China launches direct rail, sea freight service between Kunming and Karachi
China and Pakistan have launched a direct rail and sea freight service, with the first cargo train departing from Yunnan, an inland province in southwest China, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
A cargo train loaded with 500 tonnes of commodities left Kunming, capital of Yunnan, for Karachi on Wednesday, marking the opening of the new route.
“The route helps locals businesses connect with the world market,” a representative from the New Silk Road Yunnan Limited said. The new service is said to reduce the transport cost by over 50 per cent. The service is a part of China’s Maritime Silk Road initiative of which the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project (CPEC) is an extension.
Pakistan and China kicked off first trade activities under CPEC in October as over a hundred Chinese containers arrived at the Sust port in Hunza, following clearance from customs. The containers were headed to Gwadar.