JR Freight helps to build intermodal landbridge across China

first_imgBYLINE: Shigeho NimoriPresident, International Freight Railway System Co Ltd*CONSIGNMENTS of freight moving to and from Japan will be accelerated thanks to a partnership between China Railway Foreign Service Corp and Japan Railway Freight Co. A formal agreement was signed with JR Freight by CRFSC Vice President Shi Yulin in February in Tokyo. This covered the establishment of a company called International Freight Railway System Co Ltd with an initial capital of ´31m, of which JR Freight holds a stake of 25·8%. For many years Japanese National Railways and Chinese Railways maintained good relations, and this continued after JR Freight was set up as an independent company in 1987. When diplomatic relations between the two countries improved in the early 1990s, opportunities were sought to step up the level of co-operation between the railways. This work finally bore fruit last year when agreement was reached to establish IFRS, culminating in signature of the deal in February.The agreement provides for intermodal freight services to be established to link Japan via fast sea links to China and improved rail services within China and also to Mongolia, Kazakstan, Vietnam and other countries. Trains will convey containers and general cargo. JR Freight will use its expertise in intermodal traffic to help local Chinese companies improve freight transport on international and Chinese domestic routes. Urgent shipments will use the China Railway Express Service network linking 46 principal cities.International intermodal services will be set up with the China Land Bridge organisation to accelerate shipment of containers between Japan and Europe. Japanese companies are hoping that the rail landbridge will offer effective competition against the maritime routes that have long dominated links between the two trading blocks.IFRS is planning to tackle the problem of not being able to book cargo space on CR’s general freight services because of chronic over-demand and lack of capacity. It also hopes to be able to offer lower rates and to be able to keep track of shipments as they move across China. o*Shigeho Nimori is also Senior Managing Director of JR Freightlast_img

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