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First Rail Shipment of Thai Fresh Fruit to China Underway
On March 27, a shipment of 40 tons of durians and 20 tons of coconuts became the first fresh fruit from Thailand to be transported to China on the recently opened China–Laos railway, according to Thai media reports. Thailand is China’s largest supplier of imported fresh fruit by volume and rail shipment opens up a new mode of transportation in addition to shipment by either ocean or overland trucking routes passing through intermediate countries such as Laos.
The three containers of fruit originated from Rayong on Thailand’s Eastern Gulf Coast and were transported by rail via the Thai border town of Nong Khai to the Laotian capital of Vientiane. From there, they were sent north into China on the China–Laos railway, which opened only in December 2021. A high-profile element of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, the high-speed railway runs from Vientiane — which is situated just across the Mekong River from Nong Khai — to the city of Yuxi in Southwest China’s Yunnan province.
Thai media outlet The Nation cited Wutt Rengpradoong, a customs officer in Nong Khai province, as saying that in accordance with instructions from the Ministry of Finance and the Customs Bureau, measures have been taken to reduce costs and improve the efficiency of cargo inspection for goods leaving Thailand by rail. Now, Thai customs officials do not require that goods be transferred from the train station to customs facilities for examination and instead use a mobile X-ray machine for inspection.
If all goes according to plan, the shipment from Rayong province to Yunnan’s provincial capital of Kunming will take 4–5 days. This makes rail the fastest non-air means of shipping fruit from Thailand to China.
This article was translated from Chinese. Read the original article.
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