SCODA Offers New Link to the International Circulation
In the morning of November 9th, a Qilu Central Asia block train, fully loaded with Japanese and Korean brand tires, auto parts, electronic components and other cargo, pulled out slowly from the SCODA Qingdao Multimodal Transport Center in the China-SCO Local Economic and Trade Cooperation Demonstration Area (SCODA), Qingdao, and was expected to arrive in Alma-Ata, Kazakhstan after 12 days.
"At present, the SCODA Qingdao Multimodal Transport Center has opened 17 domestic and international lines including 6 international block trains, which are Central Asia block train, China-Korea block train, China-Mongolia block train, Central Europe (Russia) line, ASEAN special line, and Central Europe (Belarus) line," said Wei Xuelun, Deputy General Manager of CRIntermodal Qingdao Central Station.
In June 2018, at the 18th Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization held in Qingdao, China proposed to support building a demonstration area in Qingdao for local economic and trade cooperation between China and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
The China-SCO Local Economic and Trade Cooperation Demonstration Area (SCODA) aims to build a new platform of international cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative, expand cooperation in international logistics, modern trade, bilateral investment, and commerce, tourism and cultural exchanges; strengthen the interconnection between China and other SCO countries, and shape a new phase of all-around two-way opening-up with links running eastward and westward, over land and seas.
During more than past two years since it opened, the SCODA Qingdao Multimodal Transport Center has become an important link for the economic and trade relationship between SCO countries, Japan and South Korea.
When the Transfar (SCO) international road transport route has been opened, a container truck departing from the SCODA will take 7 days only to arrive in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, which is 5,600 km away.
It is learned that the SCODA Qindao Multimodal Transport Center is directly linked with Qingdao Port via the Jiaozhou-Huangdao Railway that operates shuttle freight trains. The Qingdao Multimodal Transport Center, equivalent to Qingdao Port, receives cargo transported by Central Asia and Central Europe block trains from SCO countries. The cargo can then be transferred by sea from the port to Japan, South Korea and other relevant countries, making the demonstration area an important gateway for SCO countries. Products exported from Japan and South Korea could also arrive at their destinations via this sea-rail multimodal transportation.
"Compared with traditional sea transport, the Central Asia and Central Europe block trains can save about 30 days. Outbound cargos mainly include lubricants, copperware, plastic pellets, furniture, tire, etc. from Japan and South Korea. In this regard, there would be at least one train for the Central Asia line, about 80% of the block trains are heading Alma-Ata, connecting the five Central Asian countries." said Wei Xuelun.
As for inbound sources, the supply of aluminum ingot and zinc ingot from Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan has become stable, and the SCODA is also proactively looking for agricultural products such as green beans to expand the source.Currently, there are 4 trains of the Central Asia line per month inbound to China.
In 2019, the SCODA Qingdao Multimodal Transport Center handled 670,000 TEUs of containers in total. In spite of the epidemics in 2020, the Qingdao Multimodal Transport Center still handled 592,000 TEUs of containers in the first 10 months, up 5%.
"As for now, the SCODA has basically created a major international logistics channel connecting Japan and South Korea to the east and facing the Asia-Pacific, connecting Central Asia and Europe to the west, connecting ASEAN and South Asia countries to the south, and connecting Mongolia and Russia to the north," said Xiang Zhiqiang, Deputy Director of the Administrative Committee, SCODA.
This June, the Transfar (SCO) international road transport route was officially opened. The route is based on the international road transport system (TIR), promotes convenient international road transport and trade by streamlining customs clearance procedures and improving customs clearance efficiency.
According to Zhang Quanwen, Business Director of the Transfar (SCODA) International Logistics Port, thanks to the convenience in customs clearance for the international road transport system (TIR), the time spent in door-to-door transport by the Transfar (SCO) international road transport route is 20% of sea transport, and 50% of rail transport. And the cost is in between air and rail transport.
By this international road transport route, a container truck, departing from the SCODA, would take 7 days only to arrive in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, which is 5,600 km away, while it would take 35 days by sea transport and 12 days by rail transport.
"Qingdao Jiaodong International Airport will be fully put into operation soon. The 4F-class international airport is only 15 km away from the core area of the SCODA and will further highlight SCODA's advantage in air transport," said Zang Yuanqi, Deputy Director of the International Logistics Department, SCODA.
By this advantageous international logistics route, the SCODA is also vigorously advancing cross-border e-commerce by helping local businesses to set up overseas warehouses, and accelerating the construction of Russia's procurement center in China.
This June, the "SCO Special Products Pavilion" jointly built by the SCODA and Jingdong was officially opened online, through which specialties from SCO countries could realize "one-stop" sales.
At the end of this October, upon the application of Jiaozhou, Qingdao, the trade service-oriented national logistics hub in Qingdao was officially approved. This hub, with a total site area of 8.75 km2 and a total investment of up to RMB 12.441 billion yuan, will serve as a core logistics infrastructure and a leading platform for the SCODA. (Xinhua News Agency)