First Chinese Cargo Train from China Leaves for Karachi
Pakistan and China under CPEC have launched a direct sea freight and railway service. The first Chinese cargo train departs from Yunnan, a southwest province in China, according to Xinhua News agency. The cargo train carries a shipment of 500 tonnes of different commodities departed from Kunming, a capital of Yunnan, routed towards Karachi, Pakistan. This is the official opening of the new railway route.
“The railway route helps local businesses connect with the global market,” New Silk Road Yunnan Limited official said. This new railway route and sea freight service will cut down the logistics and shipment cost and cost of transportation by almost 50 percent as compared to the past services,” Xinhua News reported.
This latest service is a part of China’s Maritime Silk Road initiative, an extension of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. Earlier in October, China and Pakistan kicked off its first trade activities under CPEC as more than hundred Chinese containers arrived at Sust port, located at Hunza. After clearance from the Customs Department of Pakistan, shipment was headed to Gwadar.
CPEC is a 3,000-kilometer route of roads, railway tracks and pipelines to transport oil and gas from Kashgar city to Gwadar Port. CPEC was proposed by Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang on his visit to Pakistan in the year 2013. CPEC will work as a network for the new Maritime Silk Route with a vision to link three billion people of Asia, Europe, and Africa. An official agreement was signed between both the countries in May 2016 during the visit of Chinese President, Xi Jinping.