New Express Freight Train Links China, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia in Regional Trade Boost

A train runs from China through Laos to Thailand in 2023. (Photo: China Daily)

The first China-Laos-Thailand-Malaysia express freight train began its journey from Chengdu, the capital of China’s southwestern Sichuan Province on 30 April, and it is expected to arrive in Port Klang in Malaysia on 8 May.

Loaded with 30 containers filled with Liquid Crystal Display monitors and new energy vehicles, the train is traveling along the China-Laos railway line, traversing through the rail networks of Laos and Thailand before reaching its final destination in Malaysia.

This all-rail expedition is projected to cover the distance to Thailand in merely five days and to Malaysia in eight days, presenting a substantial reduction in transit time by approximately 50 percent when compared to the traditional sea route originating from Qinzhou City in south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

Industry experts anticipate that this new rail route will not only bolster the Laos-China rail services but also foster stronger economic and trade relationships among China, Laos, Thailand, and Malaysia. Additionally, it is expected to expedite the expansion of the regional inland railway network, providing crucial support for economic interactions and growth between Sichuan and Southeast Asia.

This recent development builds upon the collaborative efforts between China and Thailand in linking their railway networks via the Laos-China railway line. Notably, this integration has substantially reduced transportation durations from Thailand to southwest China, reducing the timeframe from one week via sea transportation to about one to two days.