The Logistics of China’s Open Market

2018-11-26 18:26:24 China Pictorial2018年11期

by Ling Chen

Russian Railways Logistics(RZD Logistics) is the largest multimodal logistics operator in Russia, CIS countries and the Baltic states. The company was founded in 2010 with the mission of developing the logistics segment of Russian Railways. Designated by Russian Railways as the sole coordinator of international railroad transit routes, the company is an important partner of China Railway Express (CR Express), an organization within the Belt and Road Initiative framework aiming to connect China to Europe. In anticipation of the companys arrival at the upcoming China International Import Expo (CIIE) to be held in Shanghai, Viacheslav Valentik, CEO of RZD Logistics, granted an exclusive interview to China Pictorial (CP).

CP: Why do you think China is organizing CIIE?

Valentik: CIIE will act as an open platform for China to present its national development achievements to participating countries, and it will also shine light on the readiness of all participants to openly discuss major issues related to foreign trade and the world economy.

CP: What will your company show at the event? And what do you expect from CIIE?

Valentik: We are planning to deliver maximum information to both Chinese and international customers on our international logistics services. At this event in Shanghai, we will showcase a number of high-speed delivery services in which we see great potential. For example, we are planning to introduce our RailJet and Panda Land Bridge services.

This June, Russian and Chinese Railways signed a memorandum on arranging high-speed rail freight service along the China-RussiaEurope route. RZD Logistics and CR Express were designated to carry out the terms of the memorandum, and by July we had managed to launch RailJet. RailJet is a weekly service focused on transporting cargo in rail cars. By rail, it takes only six days to cover the distance between Beijing and Moscow.

Another flagship product—Panda Land Bridge—is our scheduled container train service on the Russia-China route. The service starts on a train from Moscow, followed by trains from Samara, Kazan and Krasnoyarsk. Quickly, the Panda Land Bridge opened a door for Russian goods to enter the Chinese market. This service is something everyone at this expo needs to know about.

I am sure that we will find new business partners both in China and other countries at CIIE, and we will deliver high-quality services to each and every one of them. We can expertly transport cargo from any point in Russia or Europe to any point in China, and vice versa.

CP: When did your company enter the Chinese market? Did you encounter any difficulties?

Valentik: From the very start, we have considered China one of our major business partners. Several years before the Belt and Road Initiative was proposed, we were already arranging delivery of cargo from China to Russia and Europe by rail. Most difficulties were related to different shipping documents used in China, Russia and Europe as well as misunderstandings on requirements of respective customs authorities. We faced problems with mistakes on shipping documents, so the documents were constantly revised and reissued, which took time and influenced the speed of delivery. Since then, all the countries along the Belt and Road routes have achieved considerable progress in terms of standardizing documentation. Time spent at customs when crossing borders has significantly decreased. And now we are all close to implementing electronic document flow to make this transit process seamless.

CP: Russia is one of the most active participants in the Belt and Road Initiative. How do you think Russia has benefited from the initiative?

Valentik: Proposed by the Chinese government, the Belt and Road Initiative is showcasing new perspectives on the development of international trade. In 2017 this concept went global, uniting dozens of countries pursuing economic partnerships and incentivizing investors on several continents. The concerted efforts of China, Russia and Europe have led to an improved business climate and more highly developed economic ties between our countries.

Several years ago, rail delivery of cargo from China to Europe through Russia could not compete with deep-sea services due to speed and pricing. But with the strong support from China since the introduction of the Belt and Road Initiative, we all have seen exponential growth in transit cargo flow. Now all countries along the Belt and Road including Russia are benefiting because trains are running through their territories and business ties between each and every one along the routes are being constantly strengthened.

CP: How do you think CIIE can serve countries along the Belt and Road and even the world?

Valentik: The idea to arrange the first expo involving importing to China is already a big step towards the future of international logistics. Until recently, China was considered a major export economy. By hosting this import expo, China is opening a new door for other countries to take a hard look at China as it becomes the biggest consumer market. This large-scale event is answering the demands of the large-scale Chinese economy, and we are sure this event will boost further development of trade and business ties between all participating countries.