Development of the cold chain in China

Railways and in particular, high-speed trains have great potential in cold chain logistics in China.

China’s cold chain network is developing apace. Cold chain logistics bases in north-eastern cities Dalian, Shenyang and Changchun were completed in 2014, and a refrigerated train network is under construction in the region. Refrigerated trains have been operating between Dalian and Harbin and between Yanbian and Dalian since 2016 and June 2017 respectively. These routes transport fresh food between coastal ports and inland cities. Railways and in particular, high-speed trains have great potential in cold chain logistics. The cold chain logistics centre in Dalian has been working on not only rail but also marine and highway transport connections since February 2016.

In addition, the approval of the first logistics centre with refrigerated warehouses in Chongqing in the centre of the country will further revolutionise the cold chain in China. RMB 4 billion (over EUR 500 million) have been invested in the logistics centre, which will allow China to import food from Europe by direct express train. Until now, meat was transported to inland cities like Chongqing by sea shipping and road, via coastal cities such as Tianjin, Shanghai and Qingdao. Railway transportation will drastically reduce the logistics period - it will now only take 12 days for imported meat to reach Chongqing. The cost of importing food to China from Europe will also be reduced by over 10%. Two more cold chain logistics centres are in the works in order to enable the distribution of products to surrounding cities.

Source: JARN September 25, 2017