Special railway logistics services for online shopping event to last 20 days
More bullet trains are being used to help improve logistics capacity during China's 20-day Singles Day shopping spree in response to growing demand.
To cater to the needs of the logistics market, railways plan to provide special services to boost e-commerce from Nov 1 to 20, China Railway Corp, the national railway operator, said on Saturday.
It started providing special logistics services during the shopping spree in 2016. This year, they will last for 20 days-10 days longer than in the past.
The company said it will arrange more than 600 railway routes and 1,000 bullet trains to transport e-commerce goods to more than 80 cities, operate Fuxing bullet cargo trains between Beijing and Wuhan, Hubei province, organize cold-chain storage delivery and provide chartered train services to logistics and e-commerce enterprises.
Singles Day, which falls on Nov 11, is China's largest online shopping spree. During last year's event, consumers spent 1.48 trillion yuan ($211 billion) buying goods online. E-commerce giant Alibaba, which launched Singles Day in 2009, achieved sales of 268.4 billion yuan during the online promotion last year, up 26 percent year-on-year.
On Sunday, the first day of the shopping spree, Fuxing bullet train DJ5917 left Beijing West Railway Station bound for Wuhan with 40 metric tons of cargo.
The eight-car bullet train was the first Fuxing train to transport a full load of goods. Fuxing trains usually have both cargo cars and passenger cars.
The train, carrying more than 3,600 packages, left Beijing at 5:02 am and arrived in Wuhan at 10:20 am, China Railway Beijing Group, the railway operator, said on Sunday. Most of the cargo comprised e-commerce goods including clothing, food and digital products.
China Railway Beijing Group and China Railway Wuhan Group said one Fuxing cargo bullet train will travel between the capital and Wuhan every day during the spree, with another one traveling from Wuhan to Beijing.
China Railway Express, a logistics enterprise of China Railway Corp, said the daily operation of Fuxing cargo bullet trains between Beijing and Wuhan is an innovative way to improve the logistics capacity of high-speed railways and will serve as a pilot program for railway operators to better meet the nation's economic needs.
An inspector aboard each train will patrol the cars every 40 minutes. The patrols will be recorded by a video camera, and any problems discovered will be handled accordingly, China Railway Express said.
Li Hao, spokesman for the Beijing Railway Logistic Center-a logistics enterprise of China Railway Beijing Group-said the company has arranged a daily cargo train consisting of 17 cars between Beijing and Guangzhou, Guangdong province, to help meet high demand.
He said strict epidemic control measures will be implemented to prevent the spread of COVID-19.