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Finland-China Rail Freight Route Opened

Nov. 13 – With more than 40 containers, a cargo train bound for Xi’an, China departed Kouvola in southeastern Finland, on Nov. 10. It will take 17 days to run 9,000 km distance across the Eurasian continent, passing through Russia and Kazakhstan among other countries, before reaching its final destination in northwest China.

Goods packed in the containers are all made in Finland, ranging from machinery, timber, workwear, and ship components, according to Jari Gronlund, chief operation officer of Unytrade company. Founded just this past summer, Unytrade especially serves the newly-opened route, said Gronlund, who believes the only railway route linking the Nordic countries and China will open a new channel to bring more Nordic products to nations along the route.

Olli-Pekka Hilmola, logistics professor at Lappeenranta University of Technology, told Finnish national broadcaster Yle that a regular train connection from Kouvola to China would be important to the Finnish economy. Li Zhao, Assistant of the General Manager of Xi’an International Inland Port Investment & Development Group, explained that goods will be further transported to various markets in China from the terminus in Xi’an.

As planned, a total of five trains will run between Kouvola and Xi’an by the end of this year. At the same time, a train would depart from Xi’an to Kouvola every week. Li said the trips may start to increase if trade goes smoothly; hopefully a train of goods would be sent every day in the near future.

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