More than 1,000 vehicles have been imported using a rail service from Germany to southwest China's Chongqing Municipality this year, a local entry port said.
The imported vehicles were worth 283 million yuan (about 43 million U.S. dollars). A total of 1,500 vehicles will be imported on the rail system by the end of the year, according to the railway port.
China imports over 1 million vehicles every year, but most of them arrive via shipping routes at the coastal ports.
Chongqing won central government approval to import cars by rail last July.
The railway trip takes just 16 days from Duisburg in Germany to Chongqing, two-thirds faster than shipping them, reducing logistics costs.
Huang Xiang, general manager of Chongqing Rail Port Logistics, said the car imports have spurred new business in and around Chongqing, with BMW, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz and Audi all establishing operations at the railway port.
Besides Chongqing, other inland ports, including Chengdu, Sichuan Province; Zhengzhou, Henan Province; and Yueyang, Hunan Province, have also increased the import of vehicles through the rail service.