ILSTC in the Year of the Dragon arrived in Chongqing. (Photo/ Tan Yao)

Starting February 16, the train carrying 200 tons of bananas valued over 100 million yuan (USD 14.07 million) from Laos embarked on its journey, involving harvesting, packing, and transport to Vientiane South Station. After clearing customs at Mohan Port in Yunnan Province on February 17, it reached Chongqing's Jiangjin Xiaonanya Station by February 20. 

These bananas are destined for distribution across provinces like Sichuan, Hubei, and Hunan, marking a significant step in cross-border cold chain rail service between Chongqing and ASEAN countries.

Launched in June last year, this cold chain train service connects Vientiane, Laos, to Chongqing's Jiangjin District via the ILSTC, initially focusing on importing essential items such as hot pot ingredients and cassava from Laos.

By February 5, 2024, the service had grown to include an export route, transporting lemons and other premium agricultural products from Chongqing's Xiaonanya Railway Station to Thailand through Mohan Port. This expansion has solidified a reciprocal cold chain logistics operation between China, Laos, and Thailand, improving the distribution of top-quality agricultural goods.

Enhancing perishable goods transport

The operation of these cold chain trains involves a collaborative effort in order processing, financing, customs, warehousing, and transport. This complex process requires coordination between New Land-sea Corridor Operation Co., Ltd., the service operator, China Railway Chengdu Bureau Group Co., Ltd., and the Chongqing Customs District to ensure seamless execution.

The collaboration significantly expedited the customs process at Mohan Port, especially during the Spring Festival rush, achieving goods inspection and customs clearance within just 4 hours.

The cross-border railroad cold chain service marks a notable advancement in perishable goods transportation. Li Zhaobang, chairman of Chongqing New Land-sea Supply Chain Co., Ltd., has praised this new approach for its lower damage rates and more reliable delivery times than traditional road transport at ambient temperatures.

The New Land-sea Corridor Operation Co., Ltd. intends to make the China-Laos-Thailand cold chain services a regular operation, concentrating on transporting ASEAN fruits like bananas and durian. The company aims to further refine cold chain logistics by offering comprehensive services that include customs clearance, supervision of loading and unloading, temperature monitoring, and cargo tracking, ensuring efficient and reliable delivery of perishable goods.

The company plans to enhance the importation of agricultural products from ASEAN and quicken the export of premium goods from Western China to ASEAN nations. This approach aims to cultivate a novel industrial growth model within the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle, emphasizing worldwide production, procurement, and distribution, thereby encouraging regional economic synergy.


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